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Lipstick and Lies    by Margit Liesche Amazon.com order for
Lipstick and Lies
by Margit Liesche
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Lipstick and Lies is an intriguing story of betrayal, espionage, war, mystery and death. It's based on the true story of a countess, Grace Buchanan-Dineen, who became a counterspy for the United States, and was imprisoned with her co-spies. This fictionalized version tells her story and that of others who tried to plan an all-scale attack on the United States during World War II.

Interested in women's place in the war effort, Margit Liesche weaves her tale of secret agent Pucci Lewis and her part in putting down the Axis plot in the United States. Pucci is a ferry pilot, moving planes over the country, thus leaving men free to fight the war abroad. When she segues into undercover work, she finds that friendship doesn't transcend politics.

The rendering of the times is well-done, down to the fashions, hairdos, social life, and the attitudes of civilians during wartime. This is a first effort for the author, daughter of Hungarian refugees. The plot is well-planned but a bit ponderous at times. I liked Pucci but the other characters never took on reality for me. That said, Lipstick and Lies is an interesting story and worth the read.

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