2010-06-02 / Features

Wall Street And The Hospitality Industry Receive A Five-Star Fleecing

F< I T A L I C > Fleecing, the debut

Five Star Fleecing by Astoria based author Maura Stone. Five Star Fleecing by Astoria based author Maura Stone. book by

Astoria based author Maura Stone, is a new satire that provides the reader with an inside look at the world of Manhattan luxury hotels. Stone was a commercial banker whose specialty was credit and credit risk management. For 10 years, she operated a consulting company with more than 20 top financial institutions as her clients, some still in existence today. Stone, however, deviated from finance and tried other career paths including hotel management. The result of that stint is Five-Star Fleecing, an adult-themed comedy concerning corporate theft on the demise of a five-star luxury hotel.

The story is told through the eyes of Linda Lane, a naïve yet ambitious New Yorker.

The story begins in 1995 with Lane leaving her legal position at a firm under investigation for questionable practices. She obtains a job as assistant resident manager at the luxurious Supreme Superior Hotel in Manhattan. Her boss, Herr Ganiff (a clever mix of the German word for mister and the Yiddish word meaning “pig”) explains the rules of working at a five-star hotel and assigns her to work up a plan on how to keep their high rollers happy while also bringing in some additional income. Soon, however, Lane observes all sorts of questionable practices at the hotel owned in absentia by a Japanese trio. In fact, she sees theft, poor handling of guests and a management team that only cares about itself. As she tries to ignore what she observes, Lane thinks of her father who told her to never back down. Surrounded by world famous celebrities, movie junkets, upscale guests and strangely conflicted hotel colleagues, Linda finds that the most daunting aspect of her job is her association with her celebrated boss, the General Manager, Mr. Ganiff. The longer Lane works for him, the more she realizes that leaving her past job was not the successful escape from corruption she thought it would be.

The book has something for everyone who has ever worked on Wall Street or in the hospitality industry with snobby hotel guests, pampered celebrities, paparazzi, duplicity, and incompetent coworkers. This scathing satire of the hospitality business comes at a very appropriate time when Wall Street and capitalism are the headline stories as the nation copes through the current worldwide financial crisis.

Stone provides a wellwritten tale of American style capitalism and corruption while demonstrating that she is a promising new star in the literary world.

On the art of writing, Stone jokingly said, “I found out that writing was more effective and far more cheaper than therapy.”

Stone is currently working on her second novel, another scathing satire, this time about commercial banking.

“I hope the second book will not put the kibosh on my career,” she jokes.

Five Star-Fleecing, is published by Written in Stone Publishing and is available on amazon.com and Stone’s Web site, www.maurastone.com

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