Red Dress, Jul 2004, 21.95, 320 pp.
Jane Taylor knows it is time to tell the truth to her family, friends, and co-workers, who believe she is nine months pregnant (see THE THIN PINK LINE). The infant she has been carrying is actually a bundle of rags. However, it could only happen to Jane to find an abandoned baby just before her pronouncement. The real infant she insists is hers although Emma, as she names the child, happens to be black while Jane is white.
Her boyfriend, Scotland Yard CID Donald Tolkien is the first to know the truth and handles it reasonably well as if he expected nothing less from zany Jane. He also informs Jane she must notify Social Services about Emma. At a New Year's Day Emma hosted, she breaks the news to all that she faked the pregnancy, but has a child anyway.
The hard thing remains the same problem that detracts from the first book which is a woman shamming a pregnancy. The story line is fun to follow as Jane explains to everyone what she did, but also shows maturity as she tries her best to do the right thing for Emma as well as gain custody of the newborn. Readers will especially like the accepting ethical Donald who will assist Jane as long as it is legal and in his opinion the right thing for Emma.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner