cover image The Thing About Jane Spring

The Thing About Jane Spring

Sharon Krum, . . Viking, $21.95 (315pp) ISBN 978-0-670-03417-8

One of the first things the reader learns about the leggy blonde heroine of Krum's sprightly, high-concept novel (after Walk of Fame ) is that she can't keep a man. An assistant DA for the city of New York, Jane Spring soon discovers her aggressive personality might have something to do with it—she overhears colleagues describe her as a "ball-breaker." The daughter of a general, Jane was trained to value honor, duty and discipline and to "study all the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent before you go into battle," an approach that doesn't serve her well when it comes to dating. Comically, Krum sets Jane on a softer plan of attack. Jane watches a Doris Day marathon on TV and has a drunken epiphany: men want "kittens, not tigers," and she will become the sweet-as-honey Doris Day, since Doris always got the guy. So she dons her grandmother's vintage clothes instead of her usual shapeless black suits, paints her apartment yellow and becomes nice to everyone, including scheming playboy Chip Bancroft, competing counsel in the murder case that will make or break Jane's career. Over the course of this confection, Jane learns to maintain her integrity while softening her edge. Agent, Barbara J. Zitwer. (July)