This book is published under two titles. "Shadows in the Afternoon by Robert Tyler Stevens and "Katerina's Secret by Mary Jane Staples.
of R.T.Stevens's stories take place before/during WW1. This one was
interesting in that it takes place some years after the end of WW1, and
the hero is an Infantry captain who was discharged after his lungs were
poisoned with gas. He is portrayed as thin, having to walk slowly and
not exert himself so as to not bring on the racking coughs and painful
gasping of breath. So not your typical hero material. Yet, he is very
kind and is described as having a firm mouth and lovely eyes and
generally cheerful disposition.
Through the friendship of the
hotel proprietress's daughter, Edward meets a woman who is desperate for
companionship and surprisingly old fashioned. She lives in a villa
behind high walls, locked gates and never appears in public. Her only
company is a "Dr.Kandor", a housekeeper and gardener. She calls herself
"Katrina", a Bulgarian refugee.
Edward Somers accepts this story
at first but as attempts are made on the Countess's life, he starts
suspecting the truth of her identity...and her Russian royal family.
book is a leisurely read, there's excitement but not of the intense
'I'm not going to sleep tonight' type. But I really enjoyed it. The
cover is hideous but you need to ignore that (or buy the book under the
other title). Loving all things Romanov and R T Steven's writing style
in general I give this book 4 stars.
VIOLENCE: Pretty Mild
PROFANITY: Mild to Non-existant
MY RATING: G