After solving her previous case in England and barely
surviving, Alexis (Lexie) Smith has returned to Sacramento
and her detective agency, Discreet Inquiries. Lexie is an
honest, straightforward young woman, possessing nerves of
steel and a sincere desire to help anyone who needs it.
While Lexie was gone, her room at Mrs. Snidely's
Establishment for Young Ladies was rented out to someone
else and her possessions put in storage. When she goes to
retrieve her items, Mrs. Snidely tells Lexie about the new
tenant, who claims to be a Russian ballerina and a defector
from the Bolshoi Ballet. After meeting the ballerina and
her brother, Lexie is not convinced of their story.
Determined to protect Mrs. Snidely, Lexie investigates the
two shady characters and soon finds herself in danger. But
Lexie is an intelligent detective and is able to bring
about a positive conclusion to the case.
When Lexie's close friend, Inspector Harry Hawkins of
Scotland Yard, contacts her for help concerning a strange
case he's working on, she's intrigued enough to journey to
London to assist him. Again, she's dealing with Russians.
An exiled count claiming to be the nephew of the late Tzar
Nicholas II has taken up residence in Oxfordshire with his
young American bride, who seems not to be adjusting well to
life as a Russian countess. She's been causing problems for
Scotland Yard, and Harry thinks Lexie is the perfect person
to figure out what the Russians are up to on the secluded
estate. Lexie becomes entailed completely in the young
bride's dilemma and is determined to help her. The deeper
Lexie investigates the count and countess, the more she
knows things are not right. Then a murder takes place, and
Lexie finds herself again in peril. Will she be able to
survive this case or not?
Set in the 1940s following WWII, RUSSIAN ROULETTE is an
engaging addition to this historical cozy mystery series by
E. E. Smith. The plot moves quickly in a short, fast
read. Smart and levelheaded Lexie is a likable, yet
formidable, young woman, who's a better detective than most
men she deals with in the time period.
Back in Sacramento again, where the sign on the door of her
detective agency reads ALEXIS J. SMITH – Discreet Inquiries,
Lexie finds that her old room at Mrs. Snidely’s
Establishment for Young Ladies (a fancy name for a
boardinghouse_ has been let to someone else while she was
away on a case in England. The new tenant is supposedly a
ballerina, and a defector from the Russian Bolshoi, seeking
political asylum in this country. But is she? Lexie doubts
the story and begins to investigate, determined to get at
the truth while ignoring the danger to herself.
With the case successfully concluded, she is free
to accept another assignment from her friend Inspector Harry
Hawkins at Scotland Yard. The case sounds bizarre from the
beginning, but gets more so with each turn of events. It
seems that a Russian count, a nephew of the late Tzar
Nicholas II, is living in exile in Oxfordshire, with his
young American bride. In Harry’s opinion, the countess is
more than a little mad, demanding that Scotland Yard recover
her dog, a Russian wolfhound, which she claims has been
stolen by – of all people – Humphrey Bogart! It will take
all of Lexie’s skill and unflinching determination to
connect the dots, right up to the deadly conclusion.