Bayard's accomplished debut novel, a witty romantic comedy, is set in Washington, D.C.'s gay community, a group, says one character, that is smaller than Mayberry.
Despite very few degrees of separation, 32-year-old Patrick Beaton is having trouble locating his ideal man, a figure of perfection he met (or dreamed he met) briefly at a Sunday brunch. Patrick is aided in his search for the man he calls "Scottie" by Seth, a persistent, perspiring sidekick who has his own reasons for wanting Patrick to get over this obsession.
Numerous subplots, including side romances, rat infestations and a visit from Patrick's non-Irish but brogue-spouting father, revolve around and involve Patrick's quest for Scottie, but Bayard, like Armistead Maupin in his Tales of the City series, is a master of tightly woven, oddly believable coincidence-driven plotting. Like Maupin, and Stephen McCauley, Bayard's snappy dialogue manages to be more funny than people really are, and utterly convincing at the same time. He excels at gently skewering aspects of urban gay culture: a young man in a tank top with "his car keys [dangling] from his nipple ring"; a group of dancers in a western theme bar, "cantering in a circle like high-bred fillies."
Praise for Fool’s Errand
"Readers are never sure what twists or turns are coming, but Bayard makes Patrick's poignant, fumbling attempts to achieve domestic bliss a journey readers will be eager to embark upon, and travel along to the satisfying end."
"Hard to put down mainly because as a writer Bayard is so damned likable."