The provocative question Jennifer Crusie poses in her sparkling new romantic comedy would give any proper con man pause: Could his lady-love be Faking It (St. Martin's, $24.95, 352 pages, ISBN 0312284683)? Folk art paintings, fanciful furniture, forgeries and foolery have Davy Dempsey's head spinning. The source of his trouble is one Tilda Goodnight, art gallery owner, heir to the Goodnight family's unique artistic talents and the woman who could settle Davy down for good. Crusie's madcap tale of stolen art and mayhem contains more laugh-out-loud lusty living than a sudsy-bubble Oktoberfest in her quirky German Village neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Snappier than a spicy sauerbraten, Faking It is liberally laced with the gemŸtlichkeit of savvy storytelling.

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