One Fifth Avenue

by Candace Bushnell (Little, Brown, £12.99)

Sex And The City author Candace Bushnell continues to explore the marriages and social mores of the well-heeled denizens of Manhattan society in her fifth novel. Set in New York's most salubrious building, the fictional Art Deco triumph that is One Fifth Avenue, Bushnell conversationally reveals a world packed with feuds, friendships and inappropriate affairs in the stylish company of a bunch of engagingly shallow urbanites.

Candace Bushnell
One Fifth Avenue

There's actress Schiffer Diamond; glamorous Annalisa, the wife of a hedge-fund manager; and grumpus Mindy, whose husband's writing career is in the doldrums. Also in situ are Nina, a gilded gossip columnist, her honorary nephew Philip, a screenwriter, and his younger, amoral girlfriend, Lola Fabrikant.

The plotting is token - an unsolved jewellery theft from the Metropolitan Art Museum and an undiscovered suspicious death - but the main action is the mercilessly observed interactions between her very rich characters in all their bitchy, ditsy, self-serving glory. There are awkward moments. The sex is strangely un-erotic - described like a mating ritual on a nature documentary - and Bushnell is coyly self-referential at times. But overall it's a fizzy, if inconsequential, read.