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About The Paris Scandal


About The Paris Scandal

A reimagining of the 1884 Belle Époque scandal surrounding John Singer Sargent’s most famous portrait, “Madame X,” The Paris Scandal is a five-decade saga of lost innocence, callous infidelity, and calculated deception narrated by Emily Sargent, the painter’s disabled unmarried sister whose hopes for an independent love-filled life collides with her brother’s quest for fame.


Though fluent in three languages, an accomplished pianist, and possessing a native's knowledge of Europe’s great cities, few who meet Emily Sargent look beyond the hump on her back. Their contempt has one advantage: obscurity frees her to study others—including those who so easily dismiss her. An aspiring artist, Emily hopes to emulate her brother John’s growing success. Unfortunately, her aging parents see no future for her beyond being their caregiver.


Witnessing socialite Amélie Gautreau’s grand entrance at the opera, John vows to paint her. Amélie wants this too. Should the portrait’s Salon debut reinforce her standing as a renowned beauty, she assumes her lover, gynecologist Samuel Pozzi, will finally leave his wife.


Although Amélie’s husband, Pierre, suspects her infidelity and worries that, over time, the portrait will remind her of her lost beauty, he relents. But when Amélie’s brazen affair sends him into despair, Emily finds the courage to admit she loves him.


In John, Amélie, and Samuel’s ruthless pursuit of celebrity, lies are told, alliances are made, and Emily’s future is sacrificed. Her revenge: undermining the painting’s success, inciting lifelong consequences for all.


About Josie Brown

Novelist, journalist, and playwright Josie Brown is the author of:

  • Housewife Assassin’s Handbook series (21 novels)

  • Totlandia series (8 episodic novels)

  • Extracurricular series (3 episodic novels)

  • True Hollywood Lies series )

  • as well as the novels The Candidate and The Baby Planner (Simon & Schuster).

She has been published by Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's, HarperCollins, and Penguin. She has also independently published books. She’s appeared at #1 on Amazon and iBooks on numerous occasions.


Josie's novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives (Simon & Schuster), was optioned by producer Jerry Bruckheimer for television.

About the Event

JSS with Madame X.jpg

Josie has had a lifelong obsession with John Sargent’s work, which led to her  exacting research into his personal life. This included reading all biographies of the artist and also correspondences between Emily and John and their close friends.


Additionally, the diaries of novelists Henry James and Vernon Lee and painters James Carroll Beckwith, Edward Simmons, and Evan Charteris gave her extraordinary insights into the Sargents’ words and deeds. I also discovered the ideal hook: the actual incident that crippled Emily and bound her destiny to John’s throughout their lives.

 Josie's discussion will include:

  • How she  concepted the novel;

  • How her research fleshed out those who touched the Sargents' lives;

  •  including friends, family, and patrons; and

  • Copies of John's works that are described in the novel.



Thanks for requesting an event. We'll get back to you within 48 hours to arrange it.


320 Pages / Hardcover


The Books will be personalized

by Josie.

10 Copies:   $37 ea.

20 Copies:   $33 ea.

30+ Copies:  $30 ea.

Tax (.075%) on every copy
+ Shipping & Handling Chart: 

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