Thursday, June 23, 2005

Two ladies in Verona (Review)

Two ladies in Verona.
Lionel Black
Published 1967

Working in a University Library there are often fictional books on the shelves minus a dustjacket. It can be difficult browsing as there is no way of judging a book by its cover, rather it has to be done by its title. This caught my eye. I think this was because it was set in Verona, and a few months back I had returned from holiday and Italy had been one of my destinations. Although I hadn't actually visited Verona whilst there.
I'm digressing. I didn't know really what to expect, and after reading the first page, it piqued my interest so I took it home.
The book turned out to be a detective (mildly spyish) thriller set in the sixties. There were movie stars, exotic locations, villians with thick German accents, really it was a comfortable cliche. But this is what made it a really nice read. I think the best way to describe it, is as a delicious detective classic. The plot reminded me of one of those midday mattinees they used to show during the week when I was little.
The heroine is a British spy, who gets caught up in a colleagues espionage. Somehow she has to warn headquarters before it's too late. Time and again she is almost caught, so there's lots of car chases, cliff top scrambles, and in one part of the book she is trying to escape by venetian vaporetto's!
I think I'll leave it there, hopefully it's enough to tease a booklover's tastebuds.

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