A Most Lamentable Comedy

Written by Janet Mullany
Review by Nan Curnutt


Beautiful, young, widowed Lady Caroline Elmhurst escapes out her window with her maid and as much clothing as they both can carry when her creditors become too pressing. She uses every wile at her disposal to join the Otterwells’ house party and theatricals, where she will play the rich widow, thus to attract another rich husband to save her from poverty.

Nicholas Congreavance, a handsome young scoundrel who makes his living in the arms of bored young wives of rich men in Italy, escapes to England with his life, his servant, and little else. He joins the Otterwells’ house party to find a rich widow to entice into marriage so he can live a life of ease.

When Caroline and Nicholas meet, sparks fly. They see in each other the answer to their financial difficulties, not realizing they are both acting in more than one theatrical during this house party.

Janet Mullany’s tale is told in the alternating voices of both endearingly flawed protagonists. She humorously enriches even her minor characters with entertaining personalities that add depth and humor to this wonderful romp of a novel.