The third novel of the author’s Illusian Sequence, THE STREET OF SECRETS is, as we’ve come to expect, overtly unlike the other two, different in style, different in genre, different in approach. A cheerfully upended turn-of-the-century noir or cozy mystery, laced with sudden LOL Dickensian humor, it follows the reluctant investigation of private detective Nodule Bogardus into a crime of no consequence whatever--the minor vandalization, by person or persons unknown, of a music book taken out of the library by five people in the past twenty years.
Accompanied by his faithful, if not always cooperative, dog, D’Artagnan, and assisted (on his own terms) by his old friend Chief Inspector Rene Titoque, who doesn’t have much to do in the off-season of a tourist city, Bogardus prowls the steep streets of the old stone city of Illusia seeking answers, of course, but mostly just trying to make his rent and pursue a glimpse of the ultimate woman of his fantasies--the glorious seductress Sindrice, who sings at The Teetering Nephew on the Street of Secrets. There are songs in this novel, as there are in RASHINGOR, the first novel of the Sequence (music in the appendix), most notably Sindrice’s torchy, tinkling, Marlene Dietrich-like waltz “Teetering on the Brink”. There is sadness and there is sunlight, and the themes of the Sequence are brought unobtrusively into the twentieth century.
C. A. Rodriguez is an old woman and an old writer with an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and an ancient cat, and her verse translations of 17th-century Spanish analogues of Shakespeare and John Webster are still in print.
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