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4.0 out of 5 stars Mortimer's Chiantishire
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

Not Mortimer at his best but at his most easily readable in many ways. Expatriates and Italian gentry in "Chianti-shire" seem very like the expatriates and Spanish gentry in "Rioja-shire", people with whom I am slightly more familiar; the book shows how they strive to fill their days.

I did not have the unusual problems...
Published on 6 Sept. 2011 by RR Waller

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3.0 out of 5 stars Easy and interesting read, but not a must.
It is the fame of Rumpole of the Bailey that attracted me to a different type of book by John Mortimer. While I quite enjoyed reading the book, I cannot say I would have missed out if I had not.

It is a very clearly written story of the family who go to Italy to spend a holiday. More than the family, though, it is the story of Molly Pargeter , who organises for...
Published on 13 May 2012 by Discerning Reader


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3.0 out of 5 stars Easy and interesting read, but not a must., 13 May 2012
This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
It is the fame of Rumpole of the Bailey that attracted me to a different type of book by John Mortimer. While I quite enjoyed reading the book, I cannot say I would have missed out if I had not.

It is a very clearly written story of the family who go to Italy to spend a holiday. More than the family, though, it is the story of Molly Pargeter , who organises for her family to lease a villa in Mondano, and ends up by having her father with them as well. While there are insights into the characters and activities of the members of the family, the real focus is on Molly, and her interest in the evasive landlord.

This is the sort of book that you can take on holiday if you want to relax but do not want your mind to be under any intellectual pressure. The descriptions are clear, other characters interesting, and Mortimer manages to bring the different threads of the story together, via the different characters.

However, the obsession that Molly has with the whereabouts of the landlord and the story of how that is concluded, is not totally convincing. There were so many other aspects of their holiday that could have captured the mind of the inquisitive. The fact that she is able to piece together ( do not want to give the story away) many threads is interesting but not totally satisfying for the reader. There are still many questions about the landlord and the events to the end of the book that need to be explained, and are not.

Mortimer is an author who writes well, and I will most likely try and look at his other books, but the ones I will certainly read are the Rumpole stories.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mortimer's Chiantishire, 6 Sept. 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

Not Mortimer at his best but at his most easily readable in many ways. Expatriates and Italian gentry in "Chianti-shire" seem very like the expatriates and Spanish gentry in "Rioja-shire", people with whom I am slightly more familiar; the book shows how they strive to fill their days.

I did not have the unusual problems some other reviewers have had. I bought the book in a bookshop.

John Mortimer's dry, ironic wit and blackish humour are not as sharp as in other texts but it is a light-hearted, enjoyable book full of characters readers may find it difficult to relate to but no less interesting for that.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I don't suppose you have ever killed anyone, have you?", 26 Feb. 2009
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
When Molly Pargeter and her family--her husband, father, and three daughters--take a summer lease for La Felicita, an ironically named Tuscan villa in Mondano, Italy, she is curious about the owners. The owners have, after all, specified that they prefer a married couple with three children, preferably all girls, though Molly can't imagine why. The house comes with instructions and both a supervisor ("Mr. Fixit") and a housekeeper, both of whom Molly finds mysterious, and when the water disappears from the swimming pool and has to be replaced at exorbitant cost, she begins to wonder who has the water "concession" for the area.

As the family works its way into the society of other expatriates and Italian gentry in "Chianti-shire," the reader learns that Molly's husband may be unfaithful, that her father still regards himself as a great roué who hopes to make connections with a now-wealthy former flame, and that the local residents seem determined to prevent her from finding out information about the Ketterings, her landlords. With too little to do and an immense curiosity, Molly determines to find out all the secrets. The death of Mr. Fixit, found dead in an empty swimming pool, adds a sense of mystery, and Molly's discoveries about the Ketterings convince her even more strongly that there are hidden crimes behind the seemingly innocent façade of Mondano.

John Mortimer's wry satire of British life and society combines with his ironic humor as he shows Molly to be a meddlesome, if well-intentioned, women. His insight into the contrasts between her British mores and those of her Italian neighbors adds color to the novel and shows the Italians to be far more pragmatic than the overly "polite" society of the expatriates. The questions about the death of Mr. Fixit and the disappearance of Mr. Kettering grow, and Molly's pursuit of answers to questions which are none of her business leads to a dramatic, if somewhat enigmatic conclusion.

Molly and her family are not characters the reader cares much about, however, and this novel does not achieve the level of black humor which readers have come to expect from Mortimer. Light, satiric, and filled with local color, it is fun to read, however, and the conclusion may keep the reader pondering beyond the end of the novel. n Mary Whipple

The Summer of a Dormouse: A Year of Growing Old Disgracefully
Felix in the Underworld
Murderers and Other Friends: Another Part of Life
Rumpole's Return
Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders (Penguin Celebrations)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 13 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
This is a great book and we'd not read it for years. Most entertaining as one would expect from Sir John. There is also a dvd to go with it which is well worth a look.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Old fashioned, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
I am a lover of Rumpole which has not dated but sadly for me Summer's Lease has. Strange but true
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Summer's Lease, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
This is a wonderful story, especially if you are interested in Italy and Art. I have read it before and wanted my own copy.
My advice is NOT to buy a used copy. Wait until you can afford a new one. The one I chose to buy was marked VERY GOOD and I dread to think of the state of a poor copy. The cover is torn and there is writing inside. Unpleasant to handle.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Summer's Lease, 6 Aug. 2011
By 
Patricia A. Seymour (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
Thank you for your quick delivery of this book, which arrived in good condition. (Sadly, although it was recommended to me by a friend, I didn't enjoy it. However, that's not your problem!)
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars delivery, 17 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Summer's Lease (Paperback)
I ordered this book on November 12, 2010 and today is December 17, 2010 and I still HAVE NOT received this book. I ordered 5 books from Amazon.uk and all of them took 3 to 4 weeks to arrive. I am very disappointed with this service and will not be ordering any more books from you.

I would like my money back for the book I did not receive.

Thank you.

Celeste Maia
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Summer's Lease
Summer's Lease by Sir John Mortimer (Paperback - 9 Jan. 1989)
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