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Synopsis

Love the hilarious E.F. Benson "Lucia" series of old? Are you one of the many "Luciaphiles?" Did you hate that the books had to come to an end? Then you'll love "Lucia's Crusade," a novella by R.R. Shelsky, which picks up right where the last book of E.F. Benson ends.

Lucia, of quaint 1930's Tilling-On-Sea, along with her loyal sidekick, Georgie, has just topped Elizabeth Mapp for control of the social life of Tilling. Mapp is beaten and "Queen Lucia" reigns unruffled and supreme.

But such triumphs are fleeting. The battle for Tilling goes on. Lucia may now own Mapp's home, Mallard's House, and hold sway over the snooty town's elite, but social life is shifty, and Lucia must struggle to stay in control. And problems can come from the most unexpected quarters.

When Georgie, on a shopping expedition for his hair color (needed for his mustache and beard) overhears Major Benjy and Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, he thinks he's about to discover some juicy gossip, more so-called "news" to tell the other "news" hungry Tillingites.

However, he soon learns that Major Benjy refers to him by a most inappropriate name, that of "Miss Milliner Michael-Angelo. Furious at this slur (however really justified), Georgie unilaterally declares war on the Mapp-Flints, and on Major Benjy in particular. He is determined to do battle with him...in his own unique way.

While Lucia feels secure in her status as the town's social matron, little does she suspect that her own loyal follower, Georgie, is about to make it all come tumbling down like a house of cards around her. The trouble comes to a head at a dinner party Lucia gives to "reinstate" Elizabeth Mapp in the town's social life, albeit in a lower station than Lucia's own, of course!

If you love comedy done in the style of E.F. Benson and his wonderful "Lucia" series, you'll love R.R. Shelsky's, "Lucia's Crusade." As one reviewer of the original series put it: "Never has so much been written about so little that was so good." Lucia's Crusade, a humorous novella of 1930's life in an English village.

As one member of the fan group, Friends of Tilling, put it about this story:

"...I say again how much I enjoyed it. May I be encouraged to hope for more? We would also be very interested (if you would be so kind) to have something of the sort to be read at one of our Gatherings..."

Lucia's Crusade, a fun read!

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