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Summary

It's 1942. Louise Pearlie, a young widow, has come to Washington DC to work as a clerk for the legendary OSS, the precursor to the CIA. When, while filing, she discovers a document concerning the husband of a college friend, Rachel Bloch - a young French Jewish woman she is desperately worried about - Louise realizes she may be able to help get Rachel out of Vichy France. But then a colleague whose help Louise has enlisted is murdered, and she realizes she is on her own, unable to trust anyone.

©2011 Sarah R. Shaber (P)2017 Sarah R. Shaber

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Enjoyable WW2 mystery...

When Louise stumbles upon some worrying information, she hatches a plan to try and get her friend, Rachel, out of occupied France. She soon realises that her good intentions have some big repercussions, and that shes uncovered much more than she could have imagined...
Sarah Shaber does a good job of describing and giving the feel of the 1940's, and the narrator (Jenny Hoops) seems very suited to the period and type of story being described..
Recommended.

I received this copy for free, in exchange for an honest review.

7 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Maggie May
  • Maggie May
  • 20-01-18

The audio version of a page-turner!

Louise, a North Carolina widow with blue collar origins, works for a government agency in a time when nobody can really talk much about his or her job. It was also a time when women could be invisible enough to suss out important information and make things happen - if they can live with the danger, the possible consequences if discovered, and no credit whatsoever.

When Louise tries to get her dearest friend out of Nazi occupied France, she uncovers far more than she could have imagined.
The character list is widely varied and multi-racial and cultural. Though there is a lot of sexism and separatism that was usual for the 1940s in the US, we also see a burgeoning feminism and racial tolerance that I found very heartening. Ms. Hoops did a fine job with all her characters. Every voice was distinctive.

I had a hard time putting it down (or turning it off).

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ivy Moore
  • 26-09-18

cried at the end <3

This is just lovely. It's such an odd word to describe an audiobook but this was such a poignant story. I love how Shaber immerses you in the 1940's. She has a gift for putting you right there in the settings. I felt the frustration, the danger and even the relief and comfort that Louise went through. The sadness I felt about the refugee camps and the people detained there brought to mind what has gone on here in the US lately. The struggle Louise's best friend went through and THEN everything Louise went through to try and help her was heart touching. Shaber needs to keep writing. Seriously.

The narration by Jenny Hoops is perfect for these novels. It's so difficult for a narrator to do an authentic opposite gender voice and often they will go to extremes. Hoops uses a delicate touch to subtly change her voice for different characters. What I REALLY was thrilled about is that Hoops doesn't use stereotypical voices for people of color. Ugh, that is off-putting. Louise is portrayed as ladylike and Hoops captures that perfectly. I hope she continues to narrate the Louise Pearlie novels.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Finola Jennings Clark
  • 04-12-18

Bit of romance bit of girl stuff lots of intrigue!

Let me say outright, at the beginning I felt like the narration was a bit stilted, some words almost computer-like - BUT that very soon passed and Louise's Story came to life and carried me along with it as the story unfolded 'page-by-page' with intrigue, wry observations on a woman's place in work and life in wartime America.
There author, Sarah R. Shaber, manages to touch on quite a number of subjects: religion, politics, chavanism, women's rights and dreams and does so without it feeling like she's trying to - the story naturally hits those challenges as Louise tries to figure out her work and private life, solve the mystery of the missing file, be a bit of a spy...
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy for an honest review. I can say I really enjoyed this book and found myself at the end, wondering what Louise and the people in her life would get up to next!

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  • Jan M
  • 25-05-18

Great WWII Story

I was pulled into this book from the very beginning. I loved how the author wove the tale of friends on different continents during the war. The imagery in this story was so vivid. I thought the story showed the conditions and fears very realistically. The characters were well developed, and facing tremendous danger. The narrator did an awesome performance with this book with the right emotions and tension. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. Typically I listen to romance and mystery/thriller books. I found this story to have a great mix of that and history. This was time well spent listening. I would definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.

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  • Dennis
  • 04-02-21

AWESOME

I not normally a person who read or listen to this type books but for some reason the title caught my eye and I had to hear it so I got the whole series.
Place Washington DC, time WW II and a young women name Louise from my neck of the woods Wilmington, North Carolina and works as file clerk for the government and lives in a boarding house with both men and women who in time became like a family and each member with secrets and mysterious backgrounds.
A file is found by Louise that shows a man and family from Nazi held France and the women turns out to be an old schoolmate of hers and now was in danger due to her, her husband and children being Jewish and living under Nazi rule. The husband has tried to get a visa to the US but was refused French government and the US had not tried to do anything to help. Then the file disappeared a man is murdered and now Louise must find a way to recreate the file and get it in the right hands to save her friend and also unknown to her the file she recreats does save her friend but at the same time shows who the murderer is and the reason the file was taken and that was to cover another crime done back in 1939.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ellen Oceanside
  • 02-06-20

Excellent

New author for me, and I like the detail she brings of that time period in our history. That seemed to be more of a threat of the nazi and being deported. For her to do it on her own to help, made this a story you wanted to finish.
Given audio which added to this story for my voluntary review and my honest opinion

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lorraine Croy
  • 25-04-20

feisty lady!

Interesting inside glimpse of pre- war Washington. Feisty southern lady fighting in a man's world!

1 person found this helpful

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  • SS in Montana
  • 17-10-19

Entertaining and Lighthearted

I have listened to each of these Louise stories that are available on Audible. The stories are fun and believable and Jenny Hoops does a great job as narrator, Her Southern accent is charming and as I am from the South, totally believable. I only wish Audible had the other episodes that are missing.

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  • Jan
  • 13-06-19

Excellent start to the series

Washington DC, WW2, women's-fiction, suspense

Can you call it a murder mystery if it takes most of the book before the murder is no longer called *a heart attack*? Louise works as a file clerk for a clandestine agency and discovered that the good friend from college is in danger from the Nazis in occupied France. Just after she passed information to her boss that would help her friend and her family, the man is found dead of an apparent heart attack and his office a mess. The file that would help her friend goes missing and the story gets progressively more interesting!
The story is well worth the read, but narrator Jenny Hoops makes it even more so!

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  • Laura
  • 11-06-19

Intriguing Cozy Set During WWII

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are mine.

This is the first book in the Louise Pearlie series. It is set during WWII in Washington DC. Louise is a widow and has gotten a job as a clerk with the US govt. Through this job, she is privy to a lot of secrets. Her Jewish friend from college is living in Nazi occupied France. Louise comes upon some information which she believes will help her friend escape. She passes the file to her superior and soon thereafter, he is dead and the file is gone. Louise decides to investigate so she can help her friend.

I read the 4th book in this series - and so enjoyed it that I wanted to start from the beginning. I love the historical aspect of this series. It is also very interesting to see a woman - who is learning to stand up for herself - navigate her way through a very male-dominated workplace with the male-dominant thinking of the time. Especially intriguing, given the time period, is Lousie trying to determine who to trust and who is not quite what they seem. Louise lives in a bording house and the sub-story of the other borders, especially Joseph, was a lot of fun.

The narrator is absolutely perfect for this series - and her accents for the various characters were great.

1 person found this helpful