A Deceptive Devotion (A Lane Winslow Mystery)

Written by Iona Whishaw
Review by G. J. Berger

Lane Winslow, raised in Latvia, is fluent in both English and Russian. After a stint in the UK spy services, she has “retired” to the natural beauty of King’s Cove, British Columbia. Now Lane wants only to work on her wedding to the local constable, named Darling.

In 1947, Vancouver and nearby territory are a magnet for Russians on the run from or chasing other Russians. Grandmotherly Countess Orlova, knowing not a word of English, arrives in Nelson to look for her long-lost brother. Orlova solicits Lane to help—and pulls Lane back into her past of double agents and treachery. Soon after Orlova’s arrival, a local hunter turns up deep in the woods with his throat slit, his rifle missing, and his horse spooked. A Russian lies dead in the Vancouver morgue of no apparent cause. Another older high-level Russian spy, Aptekar, makes his way from a gulag transport train to Canada and adds more complications.

Lane and Darling take the lead in getting to the bottom of the multiple puzzles—while trying not to interfere with each other and keep their wedding plans on track.

Whishaw knows the land, the language, and the people. She gives readers many interesting characters—Countess Orlova and Aptekar are two of the best. The plot lines play out from the late 1800s to 1947 in about 150 scenes that jump from King’s Cove and nearby Nelson to Moscow, London, Vladivostok, Vancouver, Ottawa, and places in between. But all the threads come together with considerable surprises and twists. Fans of Whishaw and Winslow will enjoy this 6th in the Lane Winslow Mysteries.