cover image The Club

The Club

Jane Heller. Zebra, $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8217-4988-3

Heller entered Susan Isaacs's suburbia in her lively first novel, Cha Cha Cha. She's there again, taking well-aimed shots at affluent yuppiedom in this witty, well-plotted second effort. Judy Mills, Jewish princess and New York cookbook editor, is fired after her publishing house is acquired by another; at the same time, her aptly named WASP commodities-trader husband, Hunt Price, has become obsessed with golf and networking at The Oaks, an old-line Connecticut country club. While attempting to perk up her marriage and deal with her manipulative stepdaughter, Judy herself tries networking at The Oaks. There, she meets dynamic feminist Claire Cox, the club's first single woman member. When Claire is found dead in a sand trap, Judy is hired by the local police to help probe the club's membership. Game, acutely self-aware and likable, Judy offers sharp insights into country-club vanities, her relationship with a hunky detective and her battles with the severely jealous Hunt (who eventually joins in as her sidekick). Heller delivers perfect reading for the beach-or pool-side at the club. (July)