October 18, 1993 12:00 PM

by Ivana Trump

A novel by Ivana Trump is like a dress designed by a dentist. The result will not be overlooked. One reason this book will be noticed is its dust jacket. There is a photo of a starry-eyed Ms. Trump bordered in a garish shade of orchid that matches her hat as well as her lipstick. And thanks to her surgeon or the photographer, she looks amazingly like Loretta Swit.

Free to Love is about a woman from Czechoslovakia, a really good skier, who runs her hotels in New York City and Prague while jet-setting and being a terrific mother. The heroine, Katrinka, and Mark, her new, good husband, triumph over Adam, her no-good ex-husband.

The story indulges in consumer-friendly fiction (Chanel suits, Swiss linen handkerchiefs). There is also wish fulfillment: Katrinka has a child with Mark, and the turkey ex-husband gets a satisfactory comeuppance in the end. Too often, however, the book reads like a poor person’s idea of rich people. I mean, there are footmen.

Trump’s bodice ripper is a hoot if you’re in the mood for literary nachos and Velveeta. And—who knows?—Prague may have been moved one step closer to becoming a glitzy world capital. (Pocket Books, $23)


Today’s mystery writers have taken great strides beyond Agatha Christie’s mild-mannered Miss Marple capers. Now there are prose styles, plots and protagonists to suit any taste, as can be seen in this sampler of the current best:

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