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TRIPTYCH
REVIEWS

Triptych

"A woman must uncover the secrets of the past before she can face her future.
In 1940, Edit Palmay left Hungary for China to meet her missionary husband. After World War II, they made their way to Chicago, where they raised their family, including their youngest child, Ildiko. Born in America, Ildiko never really listened when her mother told her tales of the old country or recounted what happened when Edit went back to Budapest to try to discover what became of her vanished sister, who may have been either a hero of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution or a spy for the hated secret police force AVO. Not until Edit is killed when she falls, or is pushed, under a train does Ildiko resolve to discover what really happened. Her romance with a married man has ended badly, but her mother's Hungarian friends introduce her to Gustav, a talented photographer who was involved in the revolution before escaping from Hungary. It's Gustav who points out some unsettling features in an uncompleted triptych that Edit made for her in needlework, which apparently tells the story of one of Ildiko's favorite fairy tales. Traveling to Hungary to visit her relatives and retrace her mother's footsteps, Ildiko finds the country still in the grip of communism and her relatives afraid of revealing too much. Gustav has also made the trip to see his dying uncle, whose past is interwoven with Edit's. In a shocking turn, Ildiko discovers that her mother's killer had a motive that goes all the way back to the revolution.
Liesche...the daughter of Hungarian refugees, cleverly weaves her family's history into a fine mystery that is an even finer tale about finding one's roots."
   —Kirkus Reviews

"Sweeping through time and set compellingly against the backdrop of real events—among them some that took place during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and in China during World War II—Margit Liesche's third novel is at once mystery, family drama, tangled romance and sweeping historical saga. Its main female character, a teacher and librarian named Ildiko, is both accomplished and haunted. Her efforts to discover the secrets of the past lead her to a greater understanding of her particular place in the world and how she got there.
Liesche is the daughter of Hungarian refugees and grew up in Chicago, where portions of the novel are set to good effect. Now living near San Francisco, she will be here this month. She is scheduled to be interviewed Oct. 22 at The Book Stall at Chestnut Court in Winnetka (see margitliesche.com) by novelist Libby "Havana Lost" Fischer Hellmann, who has called this book 'a beautifully penned, lyrical blend of past and present.' She's right about that."
   —Chicago Tribune

"TRIPTYCH is a family saga with believable characters who care for each other interwoven into the rebellions in Hungary blending the past with the present in this wonderful page turner. The writing is hypnotic with the reader being in Ilkido's shoes for every step. Combining the past events into an organized and relevant story is as masterful as the woven TRIPTYCH being unwound and again stitched mixing the past with who we are today."
   —Teri Davis, Midwest Book Review (read the full review)

"This meticulously researched novel brought the Budapest Revolution to vivid life as I followed the engaging heroine, Ildiko Palmay, from the dangerous beginnings of the Cold War to its equally fraught ending. . . Liesche . . . creates insightful and haunting characters who had me wondering about their fates long after I reluctantly read the final page. Highly recommended!"
   —Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times-bestselling author of A City of Broken Glass

"Part history, part mystery, part thriller, part romance, part saga, this is a novel with something for everyone! Above all else it brings back a time and a place we should never have forgotten. Moving through countries and generations, this is a big story, which, in Liesche's hands, nevertheless remains tender and human-sized."
   —Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times-bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

"TRIPTYCH is a beautifully penned, lyrical blend of past and present that focuses on a chapter of history that deserves attention. The Hungarian uprising of 1956 lays bare the longing for freedom of a culture that preceded ours by centuries. You need to read Margit Liesche's poignant tribute. You won't regret it."
   —Libby Fischer Hellman, author of Havana Lost

"In her wonderful novel, TRIPTYCH, Margit Liesche revisits the 1956 Hungarian Revolution . . .(and) folds in the l986 story of her protagonist, Ildiko, a 37-year-old Hungarian American who is trying to understand her family's recent history. . .Illuminated by her richly descriptive prose, Liesche keeps us mesmerized by the folding and unfolding of Ildiko's brave quest for answers. A splendid read!"
   —Susan Trott, author of The Holy Man Trilogy


HOLLYWOOD BUZZ
REVIEWS

Hollywood Buzz "Liesche packs her wide-eyed adventure with tidbits about aeronautics, vintage Hollywood and the war, honoring the underappreciated women who made such a difference."
   —Kirkus

"Liesche provides plenty of interesting WASP lore while deftly mixing the real and imagined."
   —Publishers Weekly

"Details of the WASP program and Hollywood's contributions to the war effort add to the story of a patriotic young woman in an unconventional job."
   —Booklist

"Paying homage to the WASP warriors, Liesche writes an engaging WWII military mystery that provides a deep look at the female pilot corps and...hooks the audience."
   —Genre Go Round

"Women in fast planes, Nazi spies (or are they?), Hollywood stars, Amelia Earhart's saddle shoes and Bela Lugosi's assistance—wow. Hollywood Buzz is a perfect blend of fantasy (hey, it's Hollywood!) and closely researched realism, and I look forward to more of Pucci's aerial adventures."
   —Laurie King, author of the Mary Russell mystery books

"Fascinating reading and a perfect WASP profile. The story is true to the WASP spirit and love of adventure. I loved every line."
   —F.G. Shutsy Reynolds, WASP Class 44-W-5

"Hollywood Buzz delivers the goods with the air of a snappy salute as it parachutes us into a fascinating time in Hollywood history when movies and the military teamed up to win a war. Well-researched, inventive and featuring a plucky leading lady who gets to wear khaki and hang out with Clark Gable."
   —Gregory Orr, producer of "Hollywood Commandos: the story of the First Motion Picture Unit in World War II"

"Pucci Lewis is back—and that's good news for readers and for the U. S. during WWII. This time, the clever Women Airforce Service Pilot is in Hollywood, where things have gone horribly wrong while a propaganda film was being made. A sister-pilot is in critical condition, a director is murdered, there are ominous signs of Nazi sabotage—and Bela Lugosi himself is part of the mix. Fast-moving and suspenseful, Hollywood Buzz shows us that Pucci's got style, smarts and tricky moves on the ground as well as in the air."
   —Gillian Roberts, author of the Amanda Pepper series

"A most enjoyable read...a splendid job of re-creating the world of Fort Roach, where I served from Oct. 1942 to Sept. 1945."
   —Mal Wald, screenwriter/creator of 'Naked City'

"Hollywod Buzz... a memorable character and fascinating storyline... sure to create a buzz in the literary world... Hollywod Buzz... an adrenaline rush... will appeal to history buffs, WWII enthusiasts, military lovers, and those still captivated by the golden age of Hollywood."
   —Military Writers Society of America (read the full review)
LIPSTICK AND LIES
REVIEWS

Lipstick and Lies "A sharply written adventure/mystery debut with a fine feeling for the period."
   —Kirkus Reviews (read the full review)

"Lipstick and Lies is a 1940's WWII mystery full of murder, espionage and quirky characters. This fast paced mystery novel will be enjoyed by those who love mystery and period pieces."
   —Reader Views (read the full review)

"...debut WWII-era spy novel introduces Pucci Lewis, a charming, savvy Women Airforce Service Pilot...and...teases out interesting parallels between the 1940s and the present day."
   —Publishers Weekly

"Undercover action in WWII histories usually takes place behind enemy lines in overseas warzones. But Margit Liesche has combined the actual operations of a Nazi spy ring in Detroit with Pucci Lewis, a fictional agent whose OSS training unmasks a plot that could have put America at risk. This is an exciting, beautifully written documented adventure story that combines fact and fiction into an engrossing drama of spy work and the actual infiltration of Nazi agents into mid-west America."
   —Elizabeth McIntosh, former OSS agent and author of Sisterhood of Spies

"Lipstick and Lies is a fabulous WWII espionage action adventure that gives the audience a taste of the era from a rarely seen focus; that of a WASP. Besides a fabulous spy thriller and a vivid look at Detroit in 1943, the tale also provides a fascinating undercurrent as the two federal agencies compete rather than cooperate as it is heresy to collaborate; apparently based on the 9/11 Commission that rivalry had not changed as of September 2001 except the OSS morphed into the CIA. Margit Liesche provides a soaring historical thriller that takes off at the onset and never lands until the final quite interesting especially because of who's who confrontation."
   —Harriet Klausner (read the full review)

"A gripping WWII spy thriller with a delicious twist: a pro-Nazi spy ring working within an upscale US ladies' club, and the agent sent to infiltrate it a perky WASP pilot called Pucci Lewis. Liesche evokes great period feel and gives us the added bonus of featuring a real female spy of the era."
   —Rhys Bowen, author of the Evan Evans and Molly Murphy Mystery Novels

"A terrific debut! Lipstick and Lies is entertaining, suspenseful and surprising, but as a terrific bonus, it opens a window on the battles fought on the WWII homefront and the smart, gutsy women who fought them. Pucci Lewis and Margit Liesche are off to a flying start!"
   —Judy Greber, aka Gillian Roberts, author of the Amanda Pepper mysteries

"Everything historical mystery fans want—a gripping story and fascinating details of the role of women in WWII espionage."
   —Priscilla Royal, author of medieval mystery series based at Tyndal Priory


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