cover image Titmuss Regained

Titmuss Regained

John Clifford Mortimer / Author Viking Books $19.95 (288p) ISB

The bestselling Paradise Postponed has been well and truly equaled with this hilarous sequel by the British author and barrister who has also given us the Rumpole books. Politician Leslie Titmuss is faced with a dilemma that pits personal interest against political belief when his home turf, Rapstone Valley, is proposed as the site of a huge development. Mortimer's gimlet eye is cast unmercifully on the world of politics and planning in modern Britain. The principal characters, from pragmatic Secretary of State Titmuss, a true conservative, to the left-leaning Fred Simcox, son of liberal minister Simeon Simcox and leader of the Save Our Valley Society, to the Rector of Rapstone, ``Kev the Rev,'' play out this comedy of manners without giving readers a moment's letdown. Inhabitants of Paradise Postponed , from Lady Fanner of Rapstone Manor to the crafty soliciter Jackson Cantellow, make brief but welcome appearances. But the heart of the story is the rather unlikely remarriage of Titmuss to a spirited young widow, Jenny Sidonia, and how he blindly destroys the future for their life together. This is Mortimer at his very best: moving, funny, literate and profound. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad /promo; BOMC and QPB alternates; author tour. (Apr.)