Book Review: The Lipstick Bureau By Michelle Gable


Inspired by a real-life female spy, a WWII-set novel about a woman challenging convention and boundaries to help win a war, no matter the cost.

“A gripping, fascinating read.” —Kelly Rimmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Warsaw Orphan

1944, Rome. Newlywed Niki Novotná is recruited by a new American spy agency to establish a secret branch in Italy’s capital. One of the OSS’s few female operatives abroad and multilingual, she’s tasked with crafting fake stories and distributing propaganda to lower the morale of enemy soldiers.

Despite limited resources, Niki and a scrappy team of artists, forgers and others—now nicknamed The Lipstick Bureau—find success, forming a bond amid the cobblestoned streets and storied villas of the newly liberated city. But her work is also a way to escape devastating truths about the family she left behind in Czechoslovakia and a future with her controlling American husband.

As the war drags on and the pressure intensifies, Niki begins to question the rules she’s been instructed to follow, and a colleague unexpectedly captures her heart. But one step out of line, one mistake, could mean life or death…


Inspiring read!

It did take me a little while to get into (given the genre) however I learned a lot and at the same time I found it addicting to read.
Historical fiction + the spy type of element I have been into lately and I have been finding it so interesting and inspiring what women in the past have been through. They don’t make them like they used to. Hard workers.

The risks these women had taken during war, actually doing something about it and having to face real hard decisions.

I really enjoyed the fact this was inspired by a WW2 female spy who did work for the US in the OSS.

I will not give much away because that’s the best way to read this. Who knew a lot of propaganda went into the war in terms of helping them come out of the war?

There are many moments of humour and some joyous moments especially upon reflection as the main character Nikki shares with her daughter.

5/5 Stars


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