TELL ME LIES by Jennifer Crusie


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 A popular paperback author dives headfirst into familiar territory: the mystery romance. On her way to self-actualization and a worthy lover, a small-town girl enters a classic merry chase of general upheaval. It all begins when Maddie Faraday of Frog Point, Ohio--where gossip is the major sport and everyone knows everyone else's business--finds a pair of crotchless black lace underpants under the seat of her husband's Cadillac. Like an Erma Bombeck femme whose personal sphere is defined by fixing her broken microwave and washing her dirty macaroni-and-cheese skillet, Maddie (who calls herself ``the perpetual virgin of Frog Point'') has always been a good girl, a good wife, a good daughter, and a good mother to her precious eight-year-old daughter Em. But the discovery of a few triangles of illicit lace begins a weekend that sees the uprooting of Maddie's entire life. Right in the middle of her tumultuous morning, C.L. Sturgis, a ``rebel without a clue'' who long ago took Maddie's virginity and has grown up 20 years later into a hot-looking accountant (there's been a dearth of rugged CPAs in recent romance fiction) appears at her door, looking for her husband, Brent. Brent, it seems, is suspected of embezzling a lot of money. Then, as if a bad morning and a marriage spent cleaning up EggMcMuffin wrappers weren't enough, Maddie's car is totalled and she suffers a concussion. Plus which Brent, who's disappointed a whole posse of Frog Pointers, is found shot in the head on a former lovers' lane. The identity of the killer is fairly obvious; somewhat implausibly, Maddie grows estranged from C.L. Still, for lovers of chocolate brownies, fairly explicit sex, and heroines who let it all hang out, an entertaining hardcover debut. (Literary Guild selection; author tour)

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-17940-5
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1998


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