From the million-copy Sunday Times bestseller comes a thrilling story about a woman with an extraordinary life, based on a true story.
Minnie Gray is an ordinary young woman.
She is also a spy for the British government.
It all began in the summer of 1928...
Minnie is supposed to find a nice man, get married and have children. The problem is it doesn’t appeal to her at all. She is working as a secretary, but longs to make a difference.
Then, one day, she gets her chance. She is recruited by the British government as a spy. Under strict instructions not to tell anyone, not even her family, she moves to London and begins her mission – to infiltrate the Communist movement.
She soon gains the trust of important leaders. But as she grows more and more entangled in the workings of the movement, her job becomes increasingly dangerous. Leading a double life is starting to take its toll on her relationships and, feeling more isolated than ever, she starts to wonder how this is all going to end. The Russians are notorious for ruthlessly disposing of people given the slightest suspicion.
What if they find out?
Full of suspense, courage and love, A Beautiful Spy is a stunningly written story about resisting the norm and following your dreams, even if they come with sacrifices.
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'Based on a true story, this fantastic novel follows the adventures of a suburban girl recruited by MI5 to infiltrate the British Communist Party (BCP) in the years before World War II… Hore reveals a thrilling world of high-stakes politics alongside the inner life of a passionate young woman leading a dangerous double existence. The humdrum, lonely nature of espionage is brilliantly evoked; Minnie longs for friendships but can’t get too close, while love is out of the question, particularly love for Max. Exciting, impeccably researched and full of powerful period atmosphere'
‘A superb novel. I absolutely loved it. Rachel Hore brilliantly contrasts the thrilling world of high-stakes politics with the inner life of a passionate woman leading a dangerous double existence’
— Wendy Holden, author of The Governess
'Phenomenal! Absolutely loved it. I was rooting for Minnie from page one right to the very end... What a treat of a read'
— Tracy Rees, author of The House at Silvermoor
Based on the life of Olga Gray, this atmospheric thriller is a delight to read’
‘Stunning. A masterclass in storytelling. Flawless writing and a great plot that builds suspense… This is one of those unforgettable books whose characters stay with you and whom you miss when they’re gone… I loved every moment’
— Dinah Jefferies, author of The Tuscan Contessa
'Rachel Hore has written a masterful novel, rich in period detail, and her heroine is an unforgettable character – an ordinary young woman who achieves extraordinary things for her country'
'As far as her friends and family think, Minnie is an ordinary girl but she is a government spy – recruited to infiltrate the communist government. But how long can anyone lead a double life? Based on a true story'
'A compulsive and enjoyable read'
— Historical Novel Society
'Historical suspense… Minnie Gray – on the outside an ordinary woman, inside a spy for the British Government who is asked to infiltrate the Russians. Inspired by the real-life story of secretary Olga Gray'
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About Sandra Duncan
Sandra Duncan is a multi-award winning actress who has appeared as Mrs. Birling in An Inspector Calls, as Bernarda in The House of Bernarda Alba for Shared Experience, and in the West End productions of Abelard and Eloise and The Secretary Bird. Her television credits include appearances in Midsomer Murders, Silk, and as a series regular in Westgate for SABC. She lives and works in London.