Books: Malefactress

ANY FOUR WOMEN COULD ROB THE BANK OF ITALY

by Ann Cornelisen; Holt, Rinehart & Winston; 291 pages; $15.95

"Men might be cerebral," muses one female crook, "but not about women." With a dash of irony and a hint of irreverence, Ann Cornelisen puts that theory to the test in her puckish new novel. Determined to tease men out of their cozy gallantry, and also to expose Italy's rococo inefficiency, a sextet of foreign women in a sleepy Tuscan village decide to rob a local mail train. Plotting the crime as if it were a script, they...

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