Picks and Pans Review: The Royal House of Monaco

updated 12/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

by John Glatt

With the exception of Princess Grace, Monaco's Grimaldis might be considered the aluminum siding of royal families: lightweight, tacky and astonishingly resilient. Veteran British journalist John Glatt does little to dispel that image in this dishy account, which reveals that Grace aborted a baby by designer Oleg Cassini, her onetime fiancé, and that Rainier's handlers, looking to improve tourism, first approached Marilyn Monroe as a possible bride. Glatt also delves into the escapades of Grace and Rainier's three children. When we hear about Princess Stephanie's special knack for appearing topless in paparazzi shots, or Prince Albert joking that "his reputation for having slept with more than 150 women is a 'conservative estimate,' " Glatt's theory—that the family lost its rudder after Grace's death in 1982—seems all too true. (St. Martin's, $24.95)

Bottom Line: How do you say "juicy" in French?

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