Paperbacks

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Men of Honour: The Truth About The Mafia by Giovanni Falcone, Warner pounds 4.99. Falcone's assassination in May 1992 seems finally to have meant the beginning of the end for the Mafia: a whole nation cried Basta. Oddly, since Falcone showed such courage in his life, his testimony is frustratingly circumspect - but then, only a year ago, Italy's political scene was another country, and Falcone lived as long as he did because he never trusted even his own bosses.

Daughters of Africa ed Margaret Busby, Vintage pounds 9.99. 'An international anthology of words and writing by women of African descent from the Ancient Egyptian to the present': it's a mouthful of a sub-title, but how else do you describe 1000-plus pages that range from Queen Hatshepsut (b. 1501 BC) to Serena Gordon (b. 1972)? An extraordinary achievement.

Just the One: The Wives and Times of Jeffrey Bernard by Graham Lord, Headline pounds 6.99. It's hard to understand why Bernard, Spectator columnist and notorious boozer, has such fascination for those who know him: for those who don't, he seems just another grumpy drunk with dodgy views. But the thousands who've flocked to the West End's Jeffrey Barnard is Unwell can't be wrong, can they? Graham Lord does justice to his friend's legend, at any rate.

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