Monday, June 12, 2006

The Corner Shop

Elizabeth Cadell was a prolific writer of frothy romantic comedies from--oh, the 1940s or so into the 1970s. For those who prefer to keep the bedroom door firmly closed, Cadell is a worthwhile find. The settings are modern and mostly English, with occasional forays into France and Portugal. Although long out of print, her books can be found in most civic libraries and are worth checking into and out.

The heroine of The Corner Shop is Lucille Abbey, the beautiful and all-business owner of a secretarial agency. When three of her employees throw in the towel on a seemingly innocuous job for a distant professor, Lucille decides to handle it personally, as much to avoid her would-be fiance as to protect the sterling reputation of her business. The personalities are deftly sketched with a light touch, the dialogue is sure, the plot ricochets from London to remote Hampshire to Paris, with stolen goods, dodgy relatives, a glittering seahorse brooch, and a certain corner shop each playing their part in this amusing romp.


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