TALK OF THE TOWN by Joan Smith

TALK OF THE TOWN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When svelte Daphne Ingleside is sent up to Regency London to stay for a bit with her notorious Aunt Effie, she's disappointed: the much-married, scandalously divorced Effie is rather an old frump now, with limited means--so nothing happens. Until. . . Effie decides to write her memoirs! Then: out of the London-society woodwork come all of Effie's old flames, friends, and enemies (most of whom owe her money from the old days)--to visit, flatter, and pay their old debts so that Effie will be discreet when writing about them. This sudden popularity sweeps Effie and Daphne into the best circles for a while (till Daphne's plucky independence gets them blackballed again)--and while in the swing they match wits with the likes of Beau Brummel and Prinny himself, who takes a fancy to Effie. Unfortunately, however, this business about the memoirs leads some to believe that Effie is blackmailing her old acquaintances. Handsome Lord Richard St. Felix in particular (""six-feet-and-too-inches of trouble"") gets the wrong idea; he crudely tries to buy Effie's silence about his brother-in-law, and the more Daphne protests that they're not blackmailers, the more Richard is convinced they are. Daphne and Richard bicker so furiously (with hilarious asides from Effie) that you know they're headed--like Elizabeth and Darcy--straight for the altar. Predictable, yes; but Smith (Dame Durden's Daughter) is such a tart, jaunty purveyor of snazzy repartee and droll quips that Georgette Heyer fans (and even more sophisticated folk) will be happy to breeze right through this stage-worthy comedy of manners.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1979
Publisher: Walker