A tense and enthralling historical thriller in which British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming attempts to foil a Nazi plot to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.
November, 1943. Weary of his deskbound status in the Royal Navy, intelligence officer Ian Fleming spends his spare time spinning stories in his head that are much more exciting than his own life…until the critical Tehran Conference, when Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin meet to finalize the D-Day invasion.
With the Big Three in one place, Fleming is tipped off that Hitler’s top assassin has infiltrated the conference. Seizing his chance to play a part in a real-life action story, Fleming goes undercover to stop the Nazi killer. Between martinis with beautiful women, he survives brutal attacks and meets a seductive Soviet spy who may know more than Fleming realizes. As he works to uncover the truth and unmask the assassin, Fleming is forced to accept that betrayal sometimes comes from the most unexpected quarters—and that one’s literary creations may prove eerily close to one’s own life.
Brilliantly inventive, utterly gripping and suspenseful, Too Bad to Die is Francine Mathews’s best novel yet, and confirms her place as a master of historical fiction.
Mathews (Jack 1939) delivers a literate and sophisticated what-if historical thriller. In 1943, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gather in Tehran, where the ostensible allies must find common ground in the fight against Nazi Germany, despite their mutual mistrust. Alan Turing, the head of Britain's secret Enigma project, discovers that a German operative known as the Fencer plans to murder all three leaders during the conference, but Turing is able to offer relatively few clues to the Fencer's identity. The burden of foiling the German agent falls to future James Bond creator Ian Fleming, a Naval Intelligence officer who's frustrated at having been relegated to desk duty. Fleming's task is made even more daunting when his superiors view his warning with some skepticism. Mathews makes the historical figures come to life, and even though readers know the Fencer doesn't succeed, they will be caught up in suspense reminiscent of Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal.