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,which challenges conventional wisdom about Home Front unity and about the Anglo-American relationship, is replete with telephone taps, kidnappings, and police surveillance. It centres on the furtive escapades of Tyler Kent, a handsome, womanising 28-year-old Ivy League graduate, employed as a US Embassy code clerk, first in Moscow and then in London.

Against the opulent backdrop of British high society during the so-called Phoney War, Kent not only steals vast quantities of top secret US government documents but he also embarks on a series of overlapping relationships with glamorous women, among them Helen Mirren’s aunt. Before long, his escapades bring him into contact with the equally colourful lives of the book's two other flamboyant protagonists.

One of those is Maxwell Knight, an urbane MI5 spyhunter whose many eccentricities include taking his pet bear-cub for walks through the streets of Chelsea. The third member of this memorably idiosyncratic trio is Anna Wolkoff, a famous White Russian fashion designer-turned-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 and, in doing so, change the entire course of twentieth-century history.


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