An old book, a tits and bits insurance agent, an ex-intelligence bully, a rich chick on Malibu beach, a bitter ex-girlfriend somebody called “Virgie”, a short tight crooked alcoholic cop, and a Go-Between man who gets an Eviction Notice and a letter from the Wall Street Journal saying he could get rich if only he subscribed for six months.
In six months and a week, Philip St. Ives has earned $75,000, received 2 invitations to live and play with a woman, one in NYC and one on Malibu Beach, failed but then found an old book, but not before somebody shot a bullet through it.
At the end, on his way back to New York, his trusty helper asks him if there’s anything he can study in University to help him become a Go-Between man. St. Ives thinks about it for a while and says “Ethics, you might study Ethics.”
The crisp precise language of the story irons out an implicit California-Palo Alto class structure, in addition to a real plot! A hairy doctor found dead in a $400 hotel room… a husband.
Painfully resonant, funny, wise: legacy. Whose legacy?: the immigrant’s, the jew’s, the orphan’s, the escape artist’s. Brilliantly performed by Christopher Lane with all the accents right: Bronx, Harlem, Brooklyn, Westchester, Polish, German and of course Santa Barbaran.
Utterly charming, surprising, and fascinating story about … not only the NOT Pink but Raspberry Suit worn by Jackie Kennedy but about dressmaking in Paris and New York in 1960, the fabrics, the materials, the chalk, the little Irish seamstresses. the acid smelling old women who ran the sewing shop that knocked off the Chanels, the Nina Riccis, the Diors, worn by the New York and Boston society wives, daughters, sons, set. And of course, by Jackie.
Grace, who practices psychiatry on Manhattan Island, relays a story about one of her patients to the interviewer from Vogue: At a very early point in their relationship, before they were married, her husband told her that she had ugly feet. She accepted this, and having accepted this one instance of rejection, of distaste, she might have, or could have, or should have anticipated that it preceded another rejection, for another part of her body, and thence perhaps for her person.
In other words, this patient, this woman, had an opportunity to anticipate an undesirable outcome, and that opportunity passed her by. This woman should have known, Grace thinks. And Grace thinks that her son is beautiful, and her apartment is unfair, and her husband is an angel; but he seems to have disappeared, and he is not answering his blackberry, and she has never ever ever thought that her husband, Jonathan, would leave her.
A conspicuously intelligent society wife with perfect manners and an unfaithful husband is driving home from the country club and her BMW is hit by a huge truck. Stuck inside the car, she promises the Gods to do good, if only she does not go up in flames. She does not. Jane is saved by an elderly man with a knife from a nearby nursing home, and she keeps her promise. Suddenly, everything changes… Or maybe just Jane changes.
A sweet, engaging, well plotted, well told tale about how a woman can use her good sense and good appetites to do good. Enchantingly read by Isabelle Gordon.
Charming English tale about a newly divorced English mother with ungrateful children and a lying, wretched, smarmy ex-husband. She talks to her neighbor about renting her lovely old house, and finds a job selling pretty cottages for a land developer… Sweet tale about moving on.
A well upholstered, crisply intelligent middle aged police inspector newly widowed from her faithless, politically agile husband, is called back to work after many years. She colors her hair, tries to eat less, and reconnoitres her domestic life across and through the investigation of a murder, the enmity of the young office bitches, the appreciation of her male colleagues, and the sideline of society parties and friendships accompanying her old world inherited wealth.
There weren’t any cabs of course. There weren’t any cabs because it was 4:35 in the afternoon and the government workers were streaming out of the Library and the Capital and the Senate and the House office buildings and besides that, it was snowing. They haven’t yet decided what to do about snow in Washington…When it snows really hard the government shuts down, the schools close and everybody goes home and waits for it to melt. It was snowing hard now.
When its snowing at the beginning of a Ross Thomas chapter, there’s a senator or a cop by the end.
Clever social critique wrapped up in smart, pretty fiction, with a side of acerbic wit. Beautifully thought out by a very ordered English-speaking mind.