One Woman’s War: A Novel of the Real Miss Moneypenny

Morrow. Oct. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780063111806. pap. $17.99. F
Wells (Sisters of the Resistance) conveys the shadowy world of MI5 through the eyes of Victoire Patricia Evelyn Bennett, aka Paddy, an upper-class British woman, and Friedl Stöttinger, an Austrian-born double agent. Spanning London, Lisbon, and Berlin, Wells’s unusually glamorous take on World War II has a cast of fabulous characters, including real icons of the era such as Dylan Thomas, Dennis Wheatley, and Commander Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels. Paddy and Friedl’s lives are filled with adventure and romance as they navigate the male-dominated world of MI5, enjoy their eclectic relationships, and frequent fashionable London clubs. Traveling in these separate but parallel worlds, Paddy and Friedl’s lives draw ever closer, finally colliding in Operation Mincemeat, a true—and intriguingly madcap—WWII stunt engineered by the British.
VERDICT Fans of James Bond will definitely want to check out this novel. Readers of Ben MacIntyre’s Operation Mincemeat may also enjoy Wells’s take on this. This title features the usual cast, but due to its telling from the viewpoints of two charismatic women, it offers a fresh women-centric perspective not always found hand in hand with military themes.
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