by Tom Holt
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In postwar Britain, the quaint town of Tilling is feeling the pull of both the modern world and its Norman past. Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, in yet another bid to wrest power back from her social rival Lucia Pillson—now the town’s mayor—purchases a motor-car. Hoping to improve her shaky motoring skills in private, she makes a significant tactical error by leaving town. Lucia profits from Elizabeth’s absence by putting one of her “ideas” into action: the embroidery of a tapestry depicting the history of Tilling, one that will surely surpass Bayeux’s. All Lucia’s subjects are called upon to labour long and hard in its execution. Meanwhile Elizabeth, stranded in Southampton, happens upon a game of Monopoly in her hotel room, and—minus her broken-winged chariot—hurries home to rescue her fellow Tillingites from the tedium of Lucia’s latest worthy endeavor. Who will prove the greater master of Monopoly? What will become of the abandoned tapestry? Is Elizabeth really descended from Norman nobility? Is Mallards haunted, and if so, who saw the ghost first—Lucia, its current resident, or Elizabeth, its former owner? It is not in the best interests of the Tillingites to allow either woman to prevail for long. For in the end, Lucia and Elizabeth’s tactical maneuvering and petty victories and defeats offer the best entertainment in town. Originally published in 1986, Lucia Triumphant is the second of Tom Holt’s officially sanctioned sequels to the hilarious “Lucia” novels of E.F. Benson.
- Coffeetown Press, October 2012
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