The Couturier of Milan

Ian Hamilton. Spiderline (PGW, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $24.95 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-1-77089-956-8
Hamilton’s tense 10th Ava Lee novel (after The Princeling of Nanjing) has his heroine trying to establish herself in the legitimate world of high fashion after retiring from her not-so-legitimate debt-collecting business. She quickly realizes those two worlds aren’t that far apart. It’s London Fashion Week, and Ava’s fashion line is a huge success, so much so that the famous Dominic Ventola of the giant VLG line wants to buy the company. Ava and her partners are flattered by the attention of the great Italian designer but turn him down. Ventola doesn’t take it well and decides, with his crime-syndicate backers, to run them out of the business. Fans of the series know Ava will respond soundly with a cold, satisfying dish of revenge. Since the death of Ava’s partner, Uncle, and her move into legitimate business, the novels are less action-driven and even a touch more melodramatic, focusing on her relationships with her new partners and on a blossoming romance. This book, like all the Ava Lee novels, is pure fun. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Genre: Fiction
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