Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Gondola of Doom – Olga Wojtas

#4 in the Murder at Teatime cosy crime series

Never underestimate a librarian.

Fifty-something Edinburgh librarian Shona is a proud former pupil of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, but has a deep loathing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she thinks gives her alma mater a bad name. Impeccably educated and an accomplished linguist, mathematician, martial artist, and musician, Shona is selected by Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time for a crucial mission in Venice.

Finding the city afflicted by what appears to be a new outbreak of the plague, Shona soon encounters the Cornetto family of gondoliers. Lately, a number of their passengers have met a watery fate. Coincidence? Unlikely. She dons a mask, goes undercover and seeks inspiration in the library.

But the mystery only deepens. Why do the Cornettos seem so flaky and their explanations wafer-thin, even as they proclaim their innocence? What is going on at the printworks? Shona’s powers of deduction, dissection and prowess as a swimmer are put to the test as she realises that a bitter feud is at play.

Can Shona unravel the tapestry of lies and get to the truth? 

Clever, funny, and very well-written, this is a romp through Venice that will have you snorting (in a sniffily un-lady-like manner) and sniggering at the frankly bizarre goings-on. If ever there was an antidote to a stormy January day, then this is it. Olga Wojtas is going from strength to strength in this series – which leaves me wondering what on earth (or beyond earth) will she come up with next?

Published by Saraband.

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