Edith Graham was living a double life long before she became a double agent. All through the war she was a modern language teacher during the day and in the evenings came home to care for her overbearing mother. But on her trips to visit a non-existent school friend in London she became Stella Snelling, a more glamorous version of herself who wore silk, had a lover named Leo and was a popular cookery correspondent, dishing out advice on how to make delicious meals out of meagre rations.
Once the Allied victory is achieved, Edith realizes that her time as Stella will be coming to an end and impulsively applies for a position at the British Control Commission, which oversees one of the occupation zones. Her fluent German and teaching experience quickly earn her a spot on the team. As part of The Commission, Edith will work in Germany, helping rebuild the shattered nation’s school system. But she is also drafted by Leo, who is in the Secret Service. Back in their younger days both Leo and Edith had been close friends with Sturmbannführer Kurt von Stavenow, once a student at Oxford and now a wanted war criminal. Leo needs her to find Kurt, so he can be integrated into a hush-hush British weapons facility.
Leo isn’t the only one who recruits her. Former SOE F Section intelligence officer Vera Atkins is looking for an ally in Germany, someone who will inform her when wanted war criminals such as SS Officer Stavenow are found. Vera’s (very legitimate) fear is that between Operations Haystack (Britain) and Paperclip (United States), men responsible for killing thousands of innocent civilians and dozens of British agents will be repatriated into allied nations without repercussions because of their useful scientific and strategic knowledge.
Grade: BCheck Review