by Silver, Mitch

The discovery of a human arm bone with a rusty handcuff attached to the wrist at a London construction site prompts Russian historian Lara "the Bookworm" Klimt to investigate a secret World War II operation and prevent a present-day international conspiracy.

A Russian professor of geopolitical history, Lara Klimt, known to friends as "the bookworm" for her obsession with research, becomes the focus of deadly attention after acquiring six Dictaphone cylinders containing WWII secrets recorded by Noel Coward, who did espionage work for Winston Churchill during the war. Lara's small world of archives and classes changes abruptly as she realizes that Coward's revelations extend into today's world and a plot hatched by the presidents of the U.S. and Russia. Although the modern-day story is a bit far-fetched, the historical frame, including an alternate view of why Germany turned its wartime focus from England to the USSR, proves fascinating; the pace is agreeably fast; and the intelligent, capable Klimt makes an engaging lead character. Readers might also like Lucy Ribchester's The Amber Shadows and William Christie's A Single Spy, both 2017. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

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