Fleur is beautiful but lazy and, at forty, spends her life looking for rich men who can provide her and her teenage daughter with a glamorous and effortless existence. A daily trawl through the court pages of The Times provides her with an unusual but fertile search area - the funerals and memorial services of the great and good, where gatecrashers are so much less noticeable than they would be at a wedding or a christening.It is at one of these sad but oddly festive occasions that she meets Richard, dull but well-off, whose mousey wife has died after a lifetime of enjoyable ill-health. Before long Fleur has become an integral part of Richard's life, offending his friends, interfering in his leisure pursuits (golf bores her, so why should he spend so much time on it?) and stirring up his grown-up children to behave badly.
Madeleine Wickham was born in London. She read PPE at Oxford and published her first novel, The Tennis Party, while working as a financial journalist. Since then she has written A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements, all published by Black Swan. She is also the author of several novels published by Black Swan under the name of Sophie Kinsella. She lives in Surrey with her husband and two small sons.