I just finished reading The Numbered Account, another adventure with the intrepid Julia Probyn. In this, the third in the series, author Ann Bridge has Julia in Switzerland on the trail of an impostor heiress and the two nefarious men who have employed her to steal not only money from 'the numbered account' left by the heiress's grandfather, but also the blueprints for some sort of oil pipeline that the British Secret Service would like to keep out of the wrong hands.
As usual, Julia knows just what to do and say so that (almost) all works out in the end. In this tale, she meets, works with, and falls a little in love with a British Intelligence agent with the unlikely last name of Antrobus. (Every time I came across his name I thought it was referring to a Swiss transportation company.) Anyway, he and Julia share a kiss or two, drink many glasses of chilled Cinzano, and save the day. The romance, though, is short-lived, but perhaps they will meet again in one of the remaining five books.
I must say Julia comes across as a bit of a snob in this story. She ends up befriending the young impostor heiress who is not of Julia's 'upper class' and boy, does she have some nasty barbs about the young girl's lifestyle and background.
Other than that, Ms. Bridge has a wonderful time delighting the reader with all sorts of information about the native wildflowers and birds of Switzerland, descriptions of the various Alpine lakes and peaks, and a glimpse into the lifestyles of the Swiss citizens.
The next adventure takes Julia to the islands off the coast of Scotland. My bags are packed.
I think I'm up to this one in the series, but I can't decide whether I like Julia enough to read any more - I found her quite hard to warm to, perhaps a little one-dimensionally perfect. However, I do like European-set spy stories of that era, so maybe I will persevere.ReplyDelete
I have to agree with you, Vicki. Because these books were written in the 1960s, I wonder if Ms. Bridge was trying a bit too hard to make Julia a strong, assertive woman. But the settings and the spy goings on are intriguing. I own all in the series and try to give a bit of space in between each reading. That helps.Delete
Vicki and I are at the same place in this series--I read this book just recently. Even though Julia is a little too perfect, I've been enjoying a heroine who is mostly in charge and confident. She does get a little bit of set down from her romance, which I hope will prove to deepen her empathy and character.ReplyDelete
My library doesn't have these books so I have to buy them if I want to read more of Julia's adventures. I don't mind that, but what with the state of my overflowing TBR piles, it may be a while before I pack my bags for Scotland!
Hi Kathy. Thanks for joining in here. I mentioned to Vicki that perhaps Ms. Bridge was trying too hard to make Julia an assertive, take-charge woman. These were written in the '60s so that is possible. I agree that her broken heart may give her a little more depth of character in the future.Delete
I bought the whole series of e-books a while ago when they were all on sale for a pittance. If I could, I would send them to you as I finish them. That's a downside of e-books.
Belle, I read one of Ann Bridge's books. I found an omnibus at the Planned Parenthood book sale. I read one, and didn't like it too much, but I am so enthusiastic about the Bloomsbury Reads e-books that I'm tempted to try another. This one sounds pretty good.ReplyDelete
Well, these won't change your life, Kat, but they are an entertaining diversion. What appeals to me are the descriptions of the various countries that Julia visits. I read the first book in the series then found all the others on sale for $.1.99 each and bought them. My Kindle is loaded up now.Delete