This book was a great pleasure to read. It feels simple, combining elements of the thriller genre with a coming-of-age tale, all told by a clear-voiced first person narrator. And the sum is greater than its parts. Vera Kelly grew on me, and I finished the book wanting more. Recommended By Doug C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“Gripping, subtle, magnificently written.” — The New York Times Book Review
“Vera Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon — one we hope sticks around long beyond this snappy, intimate debut.” — Entertainment Weekly
New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She’s working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she’s in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she’s forced to take extreme measures to save herself. An exhilarating page turner and perceptive coming-of-age story, Who Is Vera Kelly? introduces an original, wry and whip-smart female spy for the twenty-first century.
“The twisty, literary, woman-driven spy novel you’ve always wanted to read....Dazzling.” Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits With Gun
“Knecht’s novel is a slow-burn espionage thriller, a complex treatment of queer identity, and an immersive period piece all rolled into one delectable page-turner...Vera Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon — one we hope sticks around long beyond this snappy, intimate debut.” Entertainment Weekly
“Thanks to Rosalie Knecht’s clever, hilarious writing, you’ll find yourself wanting everyone you know to read it so that you can discuss together the wholly original, brilliantly subversive character that is Vera Kelly.” NYLON
“Gripping, subtle, magnificently written...This is a cool, strolling boulevardier of a book, worldly, wry, unrushed but never slow, which casts its gaze upon the middle of the last century and forces us to consider how it might be failing us still.” The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Rosalie Knecht is a social worker in New York City and was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She is the translator of César Aira's The Seamstress and the Wind and has been a Center for Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow and a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Argentina. Her debut novel, Relief Map, was published by Tin House Books in 2016.