Rosalie Knecht

Rosalie Knecht is the author of Who is Vera Kelly?, Vera Kelly is not a Mystery, winner of the Edgar Award, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, as well as a Relief Map, and a translation of Aira’s The Seamstress and the Wind. She lives in Jersey City, NJ.

Praise

  • I’ve anticipated few novels this year with as much excitement as Vera Kelly Lost and Found, the final volume in Rosalie Knecht’s nearly note-perfect 1960s-era private detective trilogy. . . . Knecht’s writing, crisp and taut, cuts through the landscape with lacerating swiftness.

    —The New York Times Book Review

  • Romantic and thrilling.

    —The Star Tribune

  • Excellent. . . . This nuanced portrait of gay life in the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots thoroughly satisfies.

    —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • Gritty yet romantic.

    —Booklist, Starred Review

  • If you’re not reading [Vera Kelly’s] rolicking adventures from spy-hood to PI-dom, you absolutely should.

    —Crime Reads

  • Engaging and often funny. . . . The heart of the novel—Vera’s introspections on disappointed family and society’s reactions to a same-sex couple—will resonate with many readers.

    —Historical Novels Society

  • A luxurious SoCal caper.

    —Lamda Literary

  • A page-turner.

    —The Advocate

  • Feels both like a classic noir and a wholly original take on the spy novel.

    —Parnassus Musing

  • Fascinating.

    —BookPage

  • Once more Rosalie Knecht proves herself one of the finest writers in the genre: brisk, witty, and emotionally intelligent. The much-anticipated return of Vera Kelly turns a tight plot around the failures of family and high stakes love, betrayal and the unlikely adventure toward self acceptance. This novel is a pleasure as wise as it is thrilling.

    —Tracy O'Neill, author of Quotients

  • What’s better than a sapphic crime story? Whether it be Killing Eve or Orange is the New Black, lesbians dominate the crime genre with humor and ease. Vera Kelly: Lost and Found takes it one step further: we have a lesbian detective on our hands. Nice!

    —AfterEllen

  • Knecht’s lively prose moves easily between Vera’s experiences with Max’s cold and homophobic family to her memories of being a teenager with a distant and unforgiving mother, effectively creating an atmosphere of danger and uncertainty as Vera and Max work to survive and reunite.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • Recasts cozy mysteries through a queer lens. . . . with women occupying center stage, saving each other and functioning as heroes.

    —Foreword Reviews

  • The Vera books bring to mind some of Highsmith’s work’s murkiness, evasion, and freedom. . . . Where will the next case for Vera come from? . . . I hope we don’t have to wait long to find out.

    —Los Angeles Review of Books

  • Vera Kelly Is Not a Mystery is the perfect sequel, because it’s even better than the first book. . . . Reader, you will love this one. Don’t walk. Run.

    —Autostraddle

  • Sharp. . .  the biggest pleasure is how she evokes a not-so-distant time with specific, slightly outdated language (Kelly stores bullets in an empty ‘cold cream jar’) and period details (Kelly lives in pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village, so her local pub is subject to frequent police raids and her chums get fired because of whom they love).

    —The Star Tribune

  • Snappy, gritty, and engaging.

    —them.

  • Sexy, sad and stylish.

    —BookPage

  • Readers will be thrilled by Vera Kelly’s return. A worthy and welcome continuation of a subversive series.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • Knecht’s writing is evocative and spare, stylish and brooding, making this mystery series compulsively readable and offering a refreshing spin on atmospheric noir with a compelling queer historical frame.

    —Booklist

  • Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery is an intricate mystery featuring love, corruption, and a charming and capable heroine.

    —Foreword Reviews

  • Rosalie Knecht is an audacious talent, and her latest novel a propulsive, subversive gem. Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery reintroduces us to Vera, one of the most compelling and complex characters in modern fiction, and puts her to the task of unwinding an intriguing mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

    —Lauren Wilkinson, author of American Spy

  • With Vera Kelly, Rosalie Knecht has resurrected the detective novel for the 21st century. Sharp, self-possessed, and with a nuanced, meaningful knowledge of realities and histories well beyond her own, Kelly’s take on who’s lying and why makes for riveting reading in every scene. I tore through this book. More Vera Kelly, please.

    —Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew

  • Gripping, magnificently
    written . . . This is a cool, strolling boulevardier of a book, worldly, wry,
    unrushed but never slow, which casts its gaze upon the middle of the last
    century and forces us to consider how it might be failing us still.

    —The New York Times Book Review, on Who Is Vera Kelly?

  • The personal is most definitely political in Rosalie Knecht’s crisp, lively and subversive second novel, Who Is Vera Kelly? . . . John le Carré and many other writers make hay with the personal repercussions of assuming false identity. Knecht flips the terms artfully, showing us a heroine who discovers her true tough self by going undercover.

    —NPR, “Best Books of 2018”, on Who Is Vera Kelly?

  • Forget about 007. This
    heroine has her own brand of spycraft…

    —The Washington Post, on Who Is Vera Kelly?

  • Knecht’s novel is a
    slow-burn espionage thriller, a complex treatment of queer identity, and an
    immersive period piece all rolled into one delectable page-turner . . . Vera
    Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon.

    —Entertainment Weekly, on Who Is Vera Kelly?

  • A splendid genre-pushing
    thriller . . . A fractured coming-out in the repressive ’50s primed Vera for a
    life of deception?but in Knecht’s expert hands she’s smart and complicated,
    yearning for connection in a tumultuous world.”

    —People, on Who Is Vera Kelly?

  • Thanks to Rosalie Knecht’s
    clever, hilarious writing, you’ll find yourself wanting everyone you know to
    read it so that you can discuss together the wholly original, brilliantly
    subversive character that is Vera Kelly.

    —NYLON, on Who Is Vera Kelly?

  • Gripping, subtle, magnificently written . . . This is a cool, strolling boulevardier of a book, worldly, wry, unrushed but never slow, which casts its gaze upon the middle of the last century and forces us to consider how it might be failing us still.

    —The New York Times Book Review

  • Knecht’s novel is a slow-burn espionage thriller, a complex treatment of queer identity, and an immersive period piece all rolled into one delectable page-turner . . . Vera Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon—one we hope sticks around long beyond this snappy, intimate debut.

    —Entertainment Weekly

  • The personal is most definitely political in Rosalie Knecht’s crisp, lively and subversive second novel, Who Is Vera Kelly? . . . John le Carré and many other writers make hay with the personal repercussions of assuming false identity. Knecht flips the terms artfully, showing us a heroine who discovers her true tough self by going undercover.

    —NPR

  • Thanks to Rosalie Knecht’s clever, hilarious writing, you’ll find yourself wanting everyone you know to read it so that you can discuss together the wholly original, brilliantly subversive character that is Vera Kelly.

    —NYLON

  • A splendid genre-pushing thriller . . . A fractured coming-out in the repressive ’50s primed Vera for a life of deception—but in Knecht’s expert hands she’s smart and complicated, yearning for connection in a tumultuous world.

    —People Magazine

  • Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft. . . . Given the current popularity of ‘women-in-trouble’ psychological suspense tales, where much of the action takes place in the heroine’s anxious mind, it’s refreshing to read a novel where a capable young woman not only knows how to fix an electrical short in a transformer, but also how to maneuver around the homophobic biases of her own era.

    —The Washington Post

  • A refreshing and idiosyncratic Cold War spy novel.

    —BBC Culture

  • The character readers have been waiting for. A riveting, satisfying novel.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • A buzzing, smoky, gin-soaked charmer.

    —Library Journal, Hot Picks

  • When we first meet Vera Kelly, she’s a troubled 1950s teenager who’s overdosed on Equanil. Next she’s in explosive 1960s Buenos Aires after being recruited by the CIA (“I could be charming if I wanted to. There were basic tricks”). . . . All the edgy fun of classic noir but in an original voice that’s fresh, brisk, and snappy. Hugely buzzing.

    —Library Journal, Most Anticipated Books of Spring/Summer

  • Who Is Vera Kelly? is the twisty, literary, woman-driven spy novel you’ve always wanted to read. Vera Kelly hopscotches from Brooklyn to Buenos Aires, fueled by gin and cigarettes, on the run from her past and equipped with a case of listening devices. But this is no ordinary adventure novel: Rosalie Knecht is a sensitive and gifted writer with a lyrical voice that imbues this dazzling novel unexpected emotional depth.

    —Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of GIRL WAITS WITH GUN

  • In Who Is Vera Kelly?, Rosalie Knecht has created a truly fresh and original take on the spy novel, full of suspense and surprise and beautifully observed details of its cold war setting. Best of all is Vera herself, a memorable heroine who seems destined to become an icon of the genre. This is a remarkable and wonderful book!

    —Dan Chaon, New York Times bestselling author of ILL WILL

  • Sardonic, intelligent, and thrillingly original, Rosalie Knecht has not only revitalized the female spy novel with her feisty, indeterminable heroine, she’s also joyfully queered it. I loved this book and I loved Vera. Read this book right now!”

    —Courtney Maum, author of I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN HERE WITHOUT YOU

  • I found myself drawn to the bildungsroman folded into the spy novel. Balancing those two elements in alternating chapters that read like Vera’s diary entries, Knecht imbues the novel with emotional depth that allows for meditation on human connection.

    —Bomb Magazine

  • A tangled, atmospheric story that gradually builds suspense to a satisfyingly surprising denouement.

    —Booklist

  • Rosalie Knecht performs the seemingly effortless sleight of hand you’d expect from any talented spy . . . . The book proves to be both smart and surprising at every twist.

    —Entertainment Tonight

  • One thing Vera Kelly is not is a standard-issue spy. . . . Knecht has written a hybrid novel that is both literary in its attention to character and language, and a thriller where Vera’s status as a spy makes her a hunted woman who will have to find a way to survive. This intelligent novel about the quest for secret intelligence is a real treat.

    —Signature Reads

  • The lesbian spy novel of your dreams.

    —Autostraddle

  • One of this summer’s biggest treats for readers. It’s a marvelous combination of a spy thriller, a mystery story, and a historical novel that puts a female twist the genre. Move aside, James Bond.

    —Bustle

  • There’s political intrigue, spycraft, solid location work, and all the things you would want from espionage fiction, but there’s also something strange and subversive going on in this story. Knecht has a livewire intellect and I hope she sticks with spy fiction of some kind of another, because this is just the kind of jolt the genre (my beloved genre) needs now and again.

    —CrimeReads

  • When it comes to women spies, the question is no longer, ‘Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?’ It is, ‘Who is Vera Kelly?’

    —Refinery29

  • Traveling back almost 60 years to Argentina, here’s a look at a moment in history not often discussed. . . . Kelly is a great addition to a genre that has mostly been straight men.

    —Book Riot

  • Moving between the perspective of a teenaged girl and a desperate fugitive,  RELIEF MAP combines elements of the coming-of-age pastoral with the political thriller.  Beautifully written,  heart-felt and mesmerizing,  this book puts Rosalie Knecht on the map as a major talent.

    —Dan Choan, author of AWAIT YOUR REPLY

  • Part languid thrilled, part coming-of-age tale . . .[r]eaders will be immersed in the vision of America drawn by this  bracing, uneasy account of a fading small town seized in a modern state of emergency.

    —Publishers Weekly

  • “The relationships between sixteen-year-old Livy Marko, her best friend Nelson, and their contrasting parents—hers are too lax; his are too strict—are forever altered when they become caught up in a robbery and kidnapping that go awry. The dying rust-belt town of Lomath, Pennsylvania, is road-blocked and its electricity cut off while the FBI conducts a house-by-house search for an international criminal who is believed to be hiding nearby. As the town lockdown continues, paranoia grows, long-hidden secrets are revealed, and Livy and Nelson learn that even unintentional actions can have irreparable consequences. This suspenseful microcosm of teenage ennui and isolation surprises the reader with a fresh premise and likable characters—an impressive debut of literary fiction with a strong YA crossover.”

    —Shirley Wells, Watermark Books and Cafe, Wichita KS

  • In her beautifully written, fresh debut novel, Rosalie Knecht puts us smack in the middle of a heat wave in the waning days of summer in a small rust-belt town of Pennsylvania.  The high temperature, lack of breeze and ennui of the town are palpable.  As the town is quarantined from the outside world by police barricades a loss of power, its residents are caught up in the manhunt for a fugitive of the Republic of Georgia who’s hiding in their midst.  Sixteen year-old Livy, her parents and the residents of Lomath, PA consider whether the real threat comes from the fugitive or rather from within their midst. This summer will change Livy’s world forever.  Lulling prose, vivid characters and a sense of place make this a rich and memorable read from an exciting new talent.

    —Linda McLoughlin Figel, Pages: A Bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA