In this wry novel set in the early 1980s it's just three years since art historian Anthony Blunt was publicly unmasked in 1979 as the fourth
man in a ring of British spies that had worked for the Soviet Union as KGB operatives.
Dame Marjorie Sandringham is a delightful and distinguished former diplomat until her recent retirement. Now she's Chair of ISAS (the International Sisterhood for Action and Solidarity) but there's more to her than meets the eye...
Maphutsana, strategically the key to Africa, is the last remaining British colony in Africa. It's due to become in-dependent and local politicians are jostling for power. The plump and permanently bumbling Annie Pettifer, secretary to the ISAS Grants Committee is tasked to make travel arrangements to England for Kezzia, an ISAS scholarship girl from Maphutsana. Hovering over Annie's every move like the sword of Damocles is her Swiss boss, sharp-tongued Verene Widmer.
Kezzia proves sublime. Cut to the following summer and the Maphutsana general election. Nobody expects the result of the election to turn out as it does. Kezzia, who formed a Womens Party, only two weeks before polling day, sweeps to power in a landslide victory and is elected President of the country. The day afterwards she does the little favour she has agreed with Dame Marjorie.
You quick witted reader will have cottoned on before half the book and half the manoeuvring is completed... But everybody wins in his or her own way.