A brilliantly observed, hilarious and poignant social satire. Wilcox’s Tula Springs novels (there are six and characters overlap) have the narrative litheness of an Armistead Maupin and the piercing tragi-comic insights of Edith Wharton.
No scandal has ever rocked Tula Springs, Louisiana, like the discovery one morning of a dead body sprawled beneath L. D. Loraine’s window. No matter that L.D. is 91 and nearly bedridden – the evidence clearly points to him as the murderer of the nasty Mr Versey, his lackadaisical home attendant. Before justice can be done however half the staff of City Hall, a suspicious old curmudgeon of a judge, a home ec teacher, an uninspired dentist, the principal of a disreputable school, several adulterous housewives and even Miss Undine’s living room are implicated… Standing firmly and stubbornly at the centre of the action is the great niece of the accused, Olive Mackie. Outraged on learning that she too has been drawn into the case she decides that desperate action is called for and heads out to restore her reputation and to singlehandedly set things straight in the beleaguered town.