TRAMP by Marne Davis Kellogg


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If Lilly Bennett doesn't watch out, she's going to get tagged as the Typhoid Mary of Roundup, Wyoming. The latest victim to be struck down by mere proximity to Roundup's most glamorous security chief/US marshal is ancient lecher Cyrus Vaile, who collapses at his 90th birthday party minutes after telling Lilly that $20 million is missing from his Roundup Repertory Company's endowment. Who sneaked the digitalis into the tea he quaffed in lieu of Jameson's? When George Wrightsman, Winston McMorris, and Bradford Lake--the Roundup Rep's artistic director, executive producer, and leading director--all profess unalloyed delight that their founding angel is dead, it's a waste of time looking for suspicious attitudes. So Lilly sends her rancher brother Elias (who, despite his immense wealth and ignorance of theater, goes completely unsuspected under his alias of Bertram Chiswick) undercover into the Rep, where he promptly falls for George's surrealistically endowed secretary, Shelley Pirelli, who's not even the tackiest member of the archly entertaining cast. (That honor goes to Rep leading lady Gigi Dorrance-Downes, whose tasteful homestead, Auberge de Joie, Lilly memorably describes as ""Lillian Vernon Meets Marie Antoinette."") Lilly's third (Curtsey, 1996, etc.) runs true to her amusing, undemanding formula: nasty gossip, Detection Lite, and nonstop opinions sometimes leavened with real wit.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1997
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Doubleday