When Winnie Teitlebaum decides to commit suicide, little does she anticipate that she will be interrupted by a burglar. But she is, and her suicidal concentration is shattered. Thus begins the rather wacky relationship at the center of Reluctant Reaper, a comedy about a group of zany suburbanites, some of them quite addle-pated, some rather nuts. Some are elderly, with one foot literally in the grave. They dodder about, colliding occasionally with younger, sometimes scheming residents, some of whom have big and often shady plans to get rich. Set in Maryland in the summer of 2009, amid swine flu hysteria and the first steps of a new president, this novel, mostly in dialogue, portrays hypochondriacs, colorful eccentrics and one raving lunatic―all thrown together whether they like it or not. And when they don't, they are not shy about vociferously, hilariously complaining. Eve Ottenberg has published four novels and several short stories. Her criticism and journalism has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker “In Brief” section, and The Washington Post, and she has written a political column for The Village Voice.