Friday, January 20, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Undercover Secretary



France, 1942. “With tremendous effort, I forced myself to hold his gaze. My heart was thrashing inside my chest like a bird battering its wings. The room was suddenly devoid of air. Time itself stood still. They knew who I was. They knew what I’d done.” This heartbreaking World War Two page-turner tells the incredible true story of Dora Schaul, one of history’s most courageous women.

It was a misty Wednesday morning. Inside the Gestapo headquarters, you could cut the tension with a knife. There was a traitor in their midst: someone had leaked a list of the SS to the British press.

The head of the Gestapo called me into his office. Panelled oak walls, a grand piano in the corner, rugs lining the floor—the place where he ordered executions every day.

I sat at the desk, reaching for the typewriter and adjusting the paper. On the wall, the clock ticked loudly.

He stood over me; I could almost feel his breath on my neck. “I don’t know where the leak came from. Do you?” he asked.

I couldn’t stop my hands from trembling. I was sure he could hear the thrashing of my heart.

Because I wasn’t just a secretary: I was an undercover Jewish girl. The person who fetched them tea, typed their letters, and made them laugh was their enemy. And my day of reckoning had arrived…

Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Alice Network, and The Lilac Girls will be utterly swept away by this emotional page-turner about the brave woman who risked her life every day by coming face-to-face with enemy—the monsters who killed her loved ones.


Title:   The Undercover Secretary 
Author:  Ellie Midwood
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Historical Fiction 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  254
Date of Publication:  January 19, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars

Dora Schaul has already lost everything, so she is not afraid to take any risk necessary to confront those responsible for killing those she loved. Now working for an underground network in France, Dora has already taken on dangerous missions, but what she is about to do now, working undercover as a secretary to the head of the Gestapo, Klaus Barbie, could truly place her in grave danger. Can she successfully accomplish her mission of getting the names of the SS to the British press and remain undetected while doing so? 

Dora exhibited remarkable bravery while working undercover for Klaus Barbie, who was called the Butcher of Lyon and this proved how amazing she was. How brave and fearless she was. Despite danger at every turn, Dora found someone during these difficult times, and that was Alfred Benjamin. This gave her opportunities to work together with him as part of the the resistance. Dora and Albert developed a friendship that turned into love. This showed that there is a possibility that light can shine through the darkness. 

This remarkable book by Ellie Midwood showed how far Dora went in order to work towards the end of the war. The fact that this remarkable book was based on the real life experiences of Dora Schaul, a true heroine, made it was easy to have great respect for her, as her initial desire to find justice for those she lost fueled her determination to continue on no matter the cost. No matter the danger. 

The Undercover Secretary is the eighth book. I have had the privilege of reading by Ellie Midwood. Each and every book that I have read by her garnered five stars from me, and this latest book by this very talented author is yet another example of fabulous writing. This story clearly displays incredible research and talent, taking a story that takes place in one of the most difficult times in history and turning it into an unforgettable, remarkable read that just makes any reader wanting even more.  

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author, whose works have been translated into 14 languages. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, "The Girl from Berlin." Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their two dogs.

Author social media  


Instagram: @elliemidwood


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