by Delorys Welch-Tyson, contemporary (2005)
iUniverse, $20.95, ISBN 0-595-35418-1

Ladyfingers is pretty much the closest to what could easily be the result if a Jackie Collins novel somehow mates with a Terry McMillan novel. It's a story of people in and trying to get into the upper class strata of society and the things they do while they're up there.

Desiree Brown Simon, a bestselling author of self-help books, retreats from America to southern France with her husband David to live the life of the rich and famous. Into their lives walks Amelia Jackson, truly a diva. Amelia claims to be a big fan of Desiree's recent book, a fact that pleases Desiree to no end, but she begins to rethink her new friendship with Amelia when Amelia just can't help being who she is, heh.

Meanwhile, clerk Dusty Callahan has had enough of being stuck in a series of dead-end jobs in Beverley Hills so when she wins the big one in the lotto, she's packing her bags to the south of France. She has big plans - she will reinvent herself as an heiress complete with a fancy new name and inject herself into posh society as if she's always born to be one of them!

And there are more, with kidnappers and shrinks and just plain weird people all lurking around the French Riviera.

Ladyfingers is an ensemble story with a large cast of characters. I have a hard time keeping track of them at times because of the sheer number of them. Characterization is superficial in this story, but I must say, Ms Welch-Tyson has plenty of sassy comedy in here to has me chuckling out loud. I adore Dusty, especially - she has guts and brass to get what she wants and she has me laughing along with her.

The story could use a little more judicious editing, I feel, because there are many instances when the author tends to bombard me with minute details in a particular scene that don't add much to the story and only serve to create a "rambling all over the place" feel to the narration.

Nonetheless, Ladyfingers will do fine for a few hours of light reading. It makes me laugh, so it's definitely fine with me.

Rating: 80

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