Home / A&E / Books / Cold War Magic

Cold War Magic

Toby Barlow’s supernatural spy thriller

Aug. 14, 2013
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest
toby barlow
In Russian folklore, Baba Yaga is a fearsome or deformed supernatural being. Author Toby Barlow has capitalized on Russian mythology to create a dark, spellbinding new novel, Babayaga, in which the magical comes to life alongside 1950s Cold War operatives and beautiful Parisian women who are not who they appear to be. A tale spun largely from superstition, Babayaga is filled with intrigue, murder and witchcraft.

This novel explores numerous unexpected genres and manages to simultaneously follow four unique archetypal characters: Will, an ad executive from Detroit whose agency is a front for the CIA; Zoya, a seemingly beautiful young woman in Paris who is in actuality a centuries-old witch getting over a bad breakup; Inspector Vidot, a determined Parisian detective who unexpectedly finds himself turned into an insect; and Oliver, a flamboyant American who comes to Paris with hopes of starting up a literary journal. Their lives collide in unique and supernatural ways as they face hijinks, Parisian romance and Cold War espionage. A lighthearted story filled with cartoonish characters set against a backdrop of murder and witchcraft, Babayaga is filled with wacky and outlandish adventures that are sure to entertain.

Barlow is the critically acclaimed author of Sharp Teeth, a 2009 novel about werewolves and dogcatchers written completely in free-verse poetry. A graduate of St. John’s College in New Mexico, Barlow currently makes his home in Detroit. The author will appear at Boswell Book Co. at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21.


Rolling back Barack Obama’s reforms, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed federal prosecutors to seek the harshest sentences for drug offenses. Is it bad policy to fill the prison system with nonviolent offenders?

Getting poll results. Please wait...