Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where is Susan?

Where is Susan? This second-last book in the series is every bit as good as the earlier titles, if not better. This story sees Susan and Midge on their way to Venice where they are going to meet up with Charlotte, now a student of art in Italy, having left St. Ronan's, and Susan's parents, who are returning from South Africa. However, things go wrong, and Susan and her cousin find that their reservations at the hotel have been cancelled. Literally chucked out on the street, as shown on the front cover, the girls are left to fend for themselves. They go to a boarding house and ride around the waterways in search of Charlotte. But there is a thief about and the ghastly Gascoignes are also on the loose. This is an excellent story, the only Jane Shaw novel set in Venice. The only downside is the cover. Because the story is set in Italy, the artist seems to have been under the impression that the girls were Italian! However, there is a sign that things were changing with the times. Midge is a child of the sixties now, wearing trousers (which would have been a definite no-no in the earlier stories, when one of the girls' major gripes was Selina Gascoigne wearing slacks). But I'll never get used to the idea of Midge with a deep suntan and black hair!