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~ During recent months it's been necessary to re-read a number of books, among them crime novels by Donna Leon set in Venice, Italy. While reading I was surprised to notice Montblanc fountain pens mentioned in four of her novels. • Death in a Strange Country (1993) in Chapter 8 when Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta signs papers • Death and Judgment (1995) in Chapter 3 with Avvocato Trevisan makes calculations • Acqua Alta (1996) in Chapter 4 when Vice-Questore Patta is described as using his Montblanc Meisterstück • Wilful Behavior (2002) in Chapter 22 when Commissario Guido Brunetti's friend Marco Erizzo uses a Montblanc with purple ink Are Montblanc fountain pens frequently mentioned by contemporary fiction authors? If so, I wasn't aware of it until now. Had I read more widely perhaps this wouldn't have surprised me. Tom K.