*Editor's note: This giveaway is closed.
As every history buff knows, World War II is an endlessly fascinating topic with countless angles to explore. We’ve partnered with Kensington to give away a bundle of soon-to-be-released books that bring a few of those stories to you. This must-read bundle includes The Book Spy, a novel inspired by true stories of heroic librarian spies; The Confidante, the first-ever biography of Anna Marie Rosenberg, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who had a huge impact on 20th-century America; and Before the Storm, a novel about a couple’s pursuit of a fugitive Nazi after the war’s end.
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About the Books
Available January 24, 2023
The Book Spy
An American librarian. A Portuguese bookseller. A WWII mission to change the tide of the war.
Inspired by true stories of the heroic librarian spies of WWII and spanning from the New York Public Library to Portugal’s city of espionage, this thrilling tale from the internationally bestselling author of The Long Flight Home is perfect for fans intrigue-packed historical fiction by authors such as Kate Quinn, Marie Benedict, and Pam Jenoff.
1942: With the war’s outcome hanging in the balance, President Roosevelt sends an unlikely new taskforce on a unique mission. They are librarians and microfilm specialists trained in espionage, working with a special branch of the Office of Strategic Services and deployed to neutral cities throughout Europe. By acquiring and scouring Axis newspapers, books, technical manuals, and periodicals, the librarians can gather information about troop location, weaponry, and military plans.
Maria Alves, a microfilm expert working at the New York Public Library, is dispatched to Lisbon, where she meticulously photographs publications and sends the film to London to be analyzed. Working in tandem with Tiago Soares, a Portuguese bookstore owner on a precarious mission of his own—providing Jewish refugees with forged passports and visas—Maria acquires vital information, including a directory of arms factories in Germany.
But as she and Tiago grow closer, any future together is jeopardized when Maria’s superiors ask her to pose as a double agent, feeding misinformation to Lars Steiger, a wealthy Swiss banker and Nazi sympathizer who launders Hitler’s gold. Gaining Lars’ trust will bring Maria into the very heart of the Fuhrer’s inner circle. And it will provide her with a chance to help steer the course of war, if she is willing to take risks as great as the possible rewards . . .
Available February 21, 2023
As FDR’s special envoy to Europe in World War II she went where FDR couldn’t go. She was among the first Allied women to enter a liberated concentration camp, and stood in the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s mountain retreat days after it’s capture. She guided the direction of the G.I. Bill of Rights and the Manhattan Project. Though Anna Rosenberg emerged from modest immigrant beginnings, equipped with only a high school education, she was the real power behind national policies critical to America winning the war and prospering afterwards. Astonishingly, her story remains largely forgotten.
With a disarming mix of charm and Tammany-hewn toughness, Rosenberg began her career in public relations in 1920s Manhattan. She became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, who recommended Anna to her husband, then running for Governor of New York. As FDR’s unofficial adviser, Rosenberg soon wielded enormous influence—no less potent for being subtle. Roosevelt dubbed her “my Mrs. Fix-It.” Her extraordinary career continued after his death.
By 1950, she was tapped to become the assistant secretary of defense—the highest position ever held by a woman in the US military—prompting Senator Joe McCarthy to wage an unsuccessful smear campaign against her. In 1962, she organized JFK’s infamous birthday gala, sitting beside him while Marilyn Monroe sang. Until the end of her life, Rosenberg fought tirelessly for causes from racial integration to women’s equality to national healthcare.
More than the story of one remarkable woman, The Confidante explores who gets to be at the forefront of history, and why. Though she was not quite a hidden figure, Rosenberg’s position as “the power behind,” combined with her status as an immigrant and a Jewish woman, served to diminish her importance. In this inspiring, impeccably researched, and revelatory book, Christopher C. Gorham at last affords Anna Rosenberg the recognition she so richly deserves.
“One of the most influential women in the country's public affairs for a quarter of a century.” —The New York Times
Available February 21, 2023
Before the Storm
Inspired by the real-life husband and wife Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, this thrilling, high-stakes Cold War novel from the bestselling author of Irena’s War follows one couple’s relentless pursuit of a fugitive Nazi scientist in the aftermath of WWII. A must-read for fans of Kate Quinn, Joseph Kanon, Alan Furst, Lara Prescott, and Anika Scott.
Berlin, 1948: World War II may be over, but a new era of conflict has begun. The Russians have cut off all access to the western part of Berlin in an attempt to seize it from the Allies. The thirst for power, dominance, and revenge is as strong as ever, and anti-Semitism is still rampant. When a store in West Berlin is vandalized with Swastikas, Sara Sturm, a German woman working for the US Department of Public Affairs, is dispatched to investigate, and meets Max and Karl Portnoy, two Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. Sharing their stories of loss, Sara and Max form a bond. Max and his family were sent to a concentration camp during the war, where his parents and sister perished. The man who betrayed them, Nazi nuclear scientist Heinz Hoffman, is now a wanted criminal. Since Max and his brother are among the very few who can identify him, Sara agrees to accompany them to Hoffman’s last known whereabouts, hoping they will finally be able to bring him to justice. But tracking the elusive Hoffman is not just difficult, it’s perilous. From the mountainous backroads of Bavaria to the Soviet border, Sara and Max race to evade assassins sent by the top-secret Odessa organization. And then there are other adversaries, hidden but no less lethal, determined to gain control of Hoffman and the knowledge he possesses—knowledge that may determine the course of countless wars to come.