Miss Gazillions

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Richard Weber's Miss Gazillions opens with protagonist Danny O’Sullivan losing his yacht, and reason to live, to repossession men upon the sudden death of his father. A yacht tour guide in the Virgin Islands for twenty years, O’Sullivan returns to New York for his father's funeral and accepts a job his father arranged for him. At the funeral he meets his father's mistress Lydia Sands, a flamboyant former model who informs him that his father declared bankruptcy just prior to his death, leaving him unable to pay for the burial at sea in the Virgin Islands he requested. O’Sullivan must now save enough money working as an apartment manager to buy his dreamboat, and ship his father's coffin (which is currently his dining table) to its final resting place.

Discouraged, O’Sullivan's luck changes when his beautiful neighbor Celeste Traner appears at his door step at 2am, bloodied and exhausted, with two suitcases containing 4.4 million dollars. From watching the news, O’Sullivan learns of a car crash involving the former United States Secretary of Treasury, the U.S. Attorney General, a deposed Columbian drug lord, and a mystery woman who fled the scene. Realizing the wanted woman is Celeste, the two take the stolen windfall, bury the father, and become international jet-setting fugitives.

They meet Lydia and her boyfriend Ernesto in Rome, live the life of luxury, invest wisely, and constantly watch for the money's owner's henchmen. They then return to the U.S., settling in Martha's Vineyard, where their dreams disintegrate as the money's owner resurfaces.

Miss Gazillions is a humorous adventure filled with romance, daydreams, and suspense.