cover image Treason in the Secret City: A Libby Clark Mystery

Treason in the Secret City: A Libby Clark Mystery

Diane Fanning. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8615-6

At the outset of Fanning’s clunky sequel to 2014’s Scandal in the Secret City, Libby Clark, a chemist who’s part of a secret government program in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to enrich uranium, is awakened one night in the spring of 1944 by one of her colleagues, Marvin Gray. The bashful Marvin, a fellow member of a select group of do-gooding scientists called the Walking Molecules, confides that a cousin of his, Frannie Snowden, who works as a switchboard operator at Oak Ridge, has been accused of giving secrets to the enemy. Convinced of Frannie’s innocence, Marvin asks Libby to help clear Frannie’s name by investigating the man who duped Frannie into participating in seditious acts. Things turn grim when Marvin goes missing. Dodging the authorities while hiding Frannie and trying to winkle out a spy leads to disastrous results for Libby and the Walking Molecules assisting her. An interesting setting is unable to rescue the story from its unconvincing plot, cardboard characters, and stilted dialogue. [em]Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich. (Aug.) [/em]