The first of two sequels written by Tom Holt and dedicated to E F Benson.
It is 1939. War threatens Europe. Troops are stationed near Tilling and rationing leads to queues in the High Street and a distinct shortage of goods at Twemlow's. But it has to be admitted that the hostilities that occupy the attention of Lucia and Georgie are with Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, rather than with the enemy across the Channel.
Faced with Elizabeth's elevation to the head of Tilling Red Cross (complete with uniform) and Major Benjy's leadership of the Home Guard, it seems that Lucia's domination of the little Sussex town is under serious threat.
When Georgie's war work threatens to take him to London for the duration of the war, it might be assumed that her star really has fallen from its customary prominence in the heavens.
But setbacks are only temporary inconveniences for our dauntless heroine, who pulls off a coup that leaves the whole town gasping with amazement.
Review in "The Independent"
If you're a fan of E F Benson's bitchily observant novels of small-town life set in a thinly disguised Rye and starring the refined Lucia and pragmatic Elizabeth Mapp, you'll enjoy this sequel in homage to them by Tom Holt. In Lucia in Wartime, Mapp and Lucia battle for domination on frontlines of their own making: black-market rations, hospitality to officers, the Home Guard and the Red Cross. No prizes for guessing who wins. Norma West brings just the right period feel to the story. This one is perfect for bedtime.