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Louise's War by Sarah Shaber
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Louise's War (edition 2011)

by Sarah Shaber

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344329,500 (3.54)2
Member:NewsieQ
Title:Louise's War
Authors:Sarah Shaber
Info:Severn House Publishers (2011), Hardcover, 208 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Cozy, Mystery

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Louise's War by Sarah Shaber

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While working as a file clerk in the Office of Secret Service (OSS) in the early days of World War II, 20-something widow Louise Pearlie comes across the file of her college friend’s husband, a Jewish hydrologist who is trying to get his family out of Vichy France. She owes her friend Rachel a huge debt of gratitude, and wants to help the family get out of France before they’re interned by the Nazis.

As a file clerk, Louise has little power, so she gives the file to her superior for his help. But soon there’s a suspicious death in the OSS offices and the file goes missing. Not knowing whom she can trust to help her, Louise takes on the task of trying to reconstruct the file.

As I was reading Louise’s War, I was also reading the biography of William “Wild Bill” Donovan, the charismatic head of the OSS during the war years, not the first non-fiction book I’ve read about the OSS. And it seems to me Ms. Shaber has accurately portrayed the atmosphere in the OSS during its formative months … and the eccentric natures of many of those pioneering spies. The author has done her homework.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Sarah Shaber -- and I really loved her earlier mysteries featuring Professor Simon Shaw. I could never understand why her name wasn’t up there with the greats of cozy mysteries and permanently ensconced on the best-seller list. It may be that she didn’t crank out a book every year as many of the better-known authors did.

Until I saw a blurb about her “Louise” books in Mystery Scene magazine, I didn’t know she was back in the game … and as terrific a writer as ever. Now I can’t wait to read #2 in the series! Long live Louise Pearlie! ( )
2 vote NewsieQ | Dec 14, 2012 |
Louise is a young widow working for OSS in 1942 when she learns that her former college roommate, Rachel, is trapped in occupied France. When Louise learns that the file on Rachel's husband is missing she decides to do her own investigating in the hopes that OSS can help the family escape. This easy to read mystery recreates the war years, and particularly the changes to American society for women. Unfortunately, the ending is never completely resolved. ( )
  milibrarian | Jan 24, 2012 |
Clearly, the author's research is noteworthy. The vivid, realistic depiction of a Washington DC during WWII is fascinating, not only in how significantly women's roles changed during the war, but also in the intriguing mélange of unconventional characters bustling about the city. Louise Pearlie of Wilmington NC is one of these unique women whose lackluster life toiling at her family's fish camp (in reality, most likely Burgaw NC) is dramatically transformed "…as the only clerk in the Research and Analysis branch of the Office of Strategic Services with a Top Secret clearance…"

What eventually transpires within these secret, ostensibly secure sanctuaries is the crux of Louise's War, and such events are far too unfathomable to be accepted as reality. The cursory impetus that propelled Louise's frantic attempts to facilitate a timely escape from Nazi-occupied Vichy, France for her dear Jewish friend Rachel and her children is an integral narrative which deserved more consideration and exposure than it received. ( )
  saratoga99 | Oct 9, 2011 |
I have read Sarah Shaber's other novels about Professor Simon Shaw set in North Carolina. I anxiously awaited reading this new series set in Washington, DC, during World War II. The story centers on the newly organized OSS, which later becomes the CIA. Shaber outlines the various activities of the organization and life in Washington, DC, during this time. They story also covers the plight of the Jews in France. Shaber rendition of the events is simplistic and omits the horrors of the rise of Hitler. The story seems to as fodder for teens instead of adults. The idea is noble, but the relaying is juvenile. ( )
  delphimo | Aug 30, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0727880403, Hardcover)

It's 1942.  Louise Pearlie, a young widow, has come to Washington DC to work for the legendary Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA.  When she discovers a document concerning the husband of her college friend Rachel Bloch-a young French Jewish woman she is desperately worried about-Louise realizes she may be able to help Rachel escape from 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...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:38 -0400)

"It's 1942. Louise Pearlie, a young widow, has come to Washington DC to work for the legendary Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. When she discovers a document concerning the husband of her college friend Rachel Bloch, a young French Jewish woman she is desperately worried about, Louise realizes she may be able to help Rachel escape from 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 ..."--Amazon.com.… (more)

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