The Original Los Angeles Times Story
The search for Ivan the Terrible’s spectacular lost library has continued for some five centuries, capturing the imaginations of scholars, emperors, and the Vatican. Joseph Stalin stopped the hunt in the 1930s because he feared searching the tunnels would leave him vulnerable to attack from below, while Vladimir Putin in a gesture signifying Russia’s new openness allowed the quest to resume in the 1990s.
My interest dates back more than twenty years. On June 28, 1989, “Kremlin Tunnels: The Secret of Moscow’s Underworld” by Masha Hamilton appeared in The Los Angeles Times, catching my attention. I was enthralled by this “library of gold-covered books,” which immediately became in my mind the Library of Gold. But I wrote espionage novels. How could I use the library in a novel? Still I found myself drawn back to the idea again and again, researching whenever I had time. Finally, a few years ago, I had an idea that would work. The result was THE BOOK OF SPIES. I hope you enjoy it.
– Gayle Lynds
The Los Angeles Times 1989