Ever read a book that is just written so well, you can barely stand to put it down and take a break? You literally have to pry yourself away from the book (here, I’ll loan you my crowbar) and you’re anxious to get back as quickly as possible so you can finish reading.
For me, these books are anything written by Aline Griffith, later the Countess of Romanones. She was a 1940s-era American model who later began working for the Office of Strategic Services (a predecessor to the CIA) as a spy. Aline married a Spanish count, Luis, in 1947 and they had three children. In addition, she was friends with Wallis Warfield Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.
I love her books because she not only discusses her intriguing life as a spy in Spanish high society, but also gives a lot of cultural information about Spain and Morocco. She’s written a total of seven books but my favorites are The Spy Wore Silk, The Spy Wore Red, and The Spy Went Dancing. These books are real-life memoirs of her life as a spy and offer, to me, an interesting window on a unique culture.
Some professional reviewers have cast doubt on the authenticity of her books, but she does state in a foreword in one book that the book is somewhat fictionalized. Fair enough, to my mind. Plus, whether you believe what the Countess says — or not — they’re still a good read for when you’re lying on the beach, swinging in your hammock or relaxing out on the deck.
So here’s the mission for this post: Go out, find the books and enjoy! (And by the way, can I have my crowbar back now?)