— From Javier's Picks
Set in Buenos Aires during the 1966 Argentine Revolution, Who Is Vera Kelly? follows an intrepid young CIA operative put in charge of infiltrating a group of Marxist college students, armed with only a recording device and her instinctive wits about her. Rosalie Knecht paints a tense Buenos Aires vividly, while presenting Vera's origin story in vignettes throughout the novel, from teenage rebellion in Maryland to sexual self discovery in underground Brooklyn jazz clubs as a closeted lesbian. The end result is a cold war novel worthy of a spot next to Le Carre, Furst and Ambler on any bookshelf and will have you wondering what's next for Vera Kelly.
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Finally, a female spy who’s not a Mata Hari knockoff! A smart, twisty tale for any lover of the spy genre. Move over Le Carré, Furst, and all others in this male-dominated field, you have company.”
— Pete Mock, McIntyre's Books, Pittsboro, NC
June 2018 Indie Next List
“Who is Vera Kelly? Find out in this twisty, turny spy thriller set in 1960s Argentina as Vera, working for the CIA, becomes stuck in the country during a hostile takeover. Through flashbacks, we learn about Vera’s past and the forces that worked together to create this devilishly smart, very sexy woman. The book reads like the love child of John le Carré and Rita Mae Brown. I loved Vera immensely, even more so as the plot progressed and the threats became deadlier. What a fun read and what a terrific character! I can’t wait for the next installment.”
— William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA.
Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams.
When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself. An exhilarating page turner and perceptive coming-of-age story, Who Is Vera Kelly? introduces an original, wry and whip-smart female spy for the twenty-first century.