“A thrilling tale of love, loyalty, and espionage, based on the incredible true story of Elizabeth Bentley, a Cold War double agent spying for the Russians and the United States, from USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Marie Thornton. “
Publishing September 14, 2021
Stephanie Marie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with women from history since she was twelve. She is the author of seven novels and lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska. https://www.stephaniethorntonauthor.com/
Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
In A Most Clever Girl, based on the true story of Elizabeth Bentley, a World War ll spy and Cold War informer, Stephanie Thornton teaches readers tricks of the spy trade along with life lessons. Catherine Gray, a journalism major and an intern at the White House, is in shock after the death of her mother, discovery of an unsettling letter, and the assassination of President Kennedy. Catherine has concluded that Elizabeth Bentley is the reason her life has been a complete lie and wanting an explanation, has tracked down Elizabeth and given her one hour to explain the lies before she pulls the trigger. So, at the end of her life, on the clock and at gunpoint, Elizabeth Bentley, through flashbacks, recounts her life of espionage to explain how life as a spy was really one of loneliness, love, and sacrifice, along with courage. Readers will sneak through the bar scenes, while keeping up with disguises, code names, and ‘honey traps’ and take Elizabeth’s advice to stay one move ahead, as she compares spy strategies to a chess board and “A Queen’s Gambit.” Political heavy weights such as J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, and Richard Nixon are mingled with Meet the Press, NBC, and the New York Times. Encrypted codes, and double-speak are woven into life lessons on people as puzzles, figuring out motivations, and the study of human behaviors. Stephanie Thornton’s A Most Clever Girl peeks into the Golden Age of Spying and post-World War ll America, while jerking back the curtain on Communism. The last question for readers: After court cases, prison sentences, and informants sent to the electric chair, was Elizabeth Bentley telling the truth?