It's 1975 in London, and Emma Stonehouse is cruising towards the end of her first year of studying politics in London, to be followed by a summer of parties, protests and music. She's part of a radical political group, and she means to prove she’s got the guts to be a serious activist. Emma's at loggerheads with her dad Ralph, a senior intelligence bureaucrat in Whitehall, and she's had enough of home life in genteel Surrey.
But Ralph is being blackmailed by colleague Donald Waters. Tortured by his dirty little secret, he has shut Emma and his wife Susan out of his life. When Emma makes her token act of political insurrection, she has no idea of the possible implications: Ralph’s career implodes, and a clandestine sting operation is thrown into peril. Ralph is packed off to the family holiday home in Malta, ostensibly to recover from a breakdown.
Meanwhile, Egyptian-Armenian exile Pierre Farag is hired to salvage the operation, which involves gun running from Libya to the Provisional IRA. He's languishing in London with his wife Zouzou having fled Cairo after a failed espionage operation engineered by Donald Waters. Pierre will take on the role of enigmatic arms dealer Cornelius Lamine to penetrate Colonel Gaddafi’s stronghold.
The action moves to a clapped-out coastal steamer en route from Malta to Libya. As the sting operation stumbles from disaster to catastrophe, Emma, Ralph and Pierre are flung into a maelstrom of deception and mortal danger.
Inspired by the real-life story of arms smuggling from Libya to the Provisional IRA in the seventies, Bury me in Valletta has enough quirky twists to delight readers of Kate Quinn, Philip Kerr, and Lara Prescott.