cover image Spin Doctor

Spin Doctor

Leslie Carroll, Author . Avon $12.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-06-0596

Dirty laundry gets cleaned, dried and aired in the newest women-in-the-city soap opera from Carroll (Play Dates ), an exuberant ode to friendship among women and the need for affordable mental health care (at least in New York City). When a Manhattan psychotherapist decides to offer pro bono counseling in her apartment building's laundry room, her lucky neighbors jump at the chance to wash away "the emotionally damaging detritus of their lives" while they wash away stains from their whites. Dr. Susan Lederer thinks of herself as the ultimate mother hen, dividing her time among her detergent-scented community work, her paying gig at the women's health center and her more literal motherly duties: taking care of a husband, Eli, their two children (aged 11 and 16) and an incontinent dog. That Susan's laundry room patients eventually join together to help Susan through her own domestic crisis is no surprise, but Carroll handles her material with wit and wisdom. (Feb.)