After a year away from Paris, Kiki Button is delighted to be back in City of Lights. But danger threatens her return as she is pulled into another spy mission—one that brings her ever closer to the rising fascist threat in Europe.
October 1922. Kiki Button has had a rough year at home in Australia after her mother’s sudden death. As the leaves turn gold on the Parisian boulevards, Kiki returns to Europe, more desperately in need of Paris and all its liveliness than ever. As soon as she arrives back in Montparnasse, Kiki takes up her life again, drinking with artists at the Café Rotonde, gossiping with her friends, and finding lovers among the enormous expatriate community. Even her summertime lover from the year before, handsome Russian exile Prince Theo Romanov, is waiting for her.
But it’s not all champagne and moonlit trysts. Theo is worried that his brother-in-law is being led astray by political fanatics. Kiki’s boy from home, Tom, is still hiding under a false name. Her friends are in trouble—Maisie has been blackmailed and looks for revenge, Bertie is still lovesick and lonely, and Harry has important information about her mother. And to top it off, she is found by Dr. Fox, her former spymaster, who insists that she work for him once more.
Amidst the gaiety of 1920s Paris, Kiki stalks the haunted, the hunted, and people still heartsore from the war. She parties with princes and Communist comrades, she wears ballgowns with Chanel and the Marchesa Casati, she talks politics with Hemingway and poetry with Sylvia Beach, and sips tea with Gertrude Stein. She confronts the men who would bring Europe into another war. And as she uses her gossip columnist connections for her mission, she also meets people who knew her mother, and can help to answer her burning question: why did her mother leave England all those years ago?
Lunney's alluring sequel to 2018's April in Spring, 1921 finds Kiki Button, who spied for the Allies during WWI, back in Paris after a trip home to Australia to bury the mother she never really knew. Under the auspices of writing a gossip column for a London newspaper, Kiki hobnobs with displaced princes, communists, and such real-life notables as Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, and Gertrude Stein. Meanwhile, the mysterious Dr. Fox, her former spymaster, blackmails her into working for him one more time with incriminating photos of a lover of hers who may have spied for the Germans. At the heart of the novel, though, is Kiki's desire to learn more about her distant mother, who led a much different and more enlightened life when visiting Paris. The key lies in locating a missing diary her mother kept. The many connections to the first book may baffle readers new to the series, but fans of historical spy novels will enjoy getting lost in these richly imagined pages. Lunney is a writer to watch.