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A cloying celebration of the sexual high-jinks of the employees of a Boston rug store, punctuated by a ho-hum mystery about stolen carpets. The sales staff of Classic Design, a highbrow oriental rug emporium, suffers from and also enjoys an unusual occupational hazard. Blame the store’s smells and colors or a rumored curse: But everyone who works there is jazzed by heightened libido. The owners are Doris and Jake Seagull. Doris, pampered daughter of an organized-crime honcho, has a great eye for rare carpets and such a deep love of rugs that each sale torments her. Jake, who seems comfortable being held firmly under Doris’s thumb, runs the business; his only act of rebellion involves secretly selling rugs from Doris’s enormous private cache. The sex life of the rest of the staff, as heated as their constant bickering, is painstakingly chronicled. Married Lesley shares flirtatious lunches with a handsome rug-loving widower and embarks on a torrid affair. Unhappily married Jon, a dapper underachiever, indulges in athletic lunch-hour sex-play with unhappily married Sarah. When word trickles in that valuable rugs are being stolen from Classic Design’s customers, hunky detective Mike Hannagan is assigned to the case and takes an instant shine to Sarah. In rapid succession, Sarah leaves her cranky husband, wins $11 million in the lottery, and takes up with Mike. Between trysts, the gifted cop unravels the silly mystery of the vanished rugs and everyone except one salesperson—who good-naturedly succumbs to a fatal illness—lives passionately ever after. Glassman’s knowledge of and fondness for rugs is the singular strength of an otherwise wan debut outing, in which the sex is more busy than erotic and the rug-theft subplot is a half-woven afterthought.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1-55611-529-6
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1998