cover image Scandalous Behavior

Scandalous Behavior

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-17468-1

In bestseller Woods’s extravagant 36th Stone Barrington’s novel (after 2015’s Foreign Affairs), the peripatetic multimillionaire travels to England, where Dame Felicity Devonshire, the director of MI6, gives him a tour of Windward Hall, the Hampshire estate Felicity tells Stone he should buy from its terminally ill owner, Sir Charles Bourne. The same day that Stone pays £10 million for Windward Hall, he purchases a new wardrobe, a Bentley, and a Porsche in London. The murder of a Hampshire neighbor, Sir Richard Curtis, provides a minor distraction. Meanwhile, Hell’s Bells, the latest movie from Stone’s filmmaker son, Peter, has made an enemy of Don Beverly Calhoun, the leader of an L.A.-based cult called the Chosen Few. Calhoun also takes a dislike to Stone, who discovers that Calhoun is attempting to purchase Curtis’s newly available estate. A series of escalating, sometimes amusing, tit-for-tat maneuvers ensue and eventually turn deadly. As his many fans have come to expect, Stone remains unflappable throughout. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Jan.)