AT THE LAKE OF SUDDEN DEATH by Timothy Holme

AT THE LAKE OF SUDDEN DEATH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Famous, raffish Italian cop Achille Peroni (Neapolitan Streak, A Funeral of Gondolas) is on holiday on Lake Garda when he begins a romance with Cordelia Hope, a forceful, witty young Englishwoman. All too soon, Cordelia turns up dead, supposedly in a sailing accident. Peroni--who knows from firsthand experience that Cordelia was a superb sailor--suspects foul play. So he begins reconstructing the Englishwoman's last days. What, indeed, was Cordelia up to at the lake? Researching, as she claimed, a book on Churchill? Or, as becomes dear, hunting for the fortune in gold that Mussolini is minored to have stashed somewhere at the bottom of the lake in early 1945? In fact, Peroni soon believes that Cordelia, who visited all the important old Fascists in the area, found a map to this sunken treasure--and was betrayed when she hooked up with a local deep-sea-diving team. Only after a second murder, an underwater explosion, and airings of old family secrets, however, does Peroni finger all the culprits involved. There are a few too many coincidences in the plotting here--especially when one of Peroni's official cases (a Venetian girl's disappearance) just happens to produce an overlap of clues. Still, with neat flashbacks to 1945, crisp character sketches, and suave Italian backgrounds (Venice and Verona as well as Garda), this is another satisfying, low-key outing for the quietly charming ""Rudolph Valentino of the Italian Police.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1987
Publisher: Walker