Spy Who Loved (Mulley) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Compulsively readable… Clare Mulley has done a dogged piece of detective work piecing together Christine’s ultimately tragic life… She has written a thrilling book, and paid overdue homage to a difficult woman who seized life with both hands
Sunday Telegraph (UK)


Brings alive a glamorous, swashbuckling heroine
Sunday Times (UK)


Engrossing biography details the high-voltage life of one of Britain's most remarkable female spies... Fascinating
Mail on Sunday (UK)


Mulley's fastidiously researched tome provides the most detailed picture yet.
Sunday Express (UK)


(Five stars.) The brutal end of Christine Granville’s short life—told with terrific élan and mesmerising detail by Clare Mulley—came when the last of a multitude of spellbound lovers stabbed her through the heart in the bedroom of a Kensington hotel…. [a] splendid book… [a] captivating female version of the Scarlet Pimpernel… Christine Granville remains as alive, well and compelling as ever: a figure of radiant magnetism, ruthless determination and a courage that—as several of them attested—could make a strong man shudder.
Telegraph (UK)


Drawing on an unprecedented range of sources, Clare Mulley’s The Spy Who Loved is a fine account of Christine Granville’s extraordinary war, told with skill and care... Mulley succeeds in making her human... What is quite clear from this inspiring biography is that Granville was as charismatic as she was courageous.
Roderick Bailey - Literary Review


This is the first book about [Granville] for more than 30 years—and it painstakingly disentangles her complex story and equally complex character.  Clare Mulley has made a fine and soberly thrilling addition to the literature of the undercover war—the sort that does not exaggerate or mythologize.... Christine did not want a normal life: all she cared for was freedom, independence and adventure—the more dangerous, the better. This book, massively researched and excitingly told, brings an extraordinary heroine back to life.
Daily Mail (UK)


This is a meticulously researched but also highly readable account of [Granville’s] heroic but unfulfilled and deeply tragic life, without any attempt at gloss. It is one of the most exciting books I’ve read this year.
Alistair Horne - Spectator (UK)


Assiduously researched, passionately written and highly atmospheric biography… Not just the story of a uniquely brave and complicated patriot, but also a scholarly and tautly written account of secret operations in occupied Europe.
Economist


Apocryphally dubbed Churchill’s favorite spy and possibly the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s Vesper Lynd, Warsaw-born Christine Granville (1908–1952) was the “willfully independent” daughter of a charming but dissolute and caddish Polish aristocrat and a Jewish banking heiress. In England, following Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, Granville, armed with “her gift for languages, her adroit social skills, formidable courage and lust for life,” volunteered for the British Secret Intelligence Service and hatched a bold plan to ski into Poland from Hungary, via the Carpathian mountains, in order to deliver British propaganda to Warsaw and return with intelligence on the Nazi occupation. In other heroic feats, Granville parachuted into occupied France to join a Resistance sabotage network, bribed the Gestapo for the release of three of her comrades just two hours before their execution, and persuaded a Polish garrison conscripted into the Wehrmacht to switch allegiances. Getting short shrift from Britain after the war, Granville supported herself with odd jobs before becoming a stewardess on an ocean liner, where she met the man who would fall for her and become her murderer. Mulley (The Woman Who Saved the Children) gives a remarkable, charismatic woman her due in this tantalizing biography.
Publishers Weekly




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