Donna Kauffman’s The Big Bad Wolf Tells All was in my opinion a book that would basically fall into the chick lit category, but with a hint of suspense thrown in. Tanzy Harrington, the main female character, is an heiress who prefers to make her own way in the world, and not partake in the family business. Tanzy is quite happily writing a column for an internet magazine based on observations of her life, and those of her friends. Currently she is running a series of columns based on her theory that some men are sheep (those are the married ones) and some are wolves (the ones who are still on the prowl). She also believes that after marriage a wolf becomes a sheep. Her recent views on life have garnered her column a lot of attention and for her personally a most unwelcome stalker.
Her aunt Millicent is concerned about Tanzy and her stalker, so much so that Millicent manages to convince Tanzy to move into the family home and sit while Millicent makes herself scarce. Millicent has also hired a new butler, Riley Parrish. Riley is most definitely a wolf, but knows that he must handle Tanzy in the most delicate of ways, so he takes on a sheep persona that fools her totally.
While Tanzy is living in Harrington House, the ancestral home, she begins to feel that maybe she should be taking a more active part in the family interests. She also is finding herself quite attracted to Riley whom she believes to be 100% sheep. It is only after the stalker has escalated things to a new level that Tanzy finds out about the true Riley.
It’s during this new phase of investigation that Tanzy and Riley learn to work together. They also learn that they are not like their parents, and that they shouldn’t let their backgrounds interfere in what they might be able to share in their futures. As Tanzy and Riley work closely to solve the stalking they are also getting to know each other on a more personal level, and both are wondering how things will be when they no longer have to be together to protect Tanzy.
In my opinion Ms. Kauffmann has taken Chick Lit to a new level. I liked the easy flow of the story, and the humor in Tanzy’s columns. Aunt Millicent, while a secondary character was well written, and though she is supposed to be a bit eccentric, was not written without possessing some common sense. I also liked the combined use of chick lit with some suspense. I believe this is the first of this type of book I’ve read. I would like to see more like it.
Sandi Shilhanek, October 2003