The Incidental Spy

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Young Lena Bentheim is forced to flee Nazi Germany for Chicago in 1935, leaving her family and boyfriend behind. After learning English, she eventually finds a new life as a secretary in the Physics Department of the University of Chicago. She meets and marries another German refugee scientist and has a child. Then tragedy strikes, and Lena is forced to spy on the nuclear fission experiments at the U of Chicago.

A novella set in the early years of the Manhattan Project, The Incidental Spy is another fascinating historical thriller by Libby Fischer Hellmann, also the author of the highly acclaimed stand-alone thrillers Set the Night on Fire, A Bitter Veil, and Havana Lost.

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Here are some short interviews with Libby about different aspects of the story and her writing process:

Read an Excerpt


Superbly developed into a logically thrilling story with well-developed characters that seem too human many times. Haunting and memorable.

Teri Davis, The Daily Nonpareil

Libby Fischer Hellmann has become one of my new favorite writers.

Randee Baty, The Butler Did It Blog

Ms. Hellmann’s love of history and thirst for knowledge shines through… a fabulously researched and beautifully told story.

Michelle Nicholls, Big Little Sister Blog

This book will have you spellbound and Lena is anything but an ‘incidental spy.’ When the truth is revealed, it will leave you speechless.

Starr Gardiner, author of The Other Side series