Rich-people problems

The Phantom of Fifth Avenue

Meryl Gordon's The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark (Grand Central Publishing, $28) is once again proof that the rich are very different. Huguette Clark, a recluse, was the daughter of a Montana robber baron who loved the spotlight and made boatloads of money. Gordon's research is impeccable and covers Clark's privileged upbringing, two decades spent housebound, and her declining years in a private room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. It's fascinating and possible proof that money can't buy everything, but it certainly buys a great deal.