A Girl, Undaunted

Patricia Craig at The Dublin Review of Books:

This is a novel about double-dealing, about honourable and dishonourable forms of duplicity, about multiple impersonations, about lies and secrets and their ultimate consequences. Juliet is soon provided with an alternative identity ‑ Iris Carter-Jenkins is her bogus name ‑ and sent to infiltrate a fascist organisation known as the Right Club. This club holds its meetings in a flat above a cafe in South Kensington called the Russian Tea Rooms, which is run by an Admiral Wolkoff and his daughter Anna. The young transcriber has been upgraded to a full-blown MI5 agent, and adopts a mettlesome personality to go with her new role. “She had already decided that Iris Carter-Jenkins was a gutsy kind of girl.”  Gutsy enough to carry a small gun in her handbag, and keep her nerve in the face of imminent unmasking.

There’s a touch of high jinks about Juliet’s anti-Right-Club activities, and indeed about all her doings at this point, not excluding her romantic interest in her mentor Perry Gibbons, whom she fails to suspect of homosexual leanings, even when these are paraded under her nose. She feels at times as if she’s been caught up in “a Girls’ Own adventure” (actually, a Schoolfriend adventure would be nearer the mark; the Girls’ Own Paper was a rather staid publication); and Buchan and Erskine Childers are never far from her thoughts.

more here.