Feb 28, 2023
I fell in love with Stephanie Landsem's writing after we chatted about (and then I read) her novel, In a Far-Off Land, but during that interview, she gave us a glimpse of her next release, Code Name Edelweiss, and whooeee! I knew it would be a great book. What I didn't know was how important it would be to today's reader. In her upcoming release, we get a hard look back at the horrors of the past and see how they are still playing out in similar ways today.
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I don't say that lightly. I'm fully convinced that no book can kick this one off the "most important to read" list for 2023 for multiple reasons, but the three most important are ones we discussed in this interview.
There are so many other lessons, but man... the story itself is brilliant as it is. Seeing Leon Lewis in action instead of in an article on a website really brought the past to life. The police corruption, the isolationist ideologies (and how on earth did that even work???), the propaganda, and the diabolical grooming of boys who just needed strong role models. The current parallels shook me as I read the book.
“What I am looking for?what I desperately need, Mrs. Weiss?is a spy.”
Adolf Hitler is still a distant rumble on the horizon, but a Jewish spymaster and his courageous spies uncover a storm of Nazi terror in their own backyard.
In the summer of 1933, a man named Adolf Hitler is the new and powerful anti-Semitic chancellor of Germany. But in Los Angeles, no-nonsense secretary Liesl Weiss has concerns much closer to home. The Great Depression is tightening its grip and Liesl is the sole supporter of two children, an opinionated mother, and a troubled brother.
Leon Lewis is a Jewish lawyer who has watched Adolf Hitler’s rise to power?and the increase in anti-Semitism in America?with growing alarm. He believes Nazi agents are working to seize control of Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever known. The trouble is, authorities scoff at his dire warnings.
When Liesl loses her job at MGM, her only choice is to work with Leon Lewis and the mysterious Agent Thirteen to spy on her friends and neighbors in her German American community. What Leon Lewis and his spies find is more chilling?and more dangerous?than any of them suspected.
Code Name Edelweiss is based on a true story, unknown until recent years: How a lone Jewish lawyer and a handful of amateur spies discovered and foiled Adolf Hitler’s plan to take over Hollywood.
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