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What the Lady Wants (Jennifer Crusie Bundle)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  5,816 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
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.

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Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by HQN Books (first published June 15th 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Many readers are familiar with Crusie’s wonderful later work, but they may have missed this perfect little gem from her days writing series romance. One of the best ever!
Not my favorite Crusie, normally I love her crazy characters from the get go but I don't why there was just something missing for me it was still fun but not as much fun.
The hero is a PI thoroughly bored with the job, he thought it would be glamorous instead he chases cheating spouses and such and then in walks the heroine, who looks rich and classy and is a total liar, but the money she gives him helps him win the bet he made, he's actually a stock-broker.

The heroine tells him her uncle was mur
Jacob Proffitt
Like other "middle" Crusie's (mid 90s), this one is seriously flawed, even though I enjoyed reading it. Mitch is simply dreadful at the start with little redeeming value—certainly nothing that should attract Mae. I rather liked Mae, on the other hand, but she's as close to a stereotype as Crusie gets (which, admittedly, isn't terribly close). So yeah, I was entertained. But mostly because Mitch changed drastically around the middle and Mae didn't...

A note about Steamy: Lightly steamy with one an
This book gives a nod to the hard boiled detective genre with the main character being a disillusioned private eye whose head snaps and pants tent when "SHE" walks in the door. The mystery of who killed her Uncle is secondary to the romance between Mitch and Mae. Formulaic yet fun.
Olga Godim
Sep 17, 2013 Olga Godim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jennifer-crusie
One of the earlier stories by one of my favorite writers, this short novel, a blend of mystery and romance, is sweet and funny, although its romantic twist is rather abrupt.
Mitch is a shabby, less than intelligent PI in a seedy office in a dilapidated building. Or so it seems at first glance, when Mae first approaches him with her made-up case of her uncle’s murder. All she wants him to do is to stir up some noise.
Mae comes out of Mitch’s dreams of being a Sam Spade, with his own femme fatale.
Heather Hamilton
I am heartbroken. I can't believe I had to give Jennifer Crusie one star. But What The Lady Wants was just awful.

The two main characters were flat. The relationship between the two main characters was forced. The dialogue was repetitive. The sexual chemistry was described, but not really there. As a romance novel, zero stars were earned. There were one or two funny dialogue bits, but these were the only hints of Crusie's true talent.

The underlying mystery was it's only redeeming quality. It was
Aug 11, 2010 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read for me. I love anything Jennifer Crusie writes and will go through phases where I re-read all of my favorites. I like this book because of Mitch. I love the way he looks out for Mae even if he doesn’t think that’s what he is doing. I also love the secondary characters - the slutty housekeeper, the mistress, the mobster, etc. They make the story funny and keep the plot flowing perfectly. This book is perfect for a spring day when you want something light, funny, and quick to re ...more
Wicked Incognito Now
Crusie just has the ability to write the most dynamic character interactions. These two, Mae and Mitch, were absorbing from the get go.

The story starts with Mitch in a seedy detective agency, no AC, sweltering, in a cheap suit, fantasizing about how his life as a PI was supposed to be. It would be like The Maltese Falcon and the sexy femme fatale would walk in and turn his world upside down....

Then, of course, in walks Mae. She is determined to con this PI into helping her solve a murder that di
Apr 27, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it
Actually 2.5 stars. Rounded up for Goodreads, because it's Jennifer Crusie, after all.

I love the absurd situations and witty dialog in Crusie's books, and What the Lady Wants was full of both. What it lacked, however, was that undercurrent of hard-hitting realism found in most of Crusie's best works. This book was pure fluff; there was no depth. I wasn't particularly interested in the plot, and I didn't feel connected to the characters. I wasn't even happy about the HEA; I don't expect it to las
It really surprises me that this book doesn't have higher ratings. This story was such a fun and wild ride I couldn't put it down! I loved every character even down to Bob the dog:)
I enjoyed every minute of it. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a fun easy read-- just try not to take it seriously. I'd also like to recommend you imagine the story in black and white with tints of red on Mae's lips cuz that's what was in my head for some reason and it played out like an
Mar 04, 2015 Jennavier rated it really liked it
So far this is one of my favorite early Crusie's. The set up is fun and the side characters are hilarious. I loved the heroine even if she wasn't as defined of a character as I would like. The only major negative is the hero. Most of the time he's awesome but then there had to be some sexist garbage included that made me instantly cold. I guess the book is showing it's age.
Feb 21, 2016 MissMaj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I say it's more of a 3.75 rating than 4.

Loved the witty banter between the main characters, as always.

Good thing I really didn't care much for the story itself, especially the climax, because it was confusing as
Jennifer Tatroe
Aug 26, 2009 Jennifer Tatroe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2009
I don't normally give a book two stars unless it has obvious editing errors or just plain bad writing, but What the Lady Wants really feels like a rehearsal for Crusie's later private investigator novel, Fast Women which, unfortunately, I read immediately before this one. This is another early Crusie novel and, though you can still find hints of her magic, it's not all there yet. The sex scenes, especially, are worth skimming over, and the dialogue isn't as snappy as I'm used to with Crusie. If ...more
Mar 21, 2015 Lokki rated it liked it
Okay, first things first. The Hero of this story is Mitch PEATWICK (aka Mitch Kincaid), not Mitch PEABODY. You would think whoever designed the blurb for the back cover would have at least gotten that right or that somebody would have caught it before the book went to print. No such luck. Anyway, not a big deal, just something that irked me.

What the Lady Wants is another re-release of an earlier Crusie book. While I'm glad that these earlier novels are being re-issued for us newer fans to Cruis
May 23, 2014 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Dizzy good fun that doesn't quite hold together when the dizziness wears off. This is a mishmash of lovely little details that are way too much fun and puzzling little details that don't actually quite make sense. But it's fast and lightweight enough that it doesn't really seem to matter all that much.

The characterization feels a little thin for our two leads. She insists no one ever gives her what she wants, just what they think she wants; he insists that marriage is for idiots. They both kind
Joanne Simpson
Dec 31, 2008 Joanne Simpson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite quote:
"Look, there's no point in getting upset about this. You can't understand because you're a woman, and women don't think like that."
"Women don't want to open the west?"
"No. Women want to stay home and keep the East looking nice."
Mae took a deep breath..."You're deliberately trying to make me kill you, aren't you?"
Eleni Konstantine
Been a while since I've read a Crusie book and thoroughly enjoyed. Witty, fun, and a delight to read.
Having read nearly all of Crusie’s other books before getting to this, I found it kind of a neat embryonic form of her later work. Here she’s trying out tropes and techniques that she brings to perfection in books like Tell Me Lies. Overall a quick and satisfying read, so long as you let yourself go with the seriously high-current flow. Also, it’s a fun glimpse back to the early 90s!
This is an interesting romantic mystery involving Mitch Peabody, stock-broker turned private eye, and Mae Belle (Mabel) Sullivan, an orhpaned neice of a recently deceased uncle whom she was slated to inherit a great deal of money from. Her living relatives are less than reputable and will do anything to protect her. She hires a private eye to help her find her uncle's diary (containing daily entries about the details in his life), by claiming her uncle was murdered. Together they determine that ...more
This is... a really weird one. Crusie's writing is still sharp, and her dialogue is awesome. But I think I like my Crusie more rooted in reality. Super rich people who get murdered? Money that disappears? Characters in the mafia? It just felt a little crazy. The romance is also extremely fast. Yeah. Just a weird one.
Sep 24, 2012 Alana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the other crusie book I've read, but still entertaining. There were times when I kept thinking, "just call each other on your cell phones!!" But then realized the book was written in 1995. Lol
Aug 19, 2011 Cissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE Jennifer Crusie. I think she writes the best dialog ever.

This is a great book for that. OK, the plot's pretty silly... but the dialog is wonderful, and it's got a happy ending- even for the dog.
Mar 22, 2012 Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Two-haiku review:

She hires detective
To find dead uncle's journal
Invents a murder

Zany love story
Crazy, unique characters
Many surprises
Jun 18, 2015 Janhvi rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I had read quite a few books by Jennifer Crusie's book list a few years ago. When I stumbled upon What the Lady Wants and saw that I hadn't read it I decided to pick it up and see if I still enjoyed her books as much as I did in the past. I am happy to report that I did. What the Lady Wants was a fun, short romance with a few elements of suspense thrown in.

Mitch is actually a stock broker who has been playing detective for the past year. Being a detective is clearly not as adventurous
Gina Hott
Apr 27, 2014 Gina Hott rated it really liked it
This book was really a lot of fun!

Both Mitch and Mea have a bit of a problem, they've modeled the life of a PI after Sam Spade's in A Maltese Falcon. It's really funny to watch them try to determine if they are playing out as Sam & Brigid.

Mitch is doing his best to get his PI business in the black and only living off the income - not an easy feat. Mae is trying to figure out what has been going on in her home the last few months. Mae is a ward of her uncles. The one whose home she grew up in
Hany Grace
Jun 14, 2016 Hany Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book really makes me more like a feminist . I got angry about the 'West' thing hahaha ! Well it doesn't matter now . What matters is that WHY IS NICK THERE ?? WAAAAAAAA i was so like screaming when I knew that both he and Tess are there ! I'm really a great fan of Crusie's books and I simply love the characters and their dialogues :3 .
I gave 4 honestly because I got pissed by Mitch who is really dumb but not really dumb , i don't know xD ~! He was cool coz he's a detective but I jus
Rebecca Heagy
May 22, 2016 Rebecca Heagy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Cruise can always be counted on for a good fast-paced romance with a least one great sex scene, clearly written to appeal to women. This was no exception. Her endings are always a little too sappy for my taste but that's a minor quibble. While not as funny as some of her other books, it was still a fun, perfect read for a Sunday. I give this book four stars not because it's great literature but it is great for what it is. (I'd give five stars to some of her funnier novels!) Jennifer Cru ...more
Apr 09, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guilty pleasure!
Don't judge me-
Jul 19, 2015 Marty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Mitch Peatwick says, “Everybody lies.” … and there are lots of lies to go around in this funny, fast moving mystery. Mitch a bedraggled Private Eye similar to the old Sam Spade, works out of a dirty office in a bad part of town. He has one week to make the final payment on his office when a beautiful woman sashays into his office and gives him a check for one week’s work to help her find the diary of a murdered man. -----Or at least that’s what it says in the beginning – but as stated, everyb ...more
Aug 07, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Crusie, yay! I love Jennifer Crusie, and What the Lady Wants is a pretty good example as to why.

Let's start with our heroine, Mae Sullivan. Bright and funny and clever, Mae needs to find her uncle Armand's missing diary, but she doesn't want anyone to know that she's doing it. So she finds a gullible PI and tells him she thinks her uncle was murdered. Said gullible PI is Mitch Peatwick, who has secrets of his own, and is thoroughly, THOROUGHLY bored with the PI business. Then Mae walks
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Who read this? What did you think? 3 8 May 04, 2016 09:17AM  
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Jenny Crusie is the NYT bestselling author of twenty some novels and lots of other stuff. Her latest novel, Maybe This Time, hit shelves in August, 2010.

Jenny lives on the Ohio River where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.
More about Jennifer Crusie...

Other Books in the Series

Jennifer Crusie Bundle (5 books)
  • Jennifer Crusie Bundle
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  • Getting Rid of Bradley
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“Of course it hurt you neanderthal! See that? Thats blood. If theres blood, theres pain. Its like smoke and fire.” 7 likes
“Everyone Lies.” 3 likes
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