Last night I finally finished reading Among the Mansions of Eden: Tales of Love, Lust, and Land in Beverly Hills, a book I bought about five years ago. I sailed through the first few hundred pages of David Weddle‘s tome a couple of weeks ago and was entranced by the marvelous stories of early 20th century Beverly Hills. But then somewhere about 3/5 of the way into it, the author seemed to lose focus and so did I. He shifted from all these awesome anecdotes about architecture and amour in the first half of the 1900s to depressing essays about drugs and crime and porn and immigration in the second half. It’s really a fascinating book, and Weddle obviously spent a tremendous amount of time on research and documentation, but I’d only rate it about 3 1/2 stars.