Okay, got a pencil? In Judith (Scruples) Krantz's eighth novel we meet Gigi Orsini, bright, beautiful daughter of film producer Vito Orsini, the former husband of Scruples heroine Billy Ikehorn. Gigi is living with director Zach Nevsky, who not only works for Vito but is the brother of her best friend, Sasha, who is soon to marry Vito and become...Get this: Gigi's stepmother. Along comes Ben Winthrop, Ikehorn's superrich cousin, who meets Gigi and makes her professional and personal offers it would be hard for any girl to refuse.
Oh, what an obvious plot we weave. But then, who reads Krantz for the story? We read her instead for her delicious name dropping, her unapologetic rich-lady sensibility and her occasionally quirky notions. ("Did Heathcliff have a last name or was that his first name?" Sash Nevsky muses. "Joe Heathcliff? Heathcliff Jones?")
Even this otherwise mediocre Krantz work has enough of those elements to keep us reading. This summer, expect lots of Lovers at the beach. (Crown, $23)