Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Rather Curious Engagement-C.A. Belmond

A Rather Curious Engagement
C.A. Belmond
NAL, Jul 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9780451224057

Since becoming an American -heiress (see A Rather Lovely Inheritance), Penny Nichols has seen her lifestyle radically change. She lives in a luxurious London apartment, weekends in France, has a classic automobile and enjoys living with her flatmate Jeremy.

However, on the down side is everyone wants a handout so Penny is constantly being accosted by gigolos, paparazzi, sales people and even a former wife. Penny the snoop and Jeremy the legalese decide to have a big summer fling before putting their money aside for the year to live somewhat normal. They attend an auction on the French Riviera where they buy a 1920s yacht only to have someone boat-jack it and damage it when it is found. Unable to resist the former freelancer investigates the theft which leads them to the previous owner, Count Hubert von Norbert, in Lake Como, Italy and a fifth of Beethoven (without Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band to guide them).

This is a rather entertaining sequel as the adventures of an American heiress in Europe continue. Penny and Jeremy are wonderful dodging gold-diggers, con artists, and peddlers when they just want a little fun before deciding what to do with their nouveau riches. Instead they end up playing amateur sleuths tracking the mystery of the purloined yacht which leads them into all sorts of other escapades including a centuries old still burning continental feud. Fans will relish the return of Penny and Jeremy as they tour Europe.

Harriet Klausner