cover image Sex, Lies & Serious Money

Sex, Lies & Serious Money

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-57394-1

Hitting the lottery jackpot can be a lot of fun, as shown in bestseller Woods’s satisfying 39th Stone Barrington novel (after Dishonorable Intentions). Laurence Hayward, an Eton schoolmaster with American roots who has won $612 million playing Powerball, turns to New York lawyer Stone for guidance on spending his fortune on such items as a Manhattan apartment, a Bentley, and a new wardrobe. At a Ralph Lauren store, Laurence falls for his beautiful personal shopper, Theresa Crane, whose brother, Butch, has recently been released from prison, where he served time for bank fraud. Butch is determined to go straight, but he has a buddy also released from prison, known as Curly for his resemblance to the Stooge, who wants Butch to help him steal money and valuables from Laurence and Stone. The mostly low-key action builds to a violent showdown that promises complications to come in this irresistible, luxury-soaked soap opera. Gun control advocates will approve of Stone’s advice to Laurence not to buy a handgun. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Oct.)