The Lipstick Bureau: A Novel Inspired by True WWII Events

Inspired by a real-life female spy, a WWII-set novel about a woman challenging convention and boundaries to help win a war, no matter the cost.

“A brilliant, gripping, historical novel… Well researched and smartly told, this novel is a must read for World War II buffs and those who like a peak behind the curtain of the role women played in it.” —Library Journal

“Gable’s deeply personal historical fiction vividly conjures the deprivations of war-torn Rome and the tenacity and creativity of a valiant, rag-tag group charged with changing the course of history.” —Booklist

“…a cracking good story, and a tribute to the courage and ingenuity of intelligence agents whose work has remained secret for so long.” —Shelf Awareness

“A gripping, fascinating read.” —Kelly Rimmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Warsaw Orphan

1944, Rome. Newlywed Niki Novotná is recruited by a new American spy agency to establish a secret branch in Italy’s capital. One of the OSS’s few female operatives abroad and multilingual, she’s tasked with crafting fake stories and distributing propaganda to lower the morale of enemy soldiers.

Despite limited resources, Niki and a scrappy team of artists, forgers and others—now nicknamed The Lipstick Bureau—find success, forming a bond amid the cobblestoned streets and storied villas of the newly liberated city. But her work is also a way to escape devastating truths about the family she left behind in Czechoslovakia and a future with her controlling American husband.

As the war drags on and the pressure intensifies, Niki begins to question the rules she’s been instructed to follow, and a colleague unexpectedly captures her heart. But one step out of line, one mistake, could mean life or death…

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