The Incidental Spy by Libby Fischer Hellmann

The Incidental Spy by Libby Fischer Hellmann Purchase:

    Libby Hellman Fischer can always be relied upon for riveting mysteries filled with engaging characters whose struggles pull at readers’ heartstrings.

    Young Lena Bentheim is forced to flee Nazi Germany for Chicago in 1935, leaving her family and boyfriend behind. After learning English, she eventually finds a new life as a secretary in the Physics Department of the University of Chicago.

    She meets and marries another German refugee scientist and has a child. Then tragedy strikes, and Lena is forced to spy on the nuclear fission experiments at the U of Chicago. A novella set in the early years of the Manhattan Project,

    The Incidental Spy is another fascinating historical thriller by Libby Fischer Hellmann, also the author of the highly acclaimed stand-alone thrillers Set the Night on Fire, A Bitter Veil, and Havana Lost.

    Review by Russie:

    Libby Fischer Hellmann
    Libby Fischer Hellmann

    Lena Bentheim, at sixteen, must flee Nazi Germany for America in 1935, leaving her family and friends behind. She is taken in by her aunt Ursula in Chicago, where she is taught English and is educated to be a secretary. Soon after she is employed at the University, she meets and marries, Karl-a scientist and fellow German refugee-who works on the nuclear fission experiments.
    After Karl is killed in an “accident” and Lena’s son is kidnapped.

    Lena, if she ever wants to see her son again, is forced to work as a spy, but who is she actually spying for? This book takes you through the horrors of Nazi Germany, to the beginnings of the Manhattan Project, where spies are spying on spies, and Lena doesn’t know who to trust.

    The Incidental Spy was very well researched and historically correct. The end was as riveting as it was satisfying! I highly recommend this book.

    Review by Jim McCarty Jr.:

    Another outstanding Libby Fischer Hellmann read, “The Incidental Spy” is an incredibly suspenseful tale involving possible espionage during WWII. Lena, a young German girl is uprooted from Berlin to Chicago in 1935. Lena is leaving behind the love of her life Josef.

    As time goes by Lena becomes a secretary at a physics lab.

    Married to Karl, and with a son, Max by 1939. It’s worrisome Europe is falling apart from the Nazis very quickly now. Next when Pearl Harbor hits it wakes up Lena to fact the war is very real. With some really quick twists and turns Lena’s life becomes a war nightmare. I read this novella in just one sitting. From the first page until it’s conclusion I had to find out what comes next.

    Chock full of some colorful well-developed characters helping making the read that much more enjoyable. An amazing five star out of a possible five stars for this heart wrenching vehicle. I’d highly recommend this novella to everyone, not just history or mystery readers. It has a lot to say. Author Libby Fischer Hellmann is a superb story teller. Don’t miss out on this story.

    Review by Cindy Chow:

    Libby Hellman Fischer can always be relied upon for riveting mysteries filled with engaging characters whose struggles pull at readers’ heartstrings. Although Judaism and a Jewish identity have often played significant roles in her mystery series, in this novella it becomes the focus. In 1935, young Lena Bentheim flees from Nazi Germany to Chicago, and though she finds work and love at the University of Chicago, her husband is tragically killed.

    To protect the one she loves most, Lena is forced into spying on nuclear projects in her physics department, and her loyalties are continually torn as she is pressured by numerous factions with questionable motives. Lena is so likable and sympathetic that readers will be quickly drawn into this tale and fully invested in Lena’s relentless struggle to evade danger.

    The inclusion of historical lore that expands on the discoveries that could affect the world enhances the novella and reveal how science can win a war.