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Publisher's 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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Louise’s War

A very interesting story line and very true for many Americans in the world war 2 time period. Kept me interested. The heroine was a smart and very crafty woman who allowed men as usual to take the credit for what she did. Would highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 05-25-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful War II Mystery!

This is the first book in the Louise Pearlie Mystery Series but it stands alone. Louise works for the top secret office of Strategic Services. Her boss dies of a heart attack shortly after meeting with Louise. She had shown him an important file which would help her Jewish friend escape from the Nazis. He agreed to act upon it. However, the file was missing from his office after his attack. Only her coworkers could have taken it. Who? Louise is desperate to find the file.

This was a fascinating and fun mystery. This is the 2nd book I read of the series and I want to read all of them. Louise and her friends are interesting and fun. I look forward to getting to know them better in future books. I was gifted a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Slower-paced WWII mystery novel

I'm a big mystery fan- especially "cozy mysteries" that don't include a lot of gore/language/extreme violence. I'm also a history lover, so I was excited to give this book a try- but I found it to be pretty mediocre. The story follows Louise who works for the war effort- and her attempt to help a friend in Nazi occupied France escape, and find out who murdered her boss to prevent this. It had a good premise- but there wasn't a huge amount of action- since she was really just trying to locate paperwork and pass it on to the right people- not break her friend out or help her plan a daring escape.

I also had some trouble with the narrator. She did fine with most of the vocal work- but I didn't enjoy her portrayal of Louise (and since she's the main character that counts for a lot). Louise is Southern- and the narrator definitely was not- so sometimes she'd begin a long passage with a strong Southern accent, which would kind of peter out by the end- and then pick up again in the next section.

I also thought there was a lot of needless references to sex/rape/homosexuality in here. While no character actually got raped- there's a scene where Louise is taken and put into a situation where she fears she will be- and is trying to decide if she should just let it happen or fight back. It was just off putting in this type of novel.

I have a good friend who loves this series- so perhaps it's just me, but I don't think I'll be looking for another novel in this series.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful