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Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem: Book Review

  *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

“What I am looking for―what I desperately need, Mrs. Weiss―is a spy.”

Adolf Hitler is still a distant rumble on the horizon, but a Jewish spymaster and his courageous spies uncover a storm of Nazi terror in their own backyard.

In the summer of 1933, a man named Adolf Hitler is the new and powerful anti-Semitic chancellor of Germany. But in Los Angeles, no-nonsense secretary Liesl Weiss has concerns much closer to home. The Great Depression is tightening its grip and Liesl is the sole supporter of two children, an opinionated mother, and a troubled brother.

Leon Lewis is a Jewish lawyer who has watched Adolf Hitler’s rise to power―and the increase in anti-Semitism in America―with growing alarm. He believes Nazi agents are working to seize control of Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever known. The trouble is, authorities scoff at his dire warnings.

When Liesl loses her job at MGM, her only choice is to work with Leon Lewis and the mysterious Agent Thirteen to spy on her friends and neighbors in her German American community. What Leon Lewis and his spies find is more chilling―and more dangerous―than any of them suspected.

Code Name Edelweiss is based on a true story, unknown until recent years: How a lone Jewish lawyer and a handful of amateur spies discovered and foiled Adolf Hitler’s plan to take over Hollywood.

Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction for women, about women. Her newest novel, Code Name Edelweiss, is based on a true story: how a lone Jewish lawyer and his band of amateur spies discovered and foiled Hitler's plan to take over Hollywood.

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From the moment I saw this stunning cover, I was drawn in. Reading the back cover, I knew it was going to be one I would want to read... after all, historical novels set during this period happen to be among my favorites. 

Still, while I love this WWII setting, when we're dealing with the horrors of Nazis, that doesn't exactly make for an easy read... and Stephanie Landsem didn't sugarcoat those horrors. As such, this certainly wasn't the most light-hearted or at points even an enjoyable read. It was a beautifully written story that most certainly needs to be told. It was a bit slower-paced than I often enjoy, though that could have been my state of mind slowing things down. Knowing that this was based on a true story made this all the more intriguing for me, and I certainly appreciated the research that went into bringing this story to life.

If you enjoy historical fiction set around WWII, this is certainly one to check out. 


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