When the Marquis of Daxonbury is told by his fiance that she longer wishes to be engaged to him because he is far too 'adventurous' for her, he decides to shake the dust of London, off his elegant boots, and makes for Lavender Hill, where his aunt, Lady Miranda, currently resides. No one has heard a word from Lady Miranda for about six months, and Daxonbury is curious as to her welfare. What he finds however is beyond all belief: apparently, his aunt, and her two companions, Miss Markham, and Miss Desdemona Quiggley have gone into business together, and have been successfully running the Lucy Lavender Enterprises for quite a while now. However six months ago, disaster struck. First Lady Miranda's house burnt down, and then the shed that the ladies used to dry the lavender flowers was destroyed in a storm, and if that was not enough, their latest shipment of lavender pillows was stolen while en route to London. The ladies face bankruptcy, and are at their wits end as to how to recoup. Always resourceful, and completely determined not to ask any of their male relatives for any kind of help, the ladies had finally hit on a plan to capture a notorious highwayman, Dandy Dan, for the reward money. However this plan goes completely awry when instead of the highwayman, the ladies net Daxonbury instead!
Now, that he is in their midst, Daxonbury finds the incredibly charming Miss Desdemona Quiggley. If anyone can make his forget the debacle of his engagement, certainly witty, clever and irrepressibly plucky Desdemona can. And then there is the lure of trying to discover who exactly is out to ruin his aunt. For unlike the ladies, Daxonbury doesn't believe that everything that befell them were accidents, and is determined to get to the root of the matter. In this he is ably assisted by Desdemona, and in no time at all, the pair are busy investigating. Daxonbury is completely thrilled to have an adventure at hand to distract him, however he soon finds that the charming Miss Quiggley could be too much of a distraction, as he finds himself paying more and more attention to the lady than to the mystery of who is behind the plot to destroy the Lucy Lavender Enterprises, and why. And for Daxonbury, the burning question soon becomes that of whether or not the incredibly independent Desdemona returns his feelings...
There are two romance plots --
the plot involving Daxonbury and Desdemona Qiggley, and the subplot involving Lady Miranda and Dandy Dan -- and I was completely hooked on the latter romance subplot! Which isn't really fair to the book because the Daxonbury-Desdemona plot is a really good one. When we are first introduced to Daxonbury, he is full of wonderful little preconceptions about women and marriage. However, once he meets Desdemona, and realizes that women too can want adventure and excitement, and that they also can be competent and self sufficient. Judith Lansdowne does a wonderful job of bringing the pair together. And I absolutely loved Desdemona Quiggley! Quick witted, clever, independent and forthright, and yet quite vulnerable too, esp once she realized that she was beginning to fall for a London gentleman of all things!
However, while the Daxonbury-Quiggley plot was fun to read, and the whole mystery subplot was interesting, I was hooked on the Lady Miranda-Dandy Dan subplot. Esp with all the mystery attached to Dandy Dan's intriguing past (which was never really resolved or revealed). There has to be a follow up to "My Fair Qiggley!"
"My Fair Quiggley" is an entertaining read. A great deal occurs in this novel; however Judith Lansdowne, in my opinion, did a wonderful job in maintaining my interest, and dealing with all the various subplots and characters. I especially liked the manner in which the subplot involving Lady Miranda's neighbors, Lord and Lady Hartshorn and their dog was handled. As well as Daxonbury's temperamental horse, Harley.
A delightfully quirky Regency romance, with an equally delightfully quirky heroine.
From back cover: ----A PASSIONATE VENTURE-- Refusing to be governed by the rules of men, free-spirited Desdemona Quiggley and her two close companions create Lucy Lavender Enterprises, an astoundingly successful business venture. When a stroke of ill luck plunges the company into deep debt, however, the resourceful Desdemona devises a daring scheme to replenish the coffers; capture the notorious highway man Dandy Dan and claim the reward. Unfortunately, instead of the bandit, Dessie's well-aimed slingshot fells the Marquis of Daxonbury, a gentleman whose appetite for adventure leads her into the most daring of all enterprises...
----A THRILL WORTH SEEKING----
Arriving in Yorkshire to visit his aunt, Dax is literally knocked off his feet by the irrepressible Miss Quiggley, whose prowess with a slingshot rivals her ability to get under his skin in ways he never believed possible. A London-raised Corinthian, his less than enthusiastic view of marriage and the opposite sex have compelled him to maintain his carefree lifestyle at all costs. But will the lure of a mystery, a villainous plot -- and the plucky Desdemona's considerable charms -- present a challenge his heart cannot resist?
I enjoy anything written be Judith A. Lansdowne. She is always funny and her books have interesting plots.
FROM BACK OF BOOK
A PASSIONATE VENTURE...Refusing to be governed by the rules of men, free-spirited Desdemona Quiggley and her two close companions create Lucy Lavender Enterprises, an astoundingly successful business venture. When a stroke of ill luck plunges the company into deep debt, however, the resourceful Desdemona devises a daring scheme to replenish the coffers: capture the notorious highwayman Dandy Dan and claim the reward. Unfortunately, instead of the bandit, Dessie's well-aimed slingshot fells the Marquis of Daxonbury, a gentleman whose appetitie for adventure leads her into the most daring of all enterprises...