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.
’If this is North Gladiola, where is South Gladiola?’ asks Duk-Soo, the Korean second violinist of the Pro Arts Quartet. It is a question that Ethyl Mae Coco finds hard to answer as she guides Lousiana’s beacon of culture through endless engagments at Crawdad Rodeos and mental institutions. While used to murdering Mozart, things change when Ethyl Mae is accused of murdering a defenceless dumb creature by the Citizen’s Patrol. Rumours begin to circulate that the Quartet itself is a hotbed of adultery and subversion. Duk-Soo has the power to clear her good name- if only he can triumph over his secret passion for the matronly but charismatic cellist.