Monday, March 20, 2023

Stephanie Landsem: Code Name Edelweiss

By Kelly Bridgewater

“What I am looking for—what I desperately need, Mrs. Weiss—is a spy.”

Adolf Hitler is still a distant rumble on the horizon, but a Jewish spymaster and his courageous spies uncover a storm of Nazi terror in their own backyard.

In the summer of 1933, a man named Adolf Hitler is the new and powerful anti-Semitic chancellor of Germany. But in Los Angeles, no-nonsense secretary Liesl Weiss has concerns much closer to home. The Great Depression is tightening its grip and Liesl is the sole supporter of two children, an opinionated mother, and a troubled brother.

Leon Lewis is a Jewish lawyer who has watched Adolf Hitler’s rise to power—and the increase in anti-Semitism in America—with growing alarm. He believes Nazi agents are working to seize control of Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever known. The trouble is, authorities scoff at his dire warnings.

When Liesl loses her job at MGM, her only choice is to work with Leon Lewis and the mysterious Agent Thirteen to spy on her friends and neighbors in her German American community. What Leon Lewis and his spies find is more chilling—and more dangerous—than any of them suspected.

Code Name Edelweiss is based on a true story, unknown until recent years: How a lone Jewish lawyer and a handful of amateur spies discovered and foiled Adolf Hitler’s plan to take over Hollywood.


My Thoughts:

Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem promises to be an interesting take on the Nazi’s during World War II, but on American soil. Even in the heart of Hollywood. The cover is fascinating, and the writing is top-notch. My imagination flew away with the characters as they struggled through this trying time in the world’s history. Readers are introduced to Liesl who is brave, cunning, and intelligent right from the first chapter. Liesl wants what is best for her children, brother, and mother, so she is willing to do basically anything to make sure their basic needs are met. Liesl has a pretty harsh background that makes readers empathize with her plight. Similarly, the readers are introduced to “Thirteen” and watch his interactions with other characters and the setting. Readers will discover his backstory as they read the story. Landsem did a wonderful job at crafting the Hollywood world of the late 1930’s. It was nice to be “walking” through the sets and watching the actors walk through the lots. While Landsem did deliver what she promised, the plot does get a little dry in the middle of the story when Liesl is tasked to do somethings. Even though this did happen, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. I learned something new about the Nazi’s terror on the American soil. Overall, Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem is a different World War II story, which I love the idea and enjoyed the execution of the plot.

I received a complimentary copy of Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Code Name Edelweiss

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