The Daddy Clock, Judy Markey's debut novel, is a real charmer. If you thought that biological clocks tick only for the female of the species, think again. Charlie Feldman, a 44-year-old, unattached, newspaper sportswriter, wants a baby and wants one real bad. But he's at a distinct disadvantage. Charlie needs a wife and a life, and to that end enlists the aid of Lacy, an assistant on the paper's advice column and a 30-something single mother who is adamantly against an encore in that department. They're pals, nothing more, until . . . Then, the plot twists away from the predictable. David Colacci and Susan Erickson read alternating chapters.

Reviewed by Sukey Howard.

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