The Woman With The Portuguese Basket

by Eva-Lis Wuorio | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by aetm of Austin, Texas USA on 6/23/2010
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by aetm from Austin, Texas USA on Wednesday, June 23, 2010
A vintage spy romance travelogue novel. An awesome find I could not resist but had to get from Recycled Reads bookstore as this sounded so fabulous, and if for nothing else, the back cover's short text:

"This lively and charming thriller-plus-travelogue strikes me as being exactly right for the fans of Helen Macinnes or Ann Bridge... Eva-Lis Wuorio traces two protagonists to a reunion in Vienna, one South from Finland, one because he is an American agent on a vital mission, the other because she is a harmless schoolteacher falsely identified by a Soviet apparat... an attractive tale of international intrigue."

Written in 1961, this print from 1966. 224 pages, a lovely old paperback charm.

Eva-Lis Wuorio is an author I had no clue of before this book, but in the book there is a bit more about her. She was born in Viipuri/Viborg, an old city back then in Finland but since the 1940s Russia... she grew up in Canada, and after becoming a 'newspaperwoman' worked across Europe and Africa, and her experiences there for sure have helped get the travel touch right in this book.

The book follows the story in three perspectives. First there is Adelaide Perry, a schoolteacher from Canada, afraid of flying and intent to spending her sabbatical year in Europe. The story begins in Lisbon, on a boat... then there are the people who are waiting to meet the Secret Agent, but of which they have a very poor description. Adelaide has a skill or habit that identifies her wrongly as the agent, and her innocent naivity kind of matches and kind of doesn't match the agent role at all. So she'll get followed... and third, there is the agent, Kari Petersen, a Finnish/Karelian born man who is now American and tries to reach the people chasing for Miss Perry.

That is part of how the story is set. How the stories are bound together will be solved in the end (and quite nicely I think). Adelaide has a long-term plan to get to Vienna, and she is very resourceful in trying all different transports and tricks in getting the followers away. She has no clue what she's in the middle of, so what she sees is wonderful people on her roads, a few potential interesting men that would be so fanciable for romance, and a lot of Europe that cannot be seen any more: a big part of the charm, at least for me, is that the story is happening in late 1950s or latest 1960. That Europe is no more...
There are many fabulous places, from small Portuguese and Spanish villages to areas in the "lost" Karelia (aka the parts of Finland that were lost in WWII to Russia) with its 'sauna-maids'... I usually can't finish any romantic novels at all, but this was enjoyable. The romance isn't too much there, it's just as far as it would be in 1960 in a spy novel that wasn't a James Bond but where the protagonist is a charming in her naivitë art teacher exploring Europe... parts of the books will be appreciated by those that know or knew some geographical parts of where the book is ambiented; Portugal, Spain, Karelia, Finland, Russia, France, Austria...

Journal Entry 2 by aetm at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, September 24, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (9/26/2010 UTC) at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Releasing to Annelis.
Savotar (in Turku) had this also in the wishlist.

If you'll like the book it would be awesome to see if there's any interest in a bit larger ring for it too.
I especially loved how the world (Europe) was so different in 1960... travelling even just from Portugal to Spain was much more of a 'real travel' back then.
I like the places, the people and in generally the travelogue/vintage/romantic/spy/whatever else this is. Plus the author's story seems interesting too - a Finnish born writer, who then moved to Canada... I hope you'll like the story. :)

Journal Entry 3 by wingAnneliswing at Kerava, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thank you for the book, Aetm! I'll read it give then to Savotar. I have never before heard of Eva-Lis Wuorio but better late than not at all.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAnneliswing at Kerava, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, April 12, 2014
That was a well written spy story even if those agents seems to me like little boys having arguments in a sand box. Only their weapons are real. It was nice to read about places I have visited some 30-40 years later than Miss Perry.
Well, Savotar is in Prague right now... I must think of something.

This is my # 50 (120) in
"REDUCE MOUNT TBR 2014" Challenge arranged by Dove-i-Libri.

Journal Entry 5 by wingAnneliswing at Kerava, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Released 6 yrs ago (7/16/2014 UTC) at Kerava, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

The Postman will take care of the book for a while.

Happy reading!

This is my # 69 in
"KEEP THEM MOVING 2014" Challenge arranged by Booklady331.

Journal Entry 6 by Savotar at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Thank you, AnneliS, for the wishlist book! Sorry for delayed journaling. This was a lovely surprise.

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