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What the Lady Wants (Hqn) [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Crusie
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If he's Cary Grant, where's his Girl Friday?

Mitch Peabody was learning pretty fast that the life of a private detective was nothing like the movies. He'd envisioned a world of tough-talking detectives and smart-mouthed, stunning dames. Instead he saw case after case of cheating husbands, suspicious wives and unsuspecting mistresses…until she walked through the door.

Right down to her stilettos, Mae Sullivan was a knockout with a lethal body—and a lethal family to go with it. There was something not quite on the up-and-up about her, but she came with a case he couldn't afford to refuse…and left him with a case of lust he hadn't had since high school. It didn't take long for him to fall for her, hook, line and sinker. But was Mae interested only in catching the double-crossing crooks who murdered her uncle…or did the lady want to catch him?

Editorial Reviews


"Cruise . . . seems incapable of writing a boring page, or one that's not aglow with the sparks of with and romance." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Wonderfully fresh, funny, tender, outrageous . . . Crusie is one of a kind." -- Booklist

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Mae Sullivan frowned up at the grimy old office building and shifted from one aching spike-heeled foot to the other, trying to keep the weight off her blisters. From the looks of the neighborhood, her chances of getting mugged were only slightly greater than the chances of the building falling on her. Only a loser would work in a place like this.


It hadn't been easy finding an incompetent private eye on such short notice in a midwestern city like Riverbend. But now there was Mitchell Peatwick. She could picture him, leaning back in his office chair, balding and overweight, slack-jawed and beady-eyed, no brains to speak of.

He'd patronize her because she was female.

She'd play him like a piano.

All she had to do was convince him that he was investigating a real murder case, and he'd swing his paunchy weight around, creating noise and confusion until whoever had taken her uncle's diary would be forced to either give it up or bury it forever if he didn't want to be accused of murder. Yep, that was all she had to do. So go do it. She took a deep breath and winced as the waistband of her borrowed pink skirt cut into her flesh. Then she pulled the veil on her hat over her eyes and walked toward the cracked glass doors of the old building, watching her reflection as she climbed the steps.

Even through the dumb pink veil, she really did look sexy. It was amazing what clothes could do.

Now, if she could just get this damn interview over with before the waistband of June's skirt cut her in two and June's heels made her lame for life, she'd be on her way to solving all of their problems.

Please let Mitchell Peatwick be dumb as a rock with a weakness for women in tight skirts, she prayed as she rang for the elevator. Please let him be everything I need him to be.

The window behind him was cranked wide-open, and the ceiling fan above him stirred the air, and Mitch was sure if he got any hotter, he'd die. As it was, he was pretty sure that the only thing that kept him alive was the fact that he wasn't moving. If he moved, his body temperature would rise, and he'd melt right there in his office chair.

He didn't want to move, anyway. He was too depressed to move. He leaned back in his cracked leather desk chair—sleeves rolled up, hands laced behind his head, heels crossed on his battered metal desk—and thought about the way he'd planned things and the way they'd turned out. Big difference there. Anticipation was a lousy preparation for reality. That's why he was giving it up for fantasy. Fantasy was not particularly productive, nor was it lucrative, but it beat reality hands down.

Reality sucked.

Fantasy was leaving a prosperous career to become a private detective. Reality was regretting it. He closed his eyes and tried to recapture the dream, the part where he'd be the Sam Spade of the nineties. Then the elevator cables rumbled across the hall and Mitch knew another divorce job was coming his way. He hadn't had many illusions about relationships before, he thought sadly, but he had absolutely none now. Even the people who weren't married had him investigate to see if the people they weren't married to were telling the truth. And of course, they weren't. That was the one irrevocable truth Mitch had learned in a year, the only thing, he realized now, that he'd taken away with him.

Everybody lied.

Sam Spade would have understood that part, but he would have spit on the divorce work. Mitch had the uncomfortable feeling that he should be spitting on it, too, instead of making a precarious living at it. Too precarious. He had one week left in the year, one week to earn the last of the twenty thousand dollars and win his stupid bet and go back to his regularly scheduled life, but to do that he needed a client who would shell out $2,694 before Friday.

It wasn't going to happen. Prying money out of clients was the second least favorite thing he'd learned about this job.

Product Details

  • File Size: 222 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0373774354
  • Publisher: HQN Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,994 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious December 2, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
_What the Lady Wants_ is an hilarious book filled with characters with larger than life foibles. Once again, Cruise takes us to the midwest, and we meet Mae Belle, the orphaned grand-niece of three less-than-reputable characters. She is looking for a less-than-competant PI, and finds Mitch Peatwick, a laid-back stockbroker turned PI, on a bet with his fellow stockbrockers that he couldn't make a PI business solvent in one year.
Mae wants to find her great-uncle Armand's diary. Armand is recently deceased by a heartattack, and Mae comes up with the idea that if she tells a slow PI that she believes her uncle was murdered, and that whoever killed her uncle has the diary, than they will find the diary. (Whoever has it will not want to be accused of murder.)
Mae's relatives are not amused. They want to take care of Mae's problems, even though she doesn't want them to. And the farther that Mae and Mitch go on with the investigation, the more people they find with a reason to want to kill Armand. And, the more confusing the search becomes. Quagmires seem to open up under their feet as they search for the diary.
This is a wonderful book that sparkles with wit and humour
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond hilarious! December 9, 1996
By A Customer
What happens when a laid-back stockbroker-turned-private-eye meets a sassy dame with a world-class ass? You'll just have to read the book to find out... "What the Lady Wants" has the feel of a classic 1940's movie; Cary Grant meets "The Maltese Falcon". Mitch and Mae Belle trade witty, sexy banter while dodging bullets and trying to solve the case of the missing trust fund. The superb supporting cast of lethal relatives, secretive servants, mysterious mistresses, and one dumb dog are a wonderful background to Mitch and Mae's love story. My favorite of all Jennifer Crusie's wonderful novels, this is one that you'll want to read over and over again. I lost count after a dozen or so rereads, and I still laugh at the same parts
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maltese Falcon Redux.... August 6, 1999
Funny, funny spoof of The Maltese Falcon, only with a lot more passion. Crusie's characters are memorable, and her sense of humor is infectious. One of the better writers in category fiction---in fact, she is better than category and should be writing mainstream women's (funny) fiction.(And, boy, could she write some hilarious movie scripts!) In the same class as Janet Evanovich (the Stephanie Plum mystery series), Susan Elizabeth Phillips (bestselling contemporary romances), and Marian Keys (Irish author of Watermelon).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, quick read! December 5, 2002
By Amy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a confirmed Jennifer Crusie fan and will read ANYTHING with her name on it. Her work is witty and fun, but this is not the book at the top of my favorites list. Try Getting Rid of Bradley or Crazy For You first, then read this one. The characters grow on you, Mae and Mitch were made for each other!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Cruise June 13, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was early Cruise about PI who gets hired to solve a murder of a rich-heiress uncle. Her family is crazy wonderful characters. This was not my favorite J. Cruise but this was fun story from her early days. If you were looking for standard funny and Entertaining Jennifer Cruise I would recommend faking it, Temptation or Bet Me instead.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It certainly gave me what I wanted! April 4, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What fun read! Jennifer Crusie delivers another winner with What the Lady Wants! This is a great romantic mystery that cannot be missed.
Mitch Peabody is a private detective who's working on the largest case of his career. Mae Sullivan -- femme fatale extraordinaire -- wants to find her rich uncle's murderer. Now Mitch has to investigate Mae's powerful and dangerous family. The case isn't a simple one, and Mitch is reluctant to probe further, but Mae's glossy good looks and tenacious nature don't facilitate things. There are some fun twists in the novel.

What the Lady Wants is one of the most entertaining quick reads I've had in quite a while. This isn't exactly mentally stimulating, but it is sheer escapism and enjoyment. Perfect for the beach. Are you planning a vacation this summer? Take this sexy romp with you!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun romp February 22, 2005
By Dianna
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Not my favorite J. Crusie, but still good none the less. I love her quick wit and fast reading style of writing. Her books are a sunny breeze and always a good time. I did enjoy the story line, and the Uncles and Carlo were a hoot. I recommend this read as a good time, light fun and for lots of smiles.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, cute read. July 17, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I can't believe I still wasn't sure who the bad guy was until the end. That never happens, and yet, What the Lady Wants kept me guessing. It also kept me thoroughly entertained!
Crusie's characters are lots of fun and the antics of family members were funnier by the minute. The only thing that would have made this book better was if it had lasted longer (although the story lacks nothing).
A fun read for the beach or waiting in a doctor's office or a long car ride.........
P.S. I could read Mae and Mitch's phone call to love scene over and over. Yum.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry
Not her finest hour. Certainly lacked something in the telling though. Can't recommend it. Better to try one of her others
Published 1 month ago by rjbaer
4.0 out of 5 stars It was good
A little drawn out to me at some points but a great book over all I give it 4 stars
Published 3 months ago by mythreeangels79
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Good read
Love any thing this woman writes my favorite author the characters are so real makes you feel like you know them
Published 4 months ago by martha hartmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Jennifer Crusie Makes Me Laugh
I've been a fan of Jenny Crusie for years. Some how I missed this book. It is one of her earlier ones.

Mitch and Mae are totally lovable characters. Read more
Published 4 months ago by chloebelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Jennifer Crusie is one of my favorites. Would definitely recommend anything she writes to all my friends! Keep it up Ms Crusie!
Published 5 months ago by Leah Verishine
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story with fun
I love the story, it is very intriguing and fun to read. And Cruise is really good at deliver humourous situation. The way she decribed him in the heat really get me laughing. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Daisy
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Plain LIke this Author
When I just purely want to be "entertained", I can always count on her. Clever plots, clever dialog.. Read more
Published 9 months ago by runs with scissors
4.0 out of 5 stars What the lady wants
It's been awhile since I've read a Jennifer Crusie novel. I had forgotten her style and whit. Her leading characters are always funny and quirky. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mary Patricia Jolley
4.0 out of 5 stars A keeper
Periodically, I read and re-read all Jennifer Crusie's books -- they are among my very favorite comfort reads. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Claire
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This is another in a long line of great books from Jennifer Crusie. They are funny and entertaining. I can't stop reading them once I pick one up!
Published 11 months ago by Gwen Hughes
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More About the Author

Jennifer Crusie was researching her dissertation on the differences in the way men and women tell stories when she got sidetracked into writing romance novels.

Her first book was published in 1993 (which pretty much finished off any hope of her getting that PhD) and her twenty-second book, Maybe This Time, came out in August of 2010, all of which she considers a minor miracle, especially since she is also a New York Times, USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestseller and a two-time Rita award winner.

Jenny is currently working on her new Liz Danger mystery series. She is a very happy woman.

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