The Spy Who Loved

By Clare Mulley,

Book cover of The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville

Book description

In June 1952, a woman was murdered by an obsessed colleague in a hotel in South Kensington. Her name was Christine Granville. That she died young was perhaps unsurprising, but that she had survived the Second World War was remarkable. The daughter of a feckless Polish aristocrat and his wealthy…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

4 authors picked The Spy Who Loved as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

You might think that a daughter of a count and a runner-up for Miss Poland might not have what it takes to be a spy. You’d be wrong. Krystyna Skarbek was Britain’s first and longest-serving female special agent during World War II.  

When her native Poland was overrun, Krystyna and her husband sailed for London. She wasted no time in offering her services to the British against the Nazis, and the Secret Intelligence Service was happy to recruit this “flaming Polish patriot, expert skier, and great adventuress" who proved her intelligence, daring, and resourcefulness again and again.  Inspiring Winston Churchill…

This is the biography of female spy, Christine Granville, originally born Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek in Poland. As the daughter of a Polish Count and a Jewish mother she always felt she was not totally accepted by members of the family and sought a different life. That opportunity came after Nazi forces invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 and she was engaged as a spy in Poland. Fiercely brave, Skarbek eventually escaped to Britain and was recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and returned to Poland several times on spying missions. Under the false name Christine Granville, she became…

From Helen's list on spies and their greatest stories.

Winston Churchill called Christine Granville his favorite spy during World War II. However, Christine Granville was the code name for Krystyna Skarbek who was born in 1915 in Poland to an aristocratic father and Jewish mother. She grew up privileged, sharp-witted, and later became an expert skier fluent in French. Beautiful, daring, difficult, and adventurous, she and her husband fled to Britain when Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939. There she volunteered to spy for the British and became Britain’s first female special agent.

Granville’s intelligence and effective espionage saved hundreds of lives. The French and British governments conferred many…

This is a great biography of a great subject, Krystyna Skarbek, more famous now as Christine Granville, a Pole who fought with Britain’s Special Operations Executive throughout the war and pulled off some astonishing stunts. It’s a thrilling story, though with a sad ending.

From Robert's list on secret wartime histories around WW2.

Want books like The Spy Who Loved?

Our community of 9,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like The Spy Who Loved.

Browse books like The Spy Who Loved

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Poland, World War 2, and the Special Operations Executive?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Poland, World War 2, and the Special Operations Executive.

Poland Explore 104 books about Poland
World War 2 Explore 1,692 books about World War 2
The Special Operations Executive Explore 14 books about the Special Operations Executive