Vera Kelly

Created by Rosalie Knecht

Her debut in 2018’s genre-and-gender flipping Who is Vera Kelly?, a wonky mish-mash that hits the sweet spot somewhere between The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Bridget Jones’ Diary, knocked a lot of critics and readers back on their heels.

The titular heroine was, of course, VERA KELLY, a sassy young lesbian from Greenwich Village, who’s recruited into the CIA and finds herself battling revolutionaries in mid-sixties Buenos Aires. It was both a taut Cold War thriller and a spunky, spiky coming of age story as it the chapters flipped back and forth between international intrigue and Vera’s difficult teen years in Chevy Chase, Maryland and finally the Big Apple.

But I don’t think anyone foresaw Vera returning in a sequel–this time as a private eye. When we hook up once more with her in Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery (2020), she’s back in New York City, this time in Brooklyn, having quit the spy game to reluctantly join the shamus game.

But a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do, right?

With the Cold War still raging and the wolf at the door, she takes on a case that finds her on the trail of Félix, the young son of wealthy Dominican dissidents who had been sent to New York for safekeeping. An apparent runaway, Vera tracks the kid back through the swamp of child services and all the way to Santo Domingo, where Félix’s parent have apparently also gone missing. Meanwhile, just to even things out, she may have found the (new) love of her life, California girl Max, and the local police think she’s still a spy.

Of course.

Fortunately, Vera’s still the spunky, saucy and slyly subversive smart ass she’s always been.

I have no idea where the author, Rosalie Knecht, is going with this series, but it’ll be fun to find out. Personally, I kinda hope Vera’s sticks with being a gumshoe for a while at least, and takes on a case or two that will allow her to stick closer to home (ie: one that doesn’t involve her packing a suitcase).


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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