Books: Who Saw Land First?

THE VELVET DOUBLET (351 pp.)—James Sfreet—Doubleday ($3.50).

"I am almost sixteen," I said. "A man's age in Andalusia."

"I, too, will soon be sixteen," she said. "A woman's age in any land."

Historical fiction addicts should be able to take it from there. And James Street, a veteran drugstore romancer, will help them along, for he has stuffed The Velvet Doublet with a raucous blend of heroics, villainy, historical eavesdropping and heaving bosoms.

Lepe grew up at the end of the 15th century, when Europe dreamed of a sea route to India. He had been sent to a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!