Venetian Thrillers Abound On Our Website:

Venice is one of our favorite settings for thrillers. It is exotic and different from anywhere else on the planet. It sure beats the suburban mall as a setting for the next mystery.

In Hitler’s Chief Spy Dora and Edward flee Hitler to Italy only to have Hitler’s friend, Mussolini, come after them. They must escape one of his speeches in the square in Venice and sail to Paris.
In Armistice Plot Herr von Wessel is Hitler’s chief supporter. Edward is trying to trace their correspondence to discover their plans and plots. He must go to von Wessel’s headquarters in Venice to uncover certain papers. Instead he meets Helga von Wessel staring down at him from a painting on the wall.

In the young adult supernatural novel Back to Venice, eighteen year old Alexandra Banks yawns and stretches as she asks her chauffeur where they are. Charles says the Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego. Alexandra thinks it looks like Venice with all the canals, gondolas, and gondoliers in Italian Renaissance and medieval costumes. They were there just last week with her high roller parents. Charles tells her it is California make believe like Disneyland. He points out at sign that advertises gondola rides on the Coronado Cays. But Alexandra isn’t sure when the costumed gondoliers begin to stare at her.

She knows something very strange is going on when she takes a ride in a gondola and steps out into what is obviously Venice. But it is not the Venice of today but of hundreds of years ago. Passers by gawk at her. They are suspicious of her twenty-first century clothes and her cell phone. She is quickly arrested and put on trial for her life as a witch. How did Alexandra get into such a fix to begin with? What is going on? How does she escape? She had better figure it out soon or she may never emerge from the nightmarish Middle Ages and get back to her real life again.

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Venice In Dora Benley Novels:

Dora Benley visits Venice in two very different novels. There is the supernatural young adult novel Back To Venice and the historical thriller in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series called Armistice Plot about World War 1 and Hitler’s rise to power.

In Back to Venice eighteen year old Alexandra Banks yawns and stretches as she asks her chauffeur where they are. Charles says the Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego. Alexandra thinks it looks like Venice with all the canals, gondolas, and gondoliers in Italian Renaissance and medieval costumes. They were there just last week with her high roller parents. Charles tells her it is California make believe like Disneyland. He points out at sign that advertises gondola rides on the Coronado Cays. But Alexandra isn’t sure when the costumed gondoliers begin to stare at her.

She knows something very strange is going on when she takes a ride in a gondola and steps out into what is obviously Venice. But it is not the Venice of today but of hundreds of years ago. Passers by gawk at her. They are suspicious of her twenty-first century clothes and her cell phone. She is quickly arrested and put on trial for her life as a witch. How did Alexandra get into such a fix to begin with? What is going on? How does she escape? She had better figure it out soon or she may never emerge from the nightmarish Middle Ages and get back to her real life again.

The novel Armistice Plot begins at an archaeological site at Carchemish in 1914 as Edward Ware’s father and Leonard Woolley close down their dig in the face of war. As Edward peers into the tent at midnight he sees a dark-robed intruder brushing past the figurine of an ancient Hittite king that he and T.E.Lawrence excavated at Carchemish this summer in 1914.

Is this a spy sent by the Germans to steal the maps Lawrence is sketching for the British military? Edward first encounters the vamp who will haunt the rest of his life prowling among the finds, looking for the military maps that his fellow archaeologist T. E.Lawrence is drawing for the British government.

All during the ensuing Great War Edward must fight to keep the maps secret. Finally during the Battle of Damascus Edward and Lawrence defeat the Turks and make them sue for peace. They will sign the Armistice ending the war. But the vamp, though imprisoned in Damascus, escapes. Edward must chase her down all the way to Venice.

There are hints that she is fleeing to join with the Austrian corporal, Adolf Hitler, who is beginning a new movement in Munich. Signs of a new war appear on the horizon though the first has just come to an end with an Armistice that isn’t worth the paper it is written on.
This is an historical thriller about Edward’s contest to the death first with the German Kaiser and then with Hitler himself. It will determine the woman he will marry and the woman he will not. It will drive him to the brink of madness in a century gone insane.

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Did Pliny’s House Look Like The Getty?

Pliny the Elder obviously lived in what we would call a Governor’s House in Roman Trier. What did such a place look like? None of the original Roman villas survives to this day intact, not in Trier, not in Italy, and not in Great Britain. In such places you don’t usually have more than a few standing columns or perhaps a floor full of mosaics to give you a clue of its former grandeur.

Probably the best example of such a villa nowadays exists in a place that Romans never visited and Romans never dreamed about. Such a villa has been painstakingly reconstructed on the California coast, land of dreams and elaborate reconstructions such as Disneyland and Hollywood.

It is no mere fantasy. In fact, it is an elaborate reconstruction of the villa of Calpurnius Piso, the father-in-law of Julius Caesar and father of Caesar’s last wife, Calpurnia, the one with the dreams and nightmares in Shakespeare’s play. It would be very similar to anything that Pliny would have owned. Both men were intellectuals of their day. Calpurnius Piso was a Stoic philosopher. Pliny the Elder was the author of the Natural History, the first of all encyclopedias in the western tradition.

This California villa was reconstructed by John Paul Getty, the billionaire who had a hobby of collecting Greek and Roman antiquities on a large scale. He wanted to build a place to house them. The Getty Villa opened in 1974. The Los Angeles Times interviewed John Paul Getty. Getty said: “It is fortunate that the United States has one ancient private building which is authentic in spirit. One could say go to Pompeii and Herculaneum and see Roman villas the way they are now — then go to Malibu and see the way they were in ancient times.”

Pliny also owned a villa on the seacoast along the Bay of Naples, so this comparision seems appropriate. It is inspirational to think that Pliny strolled through his peristylium and viewed the classical sculptures you find at the Getty.

Pliny the Elder is a character in two upcoming volumes of the Edward Ware Thriller Series: Old Faithful Plot and Pliny: A Novel.

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Back to Venice Free Kindle Promotion:

For the next five days you can download Back to Venice for free on your Amazon Kindle device or even on your iPhone. Read the time travel novel, Dora Benley’s latest young adult thriller offering. But hurry! This special offer won’t be repeated this year.
Eighteen year old Alexandra Banks yawns and stretches as she asks her chauffeur where they are. Charles says the Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego. Alexandra thinks it looks like Venice with all the canals, gondolas, and gondoliers in Italian Renaissance and medieval costumes. They were there just last week with her high roller parents. Charles tells her it is California make believe like Disneyland. He points out at sign that advertises gondola rides on the Coronado Cays. But Alexandra isn’t sure when the costumed gondoliers begin to stare at her.

She knows something very strange is going on when she takes a ride in a gondola and steps out into what is obviously Venice. But it is not the Venice of today but of hundreds of years ago. Passers by gawk at her. They are suspicious of her twenty-first century clothes and her cell phone. She is quickly arrested and put on trial for her life as a witch. How did Alexandra get into such a fix to begin with? What is going on? How does she escape? She had better figure it out soon or she may never emerge from the nightmarish Middle Ages and get back to her real life again.

If you liked Back to Venice you will enjoy other young adult thrillers by Dora Benley such as Mary’s Gone, King Richard 1: A Novel, Julia: A Novel, Livia: A Novel, and Doom of Egypt.

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