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"Money is safety, darling," the delightfully wicked funeral crasher Fleur Daxeny advises her 13-year-old daughter after an almost perfect execution of her best skill: swindling wealthy widowers. In this modern-day novel of manners, Wickham's lively prose needles the British upper class with a mixture of suspense and wit. Armed with a closet full of designer black suits, the daily obituaries and a face that never betrays her 40 years, Fleur invades the funerals of the wealthy, enchantingly rich, grieving new widowers in need of a shoulder to cry on. She attends the memorial service of Emily Favour, whom she pretends was a long-lost acquaintance, and promptly lures the good-hearted Richard Favour into her web. Although his troubled daughter, Phillipa, and her crafty husband, Lambert, suspect serious gold digging, Fleur's beauty and charm dazzle them, and soon she's invited to live at the family estate in Surrey. What Fleur finds there is a gate-crasher's dream--a welcoming family, an accessible Gold Card and, after some snooping, a bank account worth millions. Even when Fleur's daughter, Zara, whom Fleur has neglected to mention, arrives unexpectedly from boarding school, the Favours make no fuss, welcoming the teen into the fold. As Fleur and Zara become comfortable with country club life, Fleur learns that she's not the only one scheming for Richard's money, and that Richard might not be as gullible as she thinks. But with Zara finally enjoying the stability of a real home, can Fleur leave so easily this time? Wickham (Swimming Pool Sunday) creates memorable characters who are as unpredictable and multifaceted as they are stylish. While the quick wrapup misses a cue, this novel is still jolly fun. (May)
Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fleur Daxeny is beautiful and sophisticated, with an appetite for comfort beyond her means. She also has a fine wardrobe of black designer dresses that she wears to the funerals of wealthy London women in hope of snaring their grieving husbands. Once captivated by her good looks and charm, these men provide her with money, a home, and an extravagant lifestyle for however long it takes her to stash a bit of cash and move on to the next. Such is the fate of Richard Favour. The ease with which Fleur moves into his life dazzles him. His late wife had been really rather dull, and everyone in his family seems to find Fleur most refreshing. But just as Richard proposes marriage, the unscrupulous Fleur gets bored and begins reading obituaries again. This is an often witty and deeply biting novel of modern manners and morals. Wickham's (Tennis Party) characters move with the studied grace of Jane Austen's upper class, and her plot is perfect for a made-for-TV movie. Readers will be both touched and entertained. Recommended for all public libraries.DSusan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I love this author - no matter what name she goes by (Sophie Kinsella or Madeline Wickham)!
This book is one of my favourites! Read more
I was disappointed by this book, especially with knowing that Madeline Wickham is Sophie Kinsella. Possibly just having read Twenties Girl, which I absolutely loved, didn't help... Read morePublished on Dec 23 2011 by Lydia - Novel Escapes
Ok book. Took me a bit to get into it. I bought this for a $5.00 bargain buy at chapters. Kinsella other name she writes under is this,(Madeleine WIckham) for those of you who... Read morePublished on May 11 2011 by Andrya
I am not a big fan of chic-lit, for a change I look for lighter read.
this book's idea interested me so I gave it a try. Read more
If you are a fan of English writers, you will enjoy this one! The story keeps you interested -- even though the main character is a crook, somehow she carries it off in the story... Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2002