The Month of the Falling Leaves
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By Bruce Marshall
Professor of philosophy Harold Hilliard is the author of The Symphony of Discord, a metaphysical treatise on the “Dysteleological Surd”—the physical suffering which seemingly serves as proof against the existence of a benevolent Creator. Its limited sales in England notwithstanding, Symphony of Discord is a success in—of all places—Poland. Arriving in Warsaw for a lecture to the Metaphysical Society, Hilliard is mistaken for a British Secret Service agent and rapidly becomes embroiled in international espionage. Despite his best efforts to persuade Agent Karminski of the PZPR’s intelligence service to the contrary, Hilliard’s every move only serves as further evidence of his new identity as MI5’s new man in Poland and draws him deeper into the bewildering world of Cold War spies.
It was all a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes, don’t they? And I can’t bear the thought of being pulled in for that, of being torn from my home and habits and everyone I know. (Albert Camus, The Plague)
A political satire akin to Graham Greene’s classic Our Man in Havana—more lighthearted but no less clever—The Month of Falling Leaves is a diverting story, swirling with suspicions and suspense, of scholar versus spy behind the Iron Curtain.
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Bruce Marshall (1899–1987) was a Scottish writer, accountant, veteran of both World Wars, and convert to Roman Catholicism. In a career spanning six decades, Marshall wrote forty novels, five of which will feature in the Cluny Classics series: Father Malachy’s Miracle, The Month of the Falling Leaves, The Accounting, Vespers in Vienna, and A Thread of Scarlet.