Lipstick and Lies

Written by Margit Liesche
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Pucci Lewis, a young Women’s Airforce Service Pilot doing home front service during World War II, needs Amelia Earhart’s saddle shoes for luck as she emerges from her B-24 and stumbles onto a corpse. Her first undercover assignment in the Office of Strategic Services is underway.

Pucci goes to jail to get close to a famous triple agent who led a German spy ring that operated in Detroit: the bogus “Countess” Grace Buchanan-Dineen. Our heroine’s ally is dreamboat FBI agent Dante, who ratchets up her assignment to include breaking and entering an aircraft factory and infiltrating a posh women’s club to investigate two wealthy sisters and their connection to the infamous countess. Everyone isn’t what he or she first appears, and Pucci gets her perceptions shaken and her loyalty betrayed as she approaches closer to the plot to bring down America from its heartland.

Liesche’s confident heroine and breezy style both start strong, but later become enmeshed in an over-complicated plot suffering from too much back story and a series of unfortunate anachronisms in period detail, like clear plastic containers, makeovers, and being told to remain together on the same page and watch body language.