Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms

  • by Paul Willetts
  • Narrated by Jon Glover
  • 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms provides the first comprehensive account of what was once hailed by a leading American newspaper as the greatest spy story of World War II.
This dramatic yet little-known saga, replete with telephone taps, kidnappings, and police surveillance, centres on the furtive escapades of Tyler Kent, a handsome, womanising 28-year-old Ivy League graduate who doubles as a US embassy code clerk and Soviet agent.
Against the backdrop of London high society during the so-called Phoney War, Kent's life intersects with the lives of the book's two other memorably flamboyant protagonists. One of those is Maxwell Knight, an urbane, endearingly eccentric MI5 spyhunter. The other is Anna Wolkoff, a White Russian fashion designer and Nazi spy whose outfits are worn by the Duchess of Windsor and whose parents are friends of the British royal family.
Wolkoff belongs to a fascist secret society called the Right Club, which aims to overthrow the British government. Her romantic entanglement with Tyler Kent gives her access to a secret correspondence between President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, a correspondence that has the potential to transform the outcome of the war.
An engrossing real-life WWII espionage thriller, perfect for fans of Ben Macintyre.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Exciting spy non-fiction

Paul Willetts has chosen a gripping topic, has researched it meticulously, and unfolded its intricacies in a very clever and readable way. He keeps the lead characters’ narratives separate, tantalisingly divulging information about them in short discrete segments. Tension builds as it all starts to come together - by the end I couldn’t switch off, so keen was I to know whether there would be any arrests and, if so, who. Like all good stories, there are a few surprises at the end. There is a large cast of diverse characters, action in diverse settings, and undercurrents of patriotism and prejudice, treachery and loyalty, and deception in many guises. Pre-war and war-time London are depicted in all their starkness, with people adapting to shifting threat levels and the ever-present demands of shortages and restrictions. Willetts knows how to pace a story, and he has some gem turns of phrase (as well as a few clunkers like ‘time flowing as unwillingly as cold béchamel sauce’). Jon Glover does a commendable job – voice and accent well matched to the subject and pretty good with most of the accents (although, like so many English narrators, he pronounces the first syllable of Roosevelt as ‘rooz’ instead of ‘rose’ which becomes more than irritating when FDR is mentioned so many times). 'Rendezvous' is a riveting read, and I look forward to more by Paul Willetts.
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- Robyn "Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-01-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios