Paperbacks: The Sonnet Lover, by Carol Goodman

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The Independent Culture

In an entertaining summer read, American thriller writer Carol Goodman attempts to reveal the identity of Shakespeare's "Dark Lady". Investigative heroine Dr Rose Asher is a lecturer in Renaissance poetry at a modish New York College.

As a student she spent a year in Tuscany at the villa La Civetta, once home to the poet Ginevra de Laura – reputedly the bard's bit on the side. When Rose's most gifted student, Robin Weiss, dies in mysterious circumstances, she returns there to sleuth. Academic backstabbing takes on a whole new meaning in this atmospheric and smartly put together collegiate mystery.

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