What the Lady Wants

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?

A book about an heiress with no money, a private eye who isn’t one, a murder victim who died of natural causes, and a dog named Bob.

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1995 AOL Best Category Romance Novel
Literary Times Outstanding Contemporary for 1995

“If she’d just kept her mouth shut, she would have been perfect, but no…”

What the Lady Wants by Jenny Crusie

Book Notes from Jenny

Original title: Whatever MaeBelle Wants

On writing: This book was born when an editor and I discovered we both loved the Thin Man films, and I started wondering how Nick and Nora might have met. After that, I lost my grip on the original idea as usual, but it was a fun way to begin. I almost cut the pipeline scene, because it didn’t move the plot or develop character, but wiser heads prevailed. 

About the dog: Bob is really Bernie The Dumbest Dog On the Planet. Bernie is a beagle mix from the pound who smacks his head into cabinets and goes into such ecstasy when you pet him that his legs slide out from under him and he falls over. He also eats everything under the sun including dog biscuits, my neighbor’s chickens (not funny; they had names), and our couch. 

On food: You can find the recipe for June’s Epicurean Chocolate Chip Cookies in our trivia section.

Praise and Reviews

“In a scene straight out of The Maltese Falcon, Mae Sullivan vamps her way into Mitch Peatwick’s seedy office, hires him to find a diary and a killer, and proceeds to involve him in a hilarious tangle of deception, money, and murder. Offbeat situations, slightly wacky characters, and zingy dialog add to the charm of this fast-moving romance.” ~Library Journal

“If you’re already a Crusie fan, you know how delightful and imaginative her stories can be… If you’ve never read Jennifer Crusie, run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and buy everything you can find by her… Don’t miss this rollicking read, a five-star book that remains permanently on my keeper shelf.” ~Under the Covers

“I had read rave reviews of Crusie and I have joined the groupies. [This]book has a tilted spin perspective… Loved the main characters and the minor ones (even the dead ones).” ~Romance Novel Database

“If you’re looking for a funny book with unusual but endearing characters, this is the one. I laughed and laughed as I turned the pages. This book has everything in it, including steamy sensuality and intriguing suspense.” ~Rendevous

“What The Lady Wants is a funny, touching story that you won’t be able to put down, and yet, one that you’ll wish would never end. A definite keeper of a book! Prepare to have your funny bone tickled and your temperature raised… Mitch and Mae’s search for the truth is a bit like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Readers will be grateful to Ms. Crusie for inviting them along.” ~GEnie Romex

“With warmth and wit, Jennifer Crusie’s rollicking romance spices up our reading excitement in this amorous adventure of sizzling attraction and memorable characters.” ~Romantic Times