Slim Moran is the only daughter of a rakish Irish movie star. After a classical private school and college education, World War II is over and Slim finds herself working for the Red Cross in Paris. There she falls in love with a concentration camp survivor, and in 1949 after the Red Cross shuts down she opens her private investigator service to continue searching for people lost during the war.
An SOE executive from London shows up at Slim's door looking for the last radio operator she sent behind enemy lines. A wartime friend evidently betrayed her, and the executive needs Slim to figure out who, and locate the missing woman before her mother dies. She's convinced the agent lives because someone has been sending cryptic messages using the lost spy's private code.
Jumping between timelines and events in 1942 and 1949, the reader follows along on a thrilling adventure and emotional tightrope. But there's more to the story than just finding a missing spy. Why the spy is missing becomes a critical part of the tale.
A stunning mystery thriller peppered with historical figures, I was happy to nominate The Lost Spy by Kate Moira Ryan during its Kindle Scout campaign. After Amazon's digital imprint awarded the title a publishing contract, I received a free copy.
Five out of five stars. Recommended. Readper.com
From the Inside Flap
As the only child of the feckless Irish movie star Tyrone Moran, she had grown up motherless and, if one looked closely, fatherless as well. So bringing together a lost family struck a deep and primal chord with Slim. So far she had only solved two cases and Slim was bored until the front door opened of the bar she owned with Marlene Dietrich's ex-lover and a short woman in her late forties wearing a smart gray suit walked in.
"I'm looking for the Pitchipoi Agency." The woman took a piece of folded newspaper from her purse and showed Slim the ad: Need to find someone lost during 1940-1945? We can help. Agency Pitchipoi. 37 rue de Sevigne.
"Who do you need to find?" Slim asked as she motioned
"During the war, I was part of the Special Operations Executive, the SOE, stationed out of London. I was in charge of thirty-eight women who were sent into France as couriers and wireless operators."
"You ran spies into France who were women?" Slim was impressed and also relieved that this was not going to be a run-of-the-mill missing-spouse case.
"I sent thirty-eight women into France. Twelve did not return. After the war, I promised their families I would find out what happened to them. I have tracked down eleven of them."
"But not the twelfth?"
The woman pulled an envelope out of her purse, opened it and took out a snapshot.
"I need you to find out what happened to Marya Vyrubova. She was picked up by the Gestapo in February of 1943. That's all I can prove, but I must find Marya. Her mother is dying. She wants to know what happened to her daughter."
"Surely, she must be dead." Slim looked at the snapshot of the young woman in uniform.
"It's been almost five years since the war ended."
"Someone has been calling and transmitting messages in Morse code to me over the telephone." When Slim didn't respond, Miss Chapman read her mind. "You think I'm mad, but I'm not."
"What do those messages say?"
"They say, 'You promised you would find me. Now keep your word.' It's Marya. And I need her to be found."
""A stunning mystery thriller peppered with historical figures. Five out of five stars." Readper.com