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Venetian Holiday

PDF The Barnes & Noble Review
Harking back to the glamorous Hollywood movies of the '40s and '50s that so enamor one of its main characters, David Campbell's debut novel, Venetian Holiday, is — like 1959's Hitchcock classic North by Northwest — filled with murder, mayhem, and mysterious femme fatales. It also boasts one of the wildest chase scenes to come along in years!

Kate Fujimori is a cat burglar living in Europe after she and her husband (the infamous art thief known as the Professor) were forced to flee the States. Estranged from her husband — who is now living a life of contemplation in a Shinto temple in Japan — Kate has continued on as the art world's preeminent thief. Next on her wish list is the Lotti Mona Lisa, a Leonardo da Vinci forgery worth millions and on exhibit in northern Italy. But once in Venice, Fujimori's assumed "holiday" becomes complicated when another group of art thieves set their sights on the same target; an assassin named Robie (an homage to Cary Grant's cat burglar character of John Robie in 1955's To Catch a Thief?) closes in on her; and she falls for a mysterious Italian man who is addicted to post-WWII American movies — and happens to be a local police detective.

Featuring witty dialogue, outlandish characters (a voodoo princess/fashion model, a sleepwalking zombie priest, et al.), and an endearing protagonist who is equal parts Audrey Hepburn from Roman Holiday and Trinity from the Matrix movies, Campbell's first novel is one of the most noteworthy debuts of the year. Paul Goat Allen

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