Over and over we’re reminded that truth is often stranger than fiction; many times more interesting, too.
This book could be fictitious but it isn’t. Female spies were prevalent in World War II and by numerous accounts performed admirably. Christine Granville is credited with being Winston Churchill’s favorite spy, and a highly decorated one.
The daughter of a Polish aristocrat and his wealthy Jewish wife, Granville — described as a flaming Polish patriot, expert skier and great adventuress — made her way to London from South Africa just weeks after Hitler’s forces invaded Poland in 1939. She volunteered her services to the British war effort. One of her most daring exploits was skiing into Poland through the Carpathian Mountains. She accomplished this feat and much more, delivering supplies, gathering vital intelligence and defying expectations.
Granville was raised to be a sedate society wife, but her bravery, intelligence and flair for languages proved valuable. She was credited with saving many lives, including one of her many lovers just hours before he was to be executed by the Gestapo. She served in Egypt and parachuted into occupied France.
Sadly, her quick wit and bravery did not protect her from a jealous lover after the war. She was murdered in 1952 by an obsessed colleague in a hotel in South Kensington. Now this amazing woman’s story is being told in a thrilling and passionately-written account.
Publishers Weekly said, “Mulley gives a remarkable, charismatic woman her due in this tantalizing biography.” Salon’s reviewer wrote, “Better than a James Bond novel… the most frank and comprehensive tribute yet to Christine… a thrilling account.”
Clare Mulley is an award-winning author of two other biographies and a contributor to The Arvon Book of Writing.