My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I read the short biography of Elizabeth Edmondson on the website of the International Thriller Writers, I was intrigued enough to go online and download four of her books. I expected from the titles they would be rather run-of-the mill romantic suspense set in exotic locales. Far from it!
Edmondson writes “retro” books. They are set in the 1930’s 40’s and 50’s. They capture that period of recent history so authentically that, half way through The Villa in Italy, I looked back to see what the publication date was. (It was 2006). Even then, I wondered if it was something she had kept in the back of a drawer for 65 years. Not so. This is what Edmondson writes. And she does so brilliantly. Her writing puts me in mind of Nevil Shute’s incredible post-WWII novels.
You will need a score board to keep track of her principal characters, (an opera singer, a writer, an atomic scientist, a banker and a young socialite running away from her husband) all of whom are stuck together at a villa in Italy for 33 days. There are a host of important minor characters as well.
Even the romantic ending of this book is true to the period. If you want an unusual trip back in time, with interesting characters, a beautiful setting and a mystery to be solved, I highly recommend The Villa in Italy.
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