In 1943, movie producer Henrik Zoltan approaches Amelie Blake under the guise of offering the Hollywood star a leading part in his upcoming film, but he has a more meaningful role in mind. Amelie’s homeland of Sweden declared neutrality in the war, but Stockholm has become the “Casablanca of the North.” When top-secret atomic research goes missing in Sweden, the Allied forces scramble to recover the files before they fall into Nazi hands.
The United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) needs someone who’s subtle enough to spy on the Swedish elite without triggering suspicion. Who better than the “all beauty, no brains” Scandinavian starlet? Fluent in three languages and possessing a brilliant memory, Amelie loathes being labeled witless but uses the misconception as her disguise. She’s tasked with searching for the crucial files, but Fynn Ristaffason keeps getting in her way. Is the charming shipping magnate after the missing research? Or does he have other reasons for showing up at her every turn?
With the Gestapo on her heels, Amelie must rely on her smarts in addition to her acting skills to survive a world of deadly spies and counterspies.
Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.
More from Rachel
Setting The Starlet Spy in Sweden
Hej! If you’ve ever been to Ikea, then you know that’s the Swedish greeting for Hello! Prior to writing The Starlet Spy, my knowledge of the Swedish culture was limited. It seemed I wasn’t alone. Early last year, I held a poll on my social media asking if anyone had ever read a book set in Sweden. A sweeping majority said no.
Since all of my previous books are set in the United States, this is my first novel with an international setting. So I immersed myself into research. I read books about the country, watched videos, followed Swedish Instagrammers to learn more about the language. And let me tell you, I totally fell in love with this Scandinavian world. It is now on my bucket list to visit because it’s just that gorgeous. I wrote The Starlet Spy with a romantic adventure vibe. I wanted to take the reader on a tour of this amazing country, from the classically beautiful Stockholm, to the quaint fishermen city of Malmo, to the ancient streets of Sigtuna—one of Sweden’s oldest villages—to the brilliant Northern Lights in the Lapland region.
Not only did I want to paint the scene of these various places, but I also wanted to introduce the Swedish culture. Tucked within the pages of The Starlet Spy, the reader will find traces of Scandinavian folklore and legends, which was super fun to explore. But to be honest, my favorite inclusion of Swedish culture was incorporating a traditional dance—the Hambo! It’s such an interesting and unique dance, and I may have been trying to coax my husband into trying it with me for an Instagram Reel, but so far, no such luck! Though I have no problem getting him to enjoy Fika with me. Fika, my friends, is a coffee break, or simply coffee. Just as the British favor their tea, the Swedes are adamant about their fika. So I can most definitely relate.
If all this intrigues you, I welcome you to read The Starlet Spy. It’s set in 1943, which was a pivotal time for Sweden during World War II. If you’ve read my previous stories, you know how much I love to weave as much true history into the chapters. This book has by far the most!
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