cover image Twelve Rooms with a View

Twelve Rooms with a View

Theresa Rebeck, . . Crown/Shaye Areheart, $24.99 (335pp) ISBN 978-0-307-39416-3

Playwright and novelist Rebeck (Three Girls and Their Brother ) takes a lighthearted look at the often dark world of New York City real estate. Spunky 32-year-old narrator Tina Finn is at her mother's funeral when she learns of her possible inheritance of an $11-million Central Park West palace. While she's been slogging it out as a trailer-dwelling cleaning lady, her somewhat estranged mother has gone from blue collar to living in eccentric splendor with her new husband, Bill. Tina's unbelievably unpleasant sisters push her into moving into the apartment before their mother's cold in the ground. Enter Bill's sons, who want possession of the apartment, which is, after all where they grew up. Soon, a full-on real estate war erupts, and the building's quirky residents take sides. Throw in a possible ghost and romantic interludes, and the plot jogs along, if slowed by the occasional drawn-out scene. This should find a nice slot on the cozier end of the Manhattan real estate fiction canon. (May)