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Diplomatic Impunity: A Viennese Christmas Mystery by Jaya Gulhaugen

Diplomatic Impunity: A Viennese Christmas Mystery

by Jaya Gulhaugen

262 pages
Peggy Gilman investigates a shocking death in Vienna over Christmas.

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Category: Fiction:Mystery
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About the Book
Peggy Gilman's husband, Jim, has been posted to Vienna, Austria, at the height of the Cold War. An operative with the CIA, Jim has diplomatic cover at the American Embassy. World War II has been over for eleven years, and the Allied Occupation Forces have finally withdrawn. In April of 1955 Austria was granted sovereignty in exchange for perpetual neutrality, ironically turning Vienna into a hotbed of espionage and intrigue.

The Gilman family's arrival in October of 1956 coincides with the Hungarian Revolution and the enormous influx of refugees across the border. Peggy, who has been looking forward to a glamorous life filled with servants, Viennese coffee, and Strauss waltzes, finds herself setting up a soup kitchen, a nursery, and a sewing cooperative for the refugees. She even makes her attic rooms available to refugees awaiting visas to the United States.

As Christmas approaches, Peggy invites a lively mix of expats and locals to an American holiday party at her villa across from Türkenschanz Park. The cook, Frau Mitzi, concocts a scrumptious feast, complete with turkey and canned sweet potatoes from the Commissary. After the Christmas party comes to a shocking end, Peggy embarks on an unofficial murder investigation. She discovers that all of the suspects have hidden depths and will go to great lengths to disguise the past. Rather like Vienna itself.

 

 

About the Author
Jaya Gulhaugen Jaya was born in Berlin three months before the 1948 Airlift, moved to Vienna in 1956 just as the Hungarian Revolution broke out, and went to high school in the Congo during the Simba Rebellion. She currently teaches in a private girls' school in New York City.

 

 

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