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Cabaret: A Roman Riddle    by Lily Prior order for
by Lily Prior
Order:  USA  Can
Ecco, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Freda Lippi, upon discovery that her ventriloquist husband has disappeared, is delighted beyond belief. She only married him because of a prophecy her mother made with her dying breath.

The plot is amusing; the mystery just beyond reach. The author's sense of humor is finely tuned - the episode about Freda's Mediterranean cruise had me laughing out loud. Freda, a mortician by trade, becomes a nightclub singer. She is twenty-six and still a virgin and dreams of changing that status.

The mystery of the disappearance of Alberto bothers Freda less than the loss of her beloved parrot Pierino. This comic novel, Cabaret: A Roman Riddle (the setting in Rome is incidental to the plot), hovers between reality, dreams, and fantasy. At times it's hard to distinguish one from the other, but it works.

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