I love the Fall in New England: applewood crackling in fireplaces, autumn colors glowing all around, people turning on the lights inside their homes at dinnertime and leaving their drapes open for just a little while...

Leaving their drapes open?

Oh, yes! I've always felt that open drapes are a writer's invitation to new characters and plots!

It started when I was a kid. Every evening, my Dad and I went for a walk after supper. His “constitutional,” he called it. I called it a neat way to get out of washing dishes.

We lived near a park that was surrounded with luxurious homes (more luxurious than ours). My favorite time was autumn, when neighbors had their lights on but it was deemed too early yet to close the drapes, thus enabling me (and my budding imagination) to peek into the worlds of others – not Peeping Tom stuff, mind you, just lovely little peeks at furnishings and bookcases and sometimes, if I was lucky, a family gathered at a table.

Ah! The stories I created on those thirty-minute jaunts!

“Look!” I'd say to Dad, “the mother looks like a Myrtle, don't you think? I think Myrtle has made meatloaf again. Her husband doesn't look too pleased. ‘I work all day for meatloaf? If you didn't make me buy that television so you can watch your soap operas, we'd be eating steak.'” (This was the early 1960's, mind you.) Then I'd add, “Poor Myrtle isn't saying anything. I think she's plotting her revenge. As soon as the kids have gone to bed...“

Dad would laugh and tell me it wasn't nice to peek in other people's windows.

But isn't that what good fiction is really all about?

GOOD LITTLE WIVES is a fun romp through the world of the rich and snobby, those women who seemingly have it all, the type many of us mistakenly believe can't possibly have a single, teensy-weensy problem. Until, of course, you peek inside their windows.

Lying, cheating, stealing, murder – murder? – Oh, yes, you'll be amazed at the power of a woman wronged by a man and the ability of her friends to justify it all while doing lunch. Join middle-aged Dana, Caroline, Lauren, and Bridget (once-trophy wives of Wall Street men, now tarnishing a bit), as they tiptoe, stomp, and sometimes trip through their not-so-perfect lives.

I filled the book with laughter and a few tears here and there, but the moral to the story becomes pretty clear: if you have something to hide, don't leave your lights on and your drapes open after dark.

Abby Drake