Manhattan's once tony Settler's Club, now reduced to letting space to Miss Lydia and her Meaningful Connections singles' gatherings and Maldwin Feckles and his ill-attended school for butlers (current enrollment: four students), is about to receive a hundredth birthday windfall: Longtime members Nat and Ben, joint-owners of four immensely valuable diamonds, have decided to sell them and donate the proceeds to the club. But Nat slips in the tub; Ben falls under a bus, and—abracadabra!—the diamonds are suddenly missing. Thomas Pilsner, the rookie Settler's manager, asks his p.i. friend Regan Reilly, in town to attend a crime writers' conference with her world-famous author-mom, to help out. Were the two deaths mere accidents? And wherever could those diamonds be? Using Nat's club apartment as her sleuthing base, Regan (Twanged,
1998, etc.) finds herself surrounded by his and his late wife's sheep collection: life-size sheep with sparkly eyes, sheep ornaments that have been collecting dust for years, sheep appliqués on towels, and more varieties than you can knit sweaters from. She's also beset by a slew of con artists, burglars, and worse at one of Miss Lydia's soirees. A genuine English butler arrives, a New York film director departs, and those life-sized sheep are trundled all over town before the Club gets what it deserves, and so do all the culprits, though not the long-suffering reader.
Read full book review >