The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones

Atria. Feb. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781982143862. $28. HIST
In 2019, Loftis follows up his best-selling Code Name: Lise with another little-known, but true story of a woman spy during World War II. In this case, she is an American-born Spanish aristocrat, a former model, and an OSS code breaker. Aline Griffith (1923–2017) eventually marries into Spanish nobility, becoming the Countess of Romanones. Similar to his previous work, Loftis presents an accessible, richly-detailed narrative full of twists and turns. Here, he effectively describes how Aline socialized with Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and the Duchess of Windsor while also working as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II, and continuing to serve as a spy for the organization’s successor, the CIA. The inclusion of family photographs and newspaper clippings provides more insight into Aline’s life after marrying Luis Figueroa, a grandee of Spain. The book reads like both a thriller and a romance, with personal details offered throughout, but Loftis sticks to the facts and addresses and clarifies myths surrounding Aline. A comprehensive notes section provides more details on other spies who are introduced throughout.
VERDICT A valuable addition to public library collections, the latest from Loftis will especially engage those interested in World War II history and espionage.
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