There's a conspiracy of silence in the Embassy, and the Russians are listening
Craig is seconded by S.3 - the Special Security Service - with orders to investigate leaks from the British embassy to the KGB, one of which has already led to the death of an MI6 agent.
Working undercover, Craig investigates the intrigues and clashing motivations at play in the embassy to find the traitor, with the help of an Ambassador whose disdain for the 'sordid business' of espionage takes a back seat to settling old scores with a little disinformatsiya.
Before a week has passed, the cast of players has grown to include the CIA, private detectives and the Mafia.
With a daring ploy to flush out the spy, Craig makes himself and his friends into targets for the Kremlin's illegal resident.
Reviews of SPY IN CHANCERY
"It is agreeable in any book, more particularly, for some reason, in a thriller, to be able to say, ‘Clearly this chap knows what he is talking about. He is allowing us into a private kingdom of which he has the key.’ As with Dick Francis in the world of racing or Emma Lathen in the world of Wall Street (the latter ‘chap’ being two nice American ladies), so with Kenneth Benton in what is now comprehensively called the Foreign Service."
--Michael Gilbert, CBE, novelist and founder-member of the Crime Writers' Association
“Benton is one of those leisurely Englishmen who has a civilised, cultured style, and who knows how to get the reader involved in a complicated chess game of competing secret agencies. It is almost a case-history he has written, except that the characters are firmly drawn. The heroics are no less vital for being unostentatious.”
--New York Times Book Review, 1973
“Our embassy in Rome has been infiltrated again. Suspects narrow down to one of two beautiful, long-legged upper-class girl PAs, neither of whose anatomies can be identified in compromising obscene photographs. Spy-spotting by Peter Craig of the security service is hampered by the doddering ambassador, who fancies himself as a detective. Thrillerish developments.”
-- Observer, 1972
“There are some excellent character sketches, including the ambassador, who develops a liking for what he calls ‘this sordid intelligence business’, and excitement depends, not on sex or violence, but solely on the development of the plot.”
--Daily Telegraph, 1972
“Kenneth Benton generates genuine cloak-and-dagger espionage excitement.”
-- Columbus, Ohio Dispatch, 1973
“The intrigue is sophisticated, the reader’s mind is sent on a false track on the first page, and there is a train of delightful move and counter-move.”
-- Lancashire Evening Post, 1972
“Benton has a way of thinking up new twists and keeping secrets which would in any case set this well-paced yarn above most of the field.”
-- San Francisco Sunday Examiner, 1974
“Here is a well-crafted story of counterespionage in Rome by an excellent writer who knows cloak-and-daggering as intimately as the Eternal City.”
-- Buffalo, NY News, 1974