Reigning over a social merry-go-round of dinners and parties, Mrs Ames is the undisputed queen bee of Riseborough. That is, until vivacious new villager Mrs Evans catches the eye of both her son and her husband. Not content with captivating the men in her life, 'that wonderful creature' Mrs Evans becomes not just rival to Mrs Ames' marriage, but rival to her village throne. When the whole of Riseborough is invited to Mrs Evans' masked costume party, action must be taken. As the date looms, the irrepressible Mrs Ames resolves to seize the chance to win back her position, and thus, her man.
The son of E.W. Benson, an archbishop of Canterbury (1883-96), the young E.F. Benson was educated at Marlborough School and at King's College, Cambridge. After graduation he worked from 1892 to 1895 in Athens for the British School of Archaeology and later in Egypt for the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. In 1893 he published Dodo, a novel that attracted wide attention. It was followed by a number of other successful novels including his hugely popular Mapp and Lucia series. In 1938 he was made an honorary fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He died in February, 1940.