Elinor Lipton is one of my favorite writers and her latest novel Ms. Demeanor adds to her collection of quirky fun stories. The book started with a scene reminding me of actor Matthew McConaughey being arrested for playing bongo drums on his own balcony – naked. Like McConaughey, Lipton’s heroine Jane is arrested for being naked on her balcony. The story just gets more hilarious.
After being convicted of indecent exposure with a fellow lawyer on her rooftop terrace, Jane has her law license suspended for six months, is fitted with an ankle monitor, and confined to her apartment building in New York City. When her accuser, a prim spinster with binoculars from the building across the street dies suddenly, Jane becomes a murder suspect.
The romance in the story involves Perry, who has received a similar sentence and ankle bracelet for concealing a tea pot lid at the famous auction house where he was an art handler. Luckily, both Jane and Perry live in the same building, and use their six month confinement to fall in love.
Lipton inserts a variety of funny foils to keep the story moving, including Jane’s recipes on Tik Tok, wealthy Polish immigrants with expired visas, and a possible murder in a penthouse. Lots of fun, with twists and turns leading to a happy ending.