Bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini delves into the complex and always exciting world of espionage in her historical novel The Spymistress. Based on the real life spy Elizabeth Van Lew, an aristocratic Virginian who risked her life during the Civil War to steal Confederate secrets and pass intelligence to the Union, this is colorful story full of drama and intrigue. The highly skilled Van Lew, whose accomplishments were impressive enough to grant her posthumous entry into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, helped construct the Richmond Underground and arranged for escapes from Confederate Libby Prison. Her vast spy ring even managed to infiltrate the home of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.
Spy novels have always been popular, but it is rare and refreshing to find one which is centered on such an unlikely heroine: An affluent well-bred lady whose loyalty to the South during the Civil War would never have been questioned. However, it was not just Elizabeth’s convincing façade that made her such an effective operative, but her cleverness and aptitude as well.
Jennifer Chiaverini has authored a number of books including Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.