War, Spies & Bobby Sox

  • by Libby Fischer Hellmann
  • Narrated by Diane Piron-Gelman, Derek Shetterly
  • 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As World War II rages across Europe and the Pacific, its impact ripples through communities in the heartland of America. A farm girl is locked in a dangerous love triangle with two Germans soldiers held in an Illinois POW camp. Another German, a war refugee, is forced to risk her life spying on the developing Manhattan Project in Chicago. And espionage surrounds the disappearance of an actress from the thriving Jewish community of Chicago's Lawndale. In this trio of tales, acclaimed thriller author Libby Fischer Hellmann beautifully depicts the tumultuous effect of war on the home front and illustrates how the action, terror, and tragedy of World War II was not confined to the front lines.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great historical thriller!

What was one of the most memorable moments of War, Spies & Bobby Sox?

The emotion of Lena in the first novella, The Incidental Spy, is moving. This is not simply an action packed book, there is lots of emotion and tensions run high. It is written with such grace that you can feel the mother's pain and hopelessness to end up spying for her sworn enemies.


What does Diane Piron-Gelman and Derek Shetterly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They do a great job of distinguishing characters in dialogue and bringing emotion into the voices. I loved the German accents that I got from listening that I wouldn't have heard in my own head.


Any additional comments?

I don't normally read historical fiction, but I love Libby Fischer Hellman and she genre-bends like no other author I've ever read. War, Spies, and Bobby Sox is a collection of 2 novellas and a short story that are definitely historical thrillers. There is romance, espionage, mystery, murder, and war in each of these stories that keep the reader turning pages. We opened with The Incidental Spy, and I give this story 5 stars. This novella is fast paced and gut-wrenching; Ms. Hellman was able to put me in Lena's situation and give me compassion and empathy for her situation and her child. The second story, POW, seems like a lighthearted love triangle in the beginning, but has sinister undertones throughout, and comes to a dramatic ending. This novella also gets 5 stars from me! Then, we get the short story, The Day Miriam Hirsch Disappeared, which is a very fast story, so fast in fact that it seems clipped. I am not usually a fan of short stories, and this one could have definitely been fleshed out a bit more.

Overall, War, Lies, and Bobby Sox is a fantastic historical thriller that is made up of two absolutely fantastic novellas that will stay with you long after you have finished them. I was sucked in from the very beginning and couldn't stop listening. I did listen to the audiobook, so I cannot comment on any grammatical/spelling/formatting issues. The narrator, Diane Piron-Gelman did a fabulous job of differentiating between the characters during the dialogue and even the different German men. This was a high quality audiobook that is definitely worth your money.

The author, Libby Fischer Hellman gave me an audio copy of this book in exchange for an honest review; this in no way affects my opinions, although I am very grateful to her for the chance to listen to her book.

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- jtobair

WWII Homefront with a bit of Cinema Noir

War, Spies & Bobby Sox captured the events that happened during World War II. The first story, The Incidental Spy is about a German woman blackmailed into spying on the Manhattan Project. The second story is about love triangle of a farm girl in Illinois and two German POWs. And the last story, The Day Miriam Hirsch Disappeared is about an actress gone missing in Chicago's Lawndale.

Listeners and readers will learn something of what is happening on American soil while the men are sent to both on the European and Pacific front during WWII. What most people will think is that the Germans are after the secret of the nuclear bomb. What they don't realize the Communists were also spying on American science and technology.

The second story of the love triangle is tragic. This bit of history is not known or learned in history classes. German and Italians POWs are shipped to the U.S. Those that are captured in Northern Africa are sent to the Mid-West. Those that are captured in Europe, are sent to New Jersey. I love this bit of information from this era. I also love the quote at the end of this story "that everyone is the victim of war."

The third story about the missing actress has a sense of cinema noir. This is a spy story with consequences and the question of "was justice served?"

I just love that the stories are told with factual information which are weaved into all three stories.

Both narrator, Diane Piron-Gelman and Derek Shetterly did a excellent job of narrating the stories. They are entertaining and deliver the stories perfectly. I love their performance and would love to listen to them again.

I was given this audiobook by the author. I have volunteered to review this audiobook. I was not compensated or influenced in any way in writing this review.
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- ecocat

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-20-2017
  • Publisher: The Red Herrings Press