Melchior's previous thrillers (Eva, V-3 owe their authenticity to his experiences in the OSS during WW II. So does his new novel, featuring Michael Lavette, his son Kevin, Kevin's lover Gaby and other actors in the famous Parisian theater of horror. Taking over from downed British operatives, the actors team up to find an destroy the hidden Nazi center where the dreaded superweapon, Fleissiges Lieschen (Busy Lizzie), is being produced. With Ted Hawkins, an American officer who parachutes into occupied France, the valiant troupe moves from one perilous locale to the next on their way to the virtually impregnable fortress where the guns are stored. Hawkins soon changes his mind about ``nursemaiding a bunch of lousy ham actors'' as they bravely defy the merciless SS. The story ranks high in suspense, atmosphere and heartwarming moments as the band proves the value of the old adage: all for one, one for all. Melchior, son of the renowned operatic tenor, offers a fine entertainment that provokes thoughts of the worst: What if the Reich's Busy Lizzie rockets had beat the Allies? (June)
Ib Melchior was born and raised in Denmark, receiving the post-graduate degree of Cand. Phil from the University of Copenhagen. Arriving in the United States in 1938, he worked as a stage manager at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City and began his writing career, penning short pieces for national magazines. When the attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the country into war, he volunteered his service to the US Armed Forces, and served four years, two of them in the ETO working as a counterintelligence agent. His work earned him decorations from three countries, including the US, and he was subsequently knighted and awarded the Knight Commander Cross by the Militant Order of Sct Brigitte of Sweden. After the war, he moved to Hollywood in 1957 to write and direct motion pictures. In addition to twelve screenplays, including The Time Travelers, which is one of the films he also directed, he has written seventeen books, most of them bestsellers. Best known for his WWII novels that explored his own exploits as a CIC agent, such as Sleeper Agent and Order of Battle, his books are published in translations in twenty-five countries. For his work, he has been honored with the Golden Scroll for his body of work by the Science Fiction Academy and the Hamlet Award for best legitimate play by the Shakespeare Society of America.