The book as a whole is self-consciously sketchy, the authors’ anecdotal style redolent of a high-end tourist guidebook (indeed, they have previously written literary travel guides to Sicily and Andalusia). Ghosts of the Belle Epoque is interesting, to be sure, drawing on original research while remaining entertaining. But it will frustrate those who wish to map grand hotels onto a broader cultural landscape or otherwise want to get past local sights to more abstract destinations. Take, for instance, the treatment of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard of 1958. The authors link the novel to The Palms in a roundabout way.