This book is published under two titles. "Shadows in the Afternoon by Robert Tyler Stevens and "Katerina's Secret by Mary Jane Staples.
Most of R.T.Stevens's stories take place before/during WW1. This one was interesting in that it takes place some years after the end of WW1, and the hero is an Infantry captain who was discharged after his lungs were poisoned with gas. He is portrayed as thin, having to walk slowly and not exert himself so as to not bring on the racking coughs and painful gasping of breath. So not your typical hero material. Yet, he is very kind and is described as having a firm mouth and lovely eyes and generally cheerful disposition.
Through the friendship of the hotel proprietress's daughter, Edward meets a woman who is desperate for companionship and surprisingly old fashioned. She lives in a villa behind high walls, locked gates and never appears in public. Her only company is a "Dr.Kandor", a housekeeper and gardener. She calls herself "Katrina", a Bulgarian refugee.
Edward Somers accepts this story at first but as attempts are made on the Countess's life, he starts suspecting the truth of her identity...and her Russian royal family.
The book is a leisurely read, there's excitement but not of the intense 'I'm not going to sleep tonight' type. But I really enjoyed it. The cover is hideous but you need to ignore that (or buy the book under the other title). Loving all things Romanov and R T Steven's writing style in general I give this book 4 stars.
VIOLENCE: Pretty Mild
PROFANITY: Mild to Non-existant
MY RATING: G