cover image The Deadly Embrace

The Deadly Embrace

Robert Mrazek, . . Viking, $24.95 (274pp) ISBN 978-0-670-03478-9

Navy veteran and former New York congressman Mrazek (Stonewall's Gold ; Unholy Fire ) sets his latest historical mystery in blitz-ravaged London as it unknowingly serves as a strategic staging ground for D-Day. Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower and his staff are putting the finishing touches on Operation Overlord—the long-awaited invasion of France—whose details are perhaps "the most important secret" of the war. Among those charged with keeping the secret from the Germans are Women's Army Corps Lt. Elizabeth (Liza) Marantz, a brilliant forensic pathologist and " 'stunningly beautiful girl," and her boss Maj. Sam Taggart, a former New York City homicide detective. Before you can say June 6, corpses of attractive young women with access to top secret information begin turning up. Liza and Taggart set out to discover if the murders have any connection to the invasion plan, but no one wants them to succeed: British authorities meddle with evidence, and their own bosses take them off the case. Mrazek vividly evokes the mood of a war-weary England, and Liza is a refreshing if occasionally naïve heroine. While most of the secondaries are broad stroke, and the plot and the pacing are uneven, Mrazek plans and executes a clever entertainment. (Feb.)