Women Sleuths in
Historical Mysteries

Morocco - 1942


Touch of Tangiers

by Aileen G. Baron

Baron’s second story about the young luckless American Archaeologist Lily Sampson has her trapped in Tangiers, unable to return home given the Atlantic dangers of the German submarines. Her work digging up Neanderthal artifacts now halted, she is recruited into the OSS to help with Operation Torch, the code name for the proposed landing of U.S. forces on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. The allies have succeeded at El Alemien and the British are on the ground in the Western Desert planning to move against Rommel. For the population in Tangiers questions remain. Will Spain maintain her neutrality? Where exactly are the German U-boats? How nationalistic, and thus potentially dangerous, had the Berbers become? Spies also abound, and Baron manages to never let the reader know whom one really can trust. When murders occur, the sense of intrigue and suspicion becomes a murky reality for Lily whose life is at risk.

Baron does a solid job describing the Berber population, Moroccan coastline, colorful byways of Tangiers, and Gibraltar with its wartime activities occurring deep within the rock’s tunnels. Lily’s interest in Morocco’s distant past enters the narrative with reference to the world of the Neanderthals, the Romans, Latinized Berbers, and Moslem sultanate established by Moulay Idriss. As Lily muses, while her reality is the past, and her present a “moving pinnacle of time,” they were really all of a piece.



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