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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

The Camelot Caper

Reviewed: February 27, 2007
By: Elizabeth Peters
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
352 pages, $9.99

The Camelot Caper holds up pretty well for a book that was first published near the beginning of the author’s career, in 1969. Peters is actually Barbara Mertz, who has published scholarly tomes about ancient Egypt under her own name, but has been much more prolific under two pen names.

As Barbara Michaels she writes gothic suspense novels. As Elizabeth Peters she has created three series and written a number of stand alone thrillers.

This one feels like a blend of Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppance stories with just a touch of Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion novels.

Jessica Tregarth is a young American woman who is seeking to visit her estranged grandfather in Cornwall at his request, and bring along with her a ring with the family crest on it. Suddenly mysterious men start following her about, demanding the ring. She flees, finds an accidental ally in David Randall, who happens to write gothic mystery romances, and the two of them decide to find out what the heck is going on.

Romance and mayhem ensue, with a lot of dashing around the Cornish and English landscapes, some heavy necking (this appeared first in 1969, remember) and enough of a mixture of adventure and silliness to keep the reader going until the end of the tale.

This came to me as an e-book and was a pleasant read on my Palm PDA, but it is also readily available in paper covers and worth an afternoon’s investment of time.

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