Is Nancy Mitford likeable? Perhaps not, if her alter-ego, Linda Radlett, is anything to go by. Rarely are we asked to care about a character who despises children and judges others entirely by their clothing. However, The Pursuit of Love is essential reading for two reasons: one, it gives an apparently unselfconscious portrait of the author; and two, it lays the foundation for your reward, Love in a Cold Climate. Almost entirely Linda-Free, this book focusses its laser beam on vanity, classism, and misguided sexuality. Much like the films of Spike Lee, it seems that Ms. Mitford's work is smarter than she is. But the Lecherous Lecturer gets the fate he deserves, and that covers a multitude of sins.