The Resource Too bad to die, Francine Mathews

Too bad to die, Francine Mathews

Label
Too bad to die
Title
Too bad to die
Statement of responsibility
Francine Mathews
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
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
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • In November 1943, three world leaders (Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt) meet at the Tehran Conference to iron out the details for the D-Day invasion that, they hope, will bring an end to WWII. But the conference—and, by extension, the fate of the free world—is threatened when a British intelligence officer learns that one of Hitler’s assassins has been dispatched to the conference. The intelligence officer springs into action, going undercover to find and stop the assassin. The officer’s name: Ian Fleming. Set a decade before Fleming’s fictional superspy, James Bond, made his literary debut, this is a rousing adventure—not a pastiche of a Bond novel with Fleming substituted for 007, but rather a well-plotted military thriller with a story that feels like it could have happened. Mathews’ portrayal of Fleming feels dead-on accurate, and she has some fun showing us the (supposed) real-world origins of some of Bond’s fictional attributes. Another excellent blending of fact and fiction from the author of Jack 1939 (2002), in which a young JFK takes a turn at spying. -- Pitt, David (Reviewed 02-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 11, p28)
  • /* Starred Review */ 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 . Agent: Raphael Sagalyn, Sagalyn Literary Agency. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed January 26, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 04, p)
  • Mathews (who also writes as Stephanie Barron) continues her interest in World War II espionage (after Jack 1939 ) with this thriller involving the fictional exploits of a young Ian Fleming as he tries to derail an assassination plot involving Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin. The three world leaders gather in Tehran to decide on the next move in the fight against the Nazis. Fleming, who is the personal assistant to the director of naval intelligence, is responsible for planning this important, secret meeting. He is helped by his boarding school friend Michael Hudson, who is now part of the OSS. Working with Alan Turing, Fleming uncovers information about a possible attack on the three men, and the narrative takes off, as suspicions are cast on everyone from Pamela Churchill (Winston's daughter-in-law) to Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the uncrowned empress of China. VERDICT Fleming is a complex character with an active imagination and a store of hidden courage. Replete with recognizable characters from history, this look at a crucial period of World War II will satisfy history buffs and mystery lovers alike. [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/14.]— Terry Lucas, Rogers Memorial Lib., Southampton, NY --Terry Lucas (Reviewed December 1, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 20, p95)
  • If the title sounds reminiscent of a James Bond novel, it's no coincidence, for Mathews freely makes use of Ian Fleming's World War II experience as an intelligence officer in Cairo and Tehran to create adventures in espionage and counterespionage.A brief prologue establishes some significant facts about Fleming's early life—that his father died a hero in the Great War, for example, and that his mother was far fonder of Ian's brother, Peter. At an elite English prep school, Ian befriends American Michael Hudson and establishes the "Too Bad Club," supposedly for those who are too bad to die. Skip ahead 26 years. Fleming has re-established his friendship with Hudson, and they're both stationed in Cairo. Hudson's job is vague but has something to do with Lend-Lease, while Fleming is involved in tracking down a spy known only as the Fencer, who's in league with another spy called the Kitten. Mathews weaves a substantial and intricate tale involving an abundance of historical characters, including Stalin (crude), Churchill (wary) and Roosevelt (nervous), who are attending the Cairo and Tehran conferences in late November and early December 1943. Even more prominent in the action are Churchill's wild daughter-in-law Pamela Digby Churchill—already involved with both Averell Harriman and Edward R. Murrow—Chiang Kai-shek and his cynical but commanding wife, May-Ling, and Alan Turing, the eccentric but brilliant scientist working on the Enigma machine to decode Nazi transmissions. Fleming lays the groundwork for his later success as a novelist by taking on the name—and to some extent, the persona—of James Bond, for he begins to introduce himself in this sly and suave way, and his adventures become increasingly dangerous the closer he gets to the Fencer.Mathews writes well, keeps the pace brisk and has great fun re-creating historical personages.(Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10402636
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Mathews, Francine
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Fleming, Ian
  • World War, 1939-1945
Target audience
adult
Label
Too bad to die, Francine Mathews
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A novel"--Cover
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xvi, 348 pages
Isbn
9781594631795
Lccn
2014017323
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Label
Too bad to die, Francine Mathews
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A novel"--Cover
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xvi, 348 pages
Isbn
9781594631795
Lccn
2014017323
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n

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