Monday, December 28, 2015

G643 Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy; Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Title of the book: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy; Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Author: Karen Abbott

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Publishing Date: 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-209290-8


Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and “pioneer of sizzle history” (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.

Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy contains 39 black & white photos and 3 maps.

Author Info:
(From TLC Website)

n that you keep forgetting it’s nonfiction.” (
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Karen AbbottAbout Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott is the New York Timesbestselling author of Sin in the Second City, American Rose, and, most recently,Liar Temptress Soldier Spy, which was named one of the best books of 2014 by Library Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Amazon, and Flavorwire, and which was optioned by Sony for a miniseries. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in New York City, where she’s at work on her next book.
Find out more about Karen at her website.

Personal Opinion:

I will be honest in saying that I liked the way the book was written, and the research the author has done towards the four women is unforgettable. It really reminded me of Claire Prentiss's book, The Lost Tribe of Coney Island which means that a very addictive narrative for both novices and experts when it comes to Civil War. I enjoyed some of the women, much to mine surprise Belle Boyd and Elizabeth Van Lew, while unfortunately, Emma Edmonds and Rose O'Neal Greenhow were not as enjoyable. I don't feel that the women got an equal amount of screen time in the book, and most of the screentime was devoted to Emma Edmonds, while not as much to Elizabeth Van Lew, Belle Boyd and Rose O'Neal Greenhow. Overall, if you're interested in seeing the inner strength that women of Civil War possesed that is beyond that of what Scarlett O'Hara can accomplish, then its the right the book for the reader.

This is a late review for TLC Book Tour

Karen’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, September 8th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, September 9th: Let Them Read Books – guest post
Thursday, September 10th: The Maiden’s Court
Friday, September 11th: Cold Read
Monday, September 14th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, September 16th: Man of La Book
Thursday, September 17th: Bookworm Meets Bookworm
Monday, September 21st: A Book Geek
Tuesday, September 22nd: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, September 23rd: As I turn the pages
Thursday, September 24th: FictionZeal
Tuesday, September 29th: Raven Haired Girl – guest post
Thursday, October 8th: Unabridged Chick
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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