Saturday 24 December 2022

Forthcoming books from Bitter Lemon Press.

 January 2023

Trouble is by Katja Ivar. Helsinki, June 1953, at the heart of the Cold War. Hella, now a reluctant private investigator, has been asked by her former boss at the Helsinki murder squad to do a background check on a member of the Finnish secret services. Not the type of job Hella was hoping for, but she accepts it on the condition that she is given access to the files concerning the roadside death of her father in 1942, at a time when Finland joined forces with Nazi Germany in its attack against the Soviet Union. German troops were sent to Finland, the Gestapo arrived in Helsinki and German influence on local government was strong, including demands for the deportation of local Jews. Colonel Mauzer, his wife and other family members were killed by a truck in a hit and run incident. An accident, file closed, they said. But not for Hella, whose unwelcome investigation leads to some who would prefer to see her stopped dead in her tracks.

February 2023

The attempted robbery of the armoured car in the back streets of Montevideo is a miserable failure. A lucky break for the intrepid Ursula Lopez who manages to snatch all the loot, more hindered than helped by her faint-hearted and reluctant companion Diego. Only now, the wannabe robbers are hot on her heels. As is the police. And Ursula's sister. But Ursula turns out to be enormously talented when it comes to criminal undertakings, and given the hilarious ineptitude of those in pursuit, she might just pull it off. She is an irresistible heroine. A murderess with a sense of humour, a lovable criminal with an edge and she is practically invisible to the men who dominate the deeply macho society of Uruguay. That Hand that Feeds You is by Mercedes Rosende.

March 2023

The Translator is by Harriet Crawley. Moscow 2017. Clive Franklin, a Russian language expert in the Foreign Office, is summoned unexpectedly to Moscow to act as translator for the British Prime Minister. His life is turned on its head when, after more than a decade, he discovers that his former lover, Marina Volina, is now the interpreter to the Russian President. At the embassy, Clive learns of a pending Russian assault on undersea cables linking the US to the UK which would paralyse communications and collapse the Western economy. Marina stuns Clive with the news that she's ready to help the UK to stop the attack, betraying her country for a new identity and a new life. Clive understands that it's a race against time. He becomes the go-between, relaying Marina's intelligence to MI6. He joins Marina as she trains for the Moscow marathon, an excuse to be together and an opportunity to exchange information. What are the odds that two translators, running the Moscow marathon with the FSB on their backs, can save the UK and much of Western Europe from economic meltdown?

May 2023

The Man in the Corduroy Suit is by James Wolff. British spy Leonard Flood is asked to investigate the poisoning in London of Willa Karlsson, a retired British secret service vetting officer suspected of being a Russian agent. British intelligence is terrified by the possibility that Moscow poisoned her upon her retirement since she was no longer useful to them. When Leonard discovers that he is also a suspect in the investigation and that Willa's story is less a story of betrayal than one of friendship, he must decide whether to hand her to her masters or to help her to escape.

June 2023

For Inspector Hunkeler the New Year begins with a most unwelcome phone call. He is summoned back to Basel from his holiday to unravel a gruesome killing in a gardening allotment on the city's outskirts. An old man known as Anton Fluckiger has been shot in the head and found hanging from a butcher's hook from the roof of his garden shed - like butchers hang the carcasses of dead animals. Hunkeler must deal not only with the quarrelsome tenants of the allotment but with the challenges of investigating a murder that has taken place outside his jurisdiction, across the French border in Alsace. The clues lead to the Emmental in Berne, and then events from the last weeks of the Second World War in Alsace come to light, the wounds of which have never healed in the region. The Murder of Anton Livius is by Hansjörg Schneider.

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