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The Lipstick Bureau

The Lipstick Bureau

A Novel Inspired by True WWII Events

by Michelle Gable


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Inspired by one of the OSS’s few female operatives, Barbara Lauwers, a WWII novel set at OSS’s Morale Office in Rome, which was responsible for creating black propaganda and distributing it behind enemy lines. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookseller's Secret.

1944, Rome: Newlywed Niki Novotná is recruited by a new American spy agency to establish a secret branch in Italy's capital. One of OSS's few female operatives abroad and multi-lingual, 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 cobblestone 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...

 Loosely inspired by real-life OSS operative Barbara Lauwers, Michelle Gable's The Lipstick Bureau is about a woman challenging convention and boundaries to help win a war, no matter the cost.

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