The Russian Riddle: Stalin’s Deadly Date with Destiny (The first book in The Posse Mystery Series)

It began with injustice—Stalin murdered Ana Cortez’s parents, naïve idealists who got caught up in his purges in the 1930s, and assumed Ana, a doll-like, mysterious Russian expert from Mexico who was thirty-six years his junior, would marry him to produce a communist dynasty to rule the world.  When she flees Moscow, his secret police relentlessly pursue her and peel back one hiding place after another as if opening a Russian nesting doll.  They finally find her in 1953 in a bar in Central Texas.  Stalin, his police, and the Soviet Union were never the same.

5 out of 5 stars

–from NYT best selling author Susan Wittig Albert

The Russian Riddle: Stalin’s Deadly Date with Destiny imagines what would happen if the enigmatic Stalin became obsessed with a young Mexican woman, an expert in Russian geopolitical affairs. This spy thriller braids real people and events into Ana Cortez’s fictional saga to discover the dark, long-hidden secret behind Stalin’s death. Richly detailed, meticulously researched by a writer who knows his way around Russian history and political intrigue.” -Susan Wittig Albert, author of Hemlock

–from the Kirkus Review

“The story is full of intriguing details of the Soviet era; for example, Stalin’s specially made ZIS-115 limousines and the only Catholic Church in Moscow both play parts in the greater tale. The inclusion of lesser-known historical figures, such as Stalin’s murderous secret policeman Iosif Grigulevich, give the work historical depth….some of the more whimsical plot points add interest, as when a feared Russian fighter is felled quite easily in a much-promoted contest. The excitement also picks up as Ana runs toward, and not away from, the bloody quagmire of Stalin’s regime, and readers will become invested in whether she will be able to outwit one of history’s most infamous monsters, even with the help of the U.S. government. An adventurous tale set in the early days of the Cold War.”–Kirkus Review

–from reader reviews from Amazon website

CL. 5.0 out of 5 stars. Fascinating Russian tale. Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2021

“Fascinating story. Clever and fun! It seems like a fantastic expose of Russian history, but the author’s careful and intricate development of the plot, results in a teasingly complicated but plausible tale with no loose ends. I particularly enjoyed the insights into Russian history and diplomacy underlying this story, with perspectives from Mexico and Central Texas cultures. A very enjoyable read, I would like to see the movie.”

Linda. 5.0 out of 5 stars. Suspense. Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2021.

“Just finished your book it was driving me crazy not knowing what would happen next. I felt like I was right there. Loved the character Anna & when introduced to Kelly I didn’t want to put the book down. Love it. I’M excited for the next book.Thank you for taking me to another time & place.”

DS5000. 5.0 out of 5 stars. Suspense, history, and more! Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2021.

“Thoroughly enjoyed The Russian Riddle…a wonderful blend of history, geography, culture and suspense. Very well written, a great read. Looking forward to the next book in the series!”

Elizabeth P. 5.0 out of 5 stars. The Russian Riddle: Stalin’s Deadly Date with Destiny is a captivating, historical fiction. Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2021

“The main character, Ana, is a Russian expert; and has had an unusual obsession with all things Russian since she was a young child. Little did she know then that she would become Stalin’s later obsession for love and marriage. The story unfolds with the murder of Ana’s parents while visiting in Russia; and Ana’s quest to avenge their death and Stalin’s determination to make Ana his bride. Thus the journey begins of espionage and mystery that crosses continents and years. Each page makes the reader want to turn to the next page to see how Ana plays the game to bring Stalin to justice.

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