A dying man recounts the story of the most amazing person he has ever met, a brilliant, Soviet linguist whom he calls Youriko. It is a tale of love, daring-do, spies and danger set in Japan, Germany, Turkey, the USA, Canada and the UK, but mostly in the Soviet Union of the Seventies.
Two girls, born thousands of miles apart in Kazakhstan and Japan just after World War II, meet and are like peas in a pod. They also get on like sisters and keep n touch for the rest of their lives.
However, one wants to help her battle-scarred country and the other wants to leave hers for the West. They dream up a daring, dangerous plan to achieve both goals, which Andropov, the chief of the Soviet KGB, is told about. He dubs it Operation Youriko and it is set in motion, but does it have even the remotest chance of success?
Andropov’s Cuckoo is based on a ‘true story’ related to the author by one of the protagonists.
The story starts with William, an octogenarian widower, who misses his wife terribly, in a sanctuary in southern Spain. He is waiting to die and is looking forward to it in order to be reunited with his wife Youriko. He does not have long, but decides that his brave wife's story should be told, although she would not allow it when she was alive.
First we meet a Japanese family that was caught up in the blast at Hiroshima, and then we meet their daughter, Youriko, who has been radicalised against the American occupying forces.
Next we meet a Soviet, Kazakhstani family, who were also involved in the war. The wife is a government agent who stirs the workers in her area to produce more, and we meet her daughter.
Through the Japanese Communist Party visits to the area, the Russian and the Japanese families meet and get on. The girls especially. In fact, they actually look alike too.
The girls hatch a plan to switch lives, though the Japanese girl sees no future in the USSR. She wants to go to America.
The switch is made, and The Russian girl, now known as Youriko takes a job in the Japanese Foreign Office. Then she moves to the Diplomatic Corps, all the while spying for her boss Andropov, the head of the KGB.
She falls from grace when she becomes disillusioned with her work and tries to escape to see her double, who is now in Canada. She is captured and held in the dreaded Lubyanka prison, before she is given a show trial and sent to a camp.
When she gets out, Andropov takes pity on her and sets her up as the boss of a 'honey trap' spy ring. While doing this job, she falls in love with a British exchange student, and spends the rest of the book fleeing the country on horseback through the Caucasus into Turkey, where she hands herself over to the British Embassy.
After a thorough debriefing, she is allowed to remain in the UK, so she goes to surprise the love of her life during a class.
Youriko and William live a long life together in Andalusia, until she dies.
The last chapter of the book sees him dying and calling his wife's name as she stands before him welcoming him back into her arms.
The doctor is the one who finds the manuscript and gets it published.
“A smart, deep, black magic carnie noir existential bloodbath” from the acclaimed author of Boon (Gemma Files, Shirley Jackson Award–winning author). In the shadow of World War II, the barren, dusty streets of Litchfield, Arkansas, are even quieter than usual, leaving hotel detective George “Jojo” Walker with too much time to struggle with his own personal demons. But everything changes when a traveling picture show comes to town. The film’s purveyors check into the hotel where Jojo works and set up a special midnight screening at the local theater. The curtain rises on a surreal carnival of dark magic and waking nightmares, starring Jojo and the residents of Litchfield, as madness, murder, and mayhem threaten to engulf them all . . . “A stunner of a story . . . Flat-out brilliant . . . Unfolds like petals of an exotic and scandalous black flower—each one gently opening to give the reader a distressing revelation . . . Powerful ideas, wrapped in a dark mantle of horror.” —My Haunted Library “If you like pulpy noir with a dose of existentialism mixed with some utterly bizarre horror, this book is for you.” —Fangoria “Genre mash-ups like this one are difficult to execute, but Kurtz navigates it deftly, with writing so visceral and evocative it feels less like reading a book and more like watching a film in real time.” —Literary Hub “While it echoes with the shadowy threatening of Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and the religious dread of Hjortsberg’s Falling Angel, the clearest voice here is Kurtz’s own cry into the existential abyss.” —Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain Home
In pursuit of the find of a lifetime, an academic confronts an old rival. Once visited by the likes of Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, and George Eliot, the London Library is a maze of books—a jumble of first editions and forgotten texts. For Tony, it is a refuge from the failure his life has become—and it is about to be invaded by a destructive old friend. Adam is a world-renowned novelist who spends so much time writing articles and appearing in documentaries that it seems impossible he actually has time to write books. He visits the library to research a nearly-forgotten English poet, Francis Youlgreave, who just happens to be Tony’s obsession. Tony has staked his career on the long-dead clergyman, and will do whatever it takes to keep Adam from stealing his research. In this ghostly library, scholarly conflict is anything but academic. The Bibliomysteries are a series of short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors.
The sixth book in the Poppy McGuire cozy mystery series!
In the middle of a late summertime heatwave, a woman Poppy interviewed for an article on paganism is found with a dagger buried in her chest in the woods out near Alex's house. Initially, Stephen and Craig are given the case, but when Derek determines that this murder shouldn't be their first big case together, Alex and Poppy are brought in to help.
But Stephen has never liked Poppy, and tensions quickly begin to run high between the two sets of partners. The Sunset Ridge police force can't afford to have infighting if they want to solve this case before a fear of witches takes hold in town.
It doesn't take long before everyone reaches their breaking point and Alex wonders if he will be a Sunset Ridge police officer for much longer. Life is about to change for him and Poppy, but will that change mean the end of his time in town?
The fourth book in the Poppy McGuire cozy mystery series!
Poppy and Alex come up against their toughest case yet, and they may never be the same again.
When someone close to both Poppy and Alex is found brutally murdered, all the clues point to Alex as the killer. But Poppy knows in her heart that her partner could never commit such a heinous crime. As the evidence begins to mount against him, Poppy must race against the clock to prove that the man she trusts with her very life isn’t the murderer, even as everyone around her is convinced of his guilt.
But if Alex isn’t the killer, who is? As the mystery unravels, the past and present finally meet in Sunset Ridge.
MURDER IN THE MANOR (A LACEY DOYLE COZY MYSTERY—BOOK 1) is the debut novel in a charming new cozy mystery series by Fiona Grace.
Lacey Doyle, 39 years old and freshly divorced, needs a drastic change. She needs to quit her job, leave her horrendous boss and New York City, and walk away from the fast life. Making good on her childhood promise to herself, she decides to walk away from it all, and to relive a beloved childhood vacation in the quaint English seaside town of Wilfordshire.
Wilfordshire is exactly as Lacey remembers it, with its ageless architecture, cobblestone streets, and with nature at its doorstep. Lacey doesn’t want to go back home—and spontaneously, she decides to stay, and to give her childhood dream a try: she will open her own antique shop.
Lacey finally feels that her life is taking a step in the right direction—until her new star customer turns up dead.
As the newcomer in town, all eyes are on Lacey, and it’s up to her to clear her own name.
With a business to run, a next-door neighbor turned nemesis, a flirty baker across the street, and a crime to solve – is this new life all that Lacey thought it would be?
Book #2 in the series—DEATH AND A DOG—is also available for preorder!
An ancient scroll draws a bookseller into a chilling mystery. Monty Danforth finds the tin buried beneath a shipment of leather-bound classics. Inside is a millennia-old vellum manuscript written in an unfamiliar but unmistakably ancient language. Danforth tries to photocopy and photograph it, but he ends up with blank images, as though the ink were made of something impervious to modern technology. As the scroll’s mystery enchants him, this hapless bookseller falls into a cutthroat conspiracy that he may never escape. Soon a dead-eyed old man and his granddaughter come calling for the scroll. Danforth refuses to sell them the manuscript, but they will not be the last to demand it. Powerful forces crave the secrets locked within this ancient document, and Danforth will survive only if he can master its power.The Bibliomysteries are a series of short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors.
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