cover image To Catch a Husband

To Catch a Husband

Lindsay Graves, . . Ballantine, $13.95 (260pp) ISBN 978-0-345-48548-9

It's divorcée daggers out in Graves's impressive and uncomfortably funny debut, the first installment of a trilogy in the Desperate Housewives school of moneyed midlife debauchery. Jessica DiSantini, with half her neurosurgeon ex-husband's money and nearly bottomless wine cellar, shuttles her daughter to school and Mass (at "Our Lady of the Lexus") in between gossip sessions with her divorced friends Lally, Caitlin and Janey. And while the lady lunchers may have good shoulders to cry on at first, they realize that other singletons, no matter how chummy, are still competition. So when debonair David Clemente appears on Southern California's marriage market (his wife left him for their art dealer), Jessica and her crack team of surgically enhanced divorced divas are each determined to land him, by any means necessary. A series of home invasions add a pleasing piquancy to Graves's entrée, as does the author's flair for mixing high-brow references with chick lit's light humor. (Sept.)