by Judith A. Lansdowne

November 2001
ISBN: 0-8217-7017-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

My Fair Quiggley begins as a convoluted story of three women trying to save their struggling enterprise. Lucy Lavender Enterprises had been doing exceptionally well until a string of mishaps put the company on shaky ground. The three women, Desdemona Quiggley, Lady Miranda Wesley, and Miss Ariel Markum, have formed what seems to be a tight friendship and are willing to go to great lengths to come up with the money they need to stabilize their businessí crumbling foundation. Even capture a highwayman.

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Now this is where the book begins and itís pretty obvious that these characters are somewhat silly. Okay, they are extremely silly. With the exception of Miss Markum, who plays a supporting role only. Even the leading man, C. J. Wesley, Marquis of Daxonbury, Desdemonaís love interest, is rather absurd on occasion. A serious novel this is not. But then everyone can use a bit of light hearted fun sometimes, and if you can get pass the ridiculous beginning and the rather frivolous exterior of the majority of the characters you will find that some of them have a bit of depth to them.

There is one character I have not mentioned who plays a pretty big role, Josiah Daniel Elliott, aka Dandy Dan, is a highwayman - and a very bad one at that. He kidnapped a dog for Christís sake!! Then gives up the only bed in his house so the dog could be comfortable!!! He starts out as the most asinine character but as the story progresses we find out that he has a rather interesting history and he becomes quite appealing - much more so than Dax, in my opinion. Josiah becomes the love interest of Daxís aunt, Lady Miranda. So, in fact, we get two love stories in one.

Then thereís the mystery that is thrown in. It seems that all those mishaps arenít just coincidence. Someone has set out to run the ladies off in order to gain control of their property. The villain was pretty obvious early on so mystery may be too strong a word. I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I had not known until the end who the bad guy was. And just to show you how soft boiled this book is, he turns out to be a sympathetic villain. I was very close to feeling sorry for him in the end. Why not? Everyone in the book did.

My Fair Quiggley doesnít really focus on romance. Itís in there but itís not the main focus of this story. The characters are relatively enjoyable, provided you donít expect much of them. The plot is a strange mix, but understandable, unfortunately it just kind of drifts. The people who should have been propelling it are kind of just there. My Fair Quiggley has itís funny moments, there were a few occasions when I laughed and it was a pretty fast read, it didnít bore me any more than it thrilled me.

All in all an acceptable read but not a keeper. Iíd recommend it more for fans of Judith A. Lansdowneís work or someone just looking to pass some time.

Reviewed in February 2002 by JaToya.

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