Neither parents nor staff of either school are too keen on this radical move, although some can see the possible financial advantages. For the students, however, it offers great opportunities to get up to even more mayhem than usual.
Lysander's mid-life crisis had begun at twenty-two. Reeling from the death of his beautiful mother, he was out of work, drinking too much and desperately in debt. The solution came from Ferdie, his fat, fast-operating friend: if Lysander was so good at making husbands jealous, why shouldn't he get paid for it?
Let loose among the neglected wives of the ritzy county of Rutshire, Lysander causes absolute havoc. But it is only when he meets Rannaldini, Rutshire's King Rat and a temperamental, fiendishly promiscuous international conductor, that the trouble really starts. The only unglamorous woman around Rannaldini is Kitty, his plump young wife who runs his life like clockwork. Soon Lysander is convinced that Kitty must be rescued from Rannaldini at all costs, even if it means enlisting the help of the old blue-eyed havoc maker: Rupert Campbell-Black.
Given the chance to take over the Rutminster Symphony Orchestra, Abby is ecstatic, not realising the RSO is in hock up to its neck and is composed of the wildest bunch of musicians ever to blow a horn or caress a fiddle. Abby finds it increasingly difficult to control her undisciplined rabble and pretend she is not madly attracted to the fatally glamorous horn player, Viking O'Neill, who claims droit de seigneur over every pretty woman joining the orchestra. And then Rannaldini, arch-fiend and international maestro, rolls up with Machiavellian plans of his own to sabotage the RSO.
Effervescent as champagne, Jilly Cooper's novel brings back old favourites like Rupert and Taggie Campbell-Black, but also ends triumphantly with a rampageous orchestral tour of Spain and the high drama of an international piano competition.
No picture ever came more beautiful than Raphael's Pandora. Discovered by a dashing young lieutenant, Raymond Kelvedon in a Normandy Chateau in 1944, she had cast her spell over his family - all artists and dealers - for fifty years.
Hanging in a turret of their lovely Cotswold house, Pandora witnessed Raymond's tempestuous wife Galena both entertaining a string of lovers, and giving birth to her four children: Jupiter, Alizarin, Jonathan and superbrat Sienna. Then an exquisite stranger rolls up, claiming to be a long-lost daughter of the family, setting the three Belvedon brothers at each other's throats. Accompanying her is her fatally glamorous boyfriend, whose very different agenda includes an unhealthy interest in the Raphael.
During a fireworks party, the painting is stolen. The hunt to retrieve it takes the reader on a thrilling journey to Vienna, Geneva, Paris, New York and London. After a nail-biting court case and a record-smashing Old Masters sale at Sotheby's, passionate love triumphs and Pandora is restored to her rightful home.
Rupert is consumed by one obsession: that Love Rat, his adored grey horse, be proclaimed champion stallion. He longs to trounce Roberto’s Revenge, the stallion owned by his detested rival Cosmo Rannaldini, which means abandoning his racing empire at Penscombe and his darling wife Taggie, and chasing winners in the richest races worldwide, from Dubai to Los Angeles to Melbourne.
Luckily, the fort at home is held by Rupert’s assistant Gav, a genius with horses, fancied by every stable lass, but damaged by alcoholism and a vile wife. When Gala, a grieving but ravishing Zimbabwean widow moves to Penscombe as carer for Rupert’s wayward father, it is not just Gav who is attracted to her: a returning Rupert finds himself dangerously tempted.
Gala adores horses, and when she switches to working in the yard, her carer’s job is taken by a devastatingly handsome South African man who claims to be gay but seems far keener on caring for the angelic Taggie. And as increasingly sinister acts of sabotage strike at Penscombe, the game of musical loose boxes gathers apace . . .
Everybody loves Jilly Cooper:
'Sex and horses: who could ask for more?' Sunday Telegraph
'Joyful and mischeivous' Jojo Moyes
'A delight from start to finish' Daily Mail
'Fun, sexy and unputdownable' Marian Keyes
'Escape into an alternative universe in which all is right with the world' Guardian
'Flawlessly entertaining' Helen Fielding
Describing herself as 'upper middle class', Jilly claims that snobbery is very much alive and thriving! Meet her hilarious characters! People like Harry Stow-Crat, Mr and Mrs Nouveau-Richards, Samantha and Gideon Upward, and Jen Teale and her husband Brian. Roar with laughter at her horribly unfair observations on their everyday pretensions - their sexual courtships, choice of furnishings, clothes, education, food, careers and ambitions...
For they will all remind you of people that you know!
As well as Lisa, we meet Hester, Julia, Helen and Caroline, and a host of other devastating girls, falling in and out of love, finding, losing (and often finding again sometimes in the most unexpected places) the men of their dreams. Lisa & Co is a sparkling collection of love stories that are both moving and funny and could only have been written by the unique Jilly Cooper.