A Review: Liar Temptress Soldier Spy (I Met the Author!)

Summary: New York Times bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything during the Civil War. Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines. The beautiful widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives. With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerto,n, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor NapolĂ©on III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring—and, until now, unsung—heroines.

Thoughts: I LOVED this book! Even though a reader's copy was provided, I ended up purchasing it through Audible as well so I could listen when I was editing photos and cooking dinner and reaching my 10,000 steps. I needed to know what was going to happen next! I'd heard of Belle Boyd from one of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed in History Class, and had been interested in hearing more about women involved in the Civil War after reading Erin Lindsay McCabe's I Shall Be Near to You (which is FANTASTIC), so this seemed like it would fit the bill. Abbott doesn't disappoint-- she really brings each of these women to life with beautiful prose and her attention to detail. If you're into fast-paced nonfiction about incredible women in America's history go grab a copy NOW!

Oh, and don't be jealous, but Karen Abbott just happened to be in Chicago this week so I also got to meet her and get my book signed!!! Yep, so cool. Here's some photos from the event at Women and Children First in Andersonville (these were taken on a Nikon and edited on an iPhone-- be nice!):

The Author: Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City, American Rose, and, most recently, Liar Temptress Soldier Spy, which was named one of the best books of 2014 by Library Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Amazon, and Flavorwire, and which was optioned by Sony for a miniseries. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in New York City, where she's at work on her next book.

*I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours and Harper Perennial in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, TLC!


  1. I love that you were so impatient to keep reading that you got the audio book as well - that's certainly a sign of an engaging read!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. Hi Beth,

    Thanks so much for the great review! And it was lovely to meet you--hope we can stay in touch.


    Karen Abbott

    1. Yes, it was certainly a pleasure! I'm in the process of collecting all your work now! Can't wait to see what you give us next :)

  3. Ha!
    "don't be jealous", she says! I guess I fail that one. But how cool! Wish I could have been there!

    1. Haha! I know, right?! It was awesome and she was so nice!


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