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Mary Anna Evans. The Traitor Beside Her (Sourcebooks, $16.99).
The Traitor Beside Her is an intricately plotted WWII espionage novel weaving together mystery, action, friendship, and a hint of romance perfect for fans of The Rose Code and Code Name Helene.
Justine Byrne can't trust the people working beside her. Arlington Hall, a former women's college in Virginia has been taken over by the United States Army where hundreds of men and women work to decode countless pieces of communication coming from the Axis powers.
Justine works among them, handling the most sensitive secrets of World War II—but she isn't there to decipher German codes—she's there to find a traitor.
Justine keeps her guard up and her ears open, confiding only in her best friend, Georgette, a fluent speaker of Choctaw who is training to work as a code talker. Justine tries to befriend each suspect, believing that the key to finding the spy lies not in cryptography but in understanding how code breakers tick. When young women begin to go missing at Arlington Hall, her deadline for unraveling the web of secrets becomes urgent and one thing remains clear: a single secret in enemy hands could end thousands of lives.
Mary Anna Evans is an award-winning author, a writing professor, and she holds degrees in physics and engineering, a background that, as it turns out, is ideal for writing her new series, the Justine Byrne series. Set in WWII-era New Orleans, the first book, The Physicists’ Daughter, introduces Justine Byrne, whom Mary Anna describes as “a little bit Rosie-the-Riveter and a little bit Bletchley Park codebreaker.” When Justine, the daughter of two physicists who taught her things girls weren’t expected to know in 1944, realizes that her boss isn’t telling her the truth about the work she does in her factory job, she draws on the legacy of her unconventional upbringing to keep her division running and protect her coworkers, her country, and herself from a war that is suddenly very close to home. The second book, The Traitor Beside Her, is coming this June.
Published by Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Mary Anna’s mystery novels are available from all major outlets in hardcover, trade paper, ebook, large-print, and audio editions.
Her crime fiction has earned recognition that includes the Oklahoma Book Award, the Will Rogers Medallion Awards Gold Medal, the Mississippi Author Award, a spot on Voice of Young America’s (VOYA) list of “Adult Mysteries with Young Adult Appeal,” a writer’s residency from The Studios of Key West, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the Florida Historical Society’s Patrick D. Smith Florida Literature Award, and three Florida Book Awards bronze medals.
In addition to writing crime fiction, she writes about crime fiction, as evidenced by the upcoming Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie, which she coedited with J.D Bernthal.
Her other fiction includes Wounded Earth, a suspense novel featuring environmental scientist Larabeth McLeod, and Jewel Box, a collection of short fiction and essays. Wounded Earth is available in trade paperback and ebook editions, and an audiobook edition will be released in November 2020. Her short story collection, Jewel Box, is available in paperback and ebook editions. Your Novel, Day by Day: A Fiction Writers Companion is a guide intended to take the aspiring novelist from blank page to finished book and it is, like Wounded Earth and Jewel Box, published by Joyeuse Press.
For the incurably curious, Mary Anna’s first published work, her master’s thesis, was entitled A Modeling Study of the NH3-NO-O2 Reaction Under the Operating Conditions of a Fluidized Bed Combustor. Like her mysteries, it was a factually based page-turner but, no, it’s not available online.
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