The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

32 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL campus, trying to find friends and fit in. And any adults who remember serving in a divided Berlin before the wall fell will likely enjoy the author’s description of the city, its people, and the nightlife of the time. The story is also accessible to those outside the Foreign Service, as the author finds ways to explain the work of diplomacy and the political situation of the time without interrupting the flow of the story. Although the book is billed as a young adult novel, there’s plenty for everyone as Kate looks for friends, love, and purpose in her new country. The child of Foreign Service parents, Sarah Brotherhood Chapman grew up in Germany, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Holland, and the USSR, graduating from high school in West Berlin. After college, she lived and worked in Türkiye for three years before returning to the United States to work at National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine. Chapman and her FSO husband have been posted in Kingston, Ankara, Istanbul, Athens, Geneva, Bangkok, and Rome. They are currently based in Munich. Blow Up Ellen Crosby, Severn House, 2023, $18.99/paperback, e-book available, 240 pages. Blow Up is the third book in Crosby’s mystery series featuring international photojournalist and amateur sleuth Sophie Medina. The book opens with her husband’s mysterious death after he tries to complete a project on behalf of the CIA. As Sophie is trying to find out what happened, she goes for a run and finds Everett Townsend, a Supreme Court justice, lying in an alley, clinging to life. Soon Sophie is on the run, using her photos of Washington’s unhoused residents to uncover the secret that got Townsend killed. In addition to this three-part series of thrillers centered on Sophie Medina—the first two being Multiple Exposure and Ghost Image (both re-released in 2022)—Crosby is the author of the stand-alone novel Moscow Nights (2000), which is based loosely on her time as a Moscow correspondent in the late 1980s. She has also published a series that takes place in Northern Virginia, the Wine Country Mysteries. A former journalist, Ellen Crosby is married to André de Nesnera, a Foreign Service officer who retired from the Voice of America in 2015. The couple have lived in England, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and the former Soviet Union. They now reside in Northern Virginia. The Last Violinist Kenneth Dekleva, independently published, 2023, $11.99/paperback, e-book available, 192 pages. In this sequel to The Negotiator’s Cross, which was featured in the FSJ’s 2022 roundup, protagonist Jong-un is a gifted North Korean violinist whose talent takes him out of his homeland and into love—and trouble—in South Korea, Austria, Russia, and elsewhere. Jong-un is drawn into a web of espionage and diplomacy before he embraces his faith in God and discovers where he truly belongs. Several characters from the first novel, including Father Ismael and a legendary CIA station chief known as the Musician, make an appearance in this sequel. Kenneth Dekleva was a regional medical officer/psychiatrist with the State Department from 2002 to 2016, serving in Moscow, Mexico City, New Delhi, Vienna, and London. Now a practicing psychiatrist in Dallas, Dekleva is also a senior fellow at the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations and a professor and director of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The Exile’s Promise: Burden of the Banished, Book One Elizabeth A. Drysdale, Stag Beetle Books, 2023, $13.99/paperback, e-book available, 322 pages. Like all humans in this young adult novel, Mariel has been banished from land by the evil Faes and is resigned to a life at sea, where she collects and incinerates human garbage alongside her dad, brothers, and friend Ry. But when her brother disappears during a storm, she suspects he may not be dead and decides she must search for him on land, where she risks capture and execution by the Faes. Once on land, Mariel is discovered by a Fae captain who suspects she may be human but decides to trust her. The two travel to the capital together, and Mariel gets involved in a rebellion started by her missing brother. Can she find him before the Faes hunt her down? (Continues on page 41)