Just Desserts

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Michael Tremayne: Overworked surgeon, family man, too good for his own good. No wonder his spectacular wife Nancy is fed up with him. No wonder she is starting to drift towards the Louse, Martin Packman: Radiologist, manipulator, career bounder. The Louse has well and truly shafted Michael in the politics of Marsham Hospital Trust. In this richly humorous novel, will he now succeed in shafting the alluring Nancy? A perfect opportunity arises, a progressive supper for a Marsham social group. One partner from each household prepares either a starter, a main course or a dessert, and guests progress separately to different homes for each course. Everyone meets up at the end to share coffee and stories; who's eaten what; who's been with whom. The Louse and Michael are both involved in the planning and, true to form, the Louse finagles the arrangements. Nancy will take her first course with him, plus Matthew and Marcia Dacey, the England football captain and his oversexed television-star wife. Michael suspects the Louse of sabotaging his cooking, and he takes the opportunity to indulge his darker side. Amid increasing tension the supper gets under way. Michael meets up with an inscrutable Nancy at dessert, and they make their way to the final party. The denouement duly denoues. Michael's feud with the Louse reaches a very public, very humiliating climax. Where, on the final page, does this leave Nancy?