In the spirit of John Le Carre, Thornton brings to life the remarkable true story of a spy who worked for both Russia and the United States in the 1940s and 50s.
Bentley is often credited with starting America’s Communist Red Scare, and for naming hundreds of American Communists as traitors to the state―including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the infamous American couple sentenced to death for treason.
September 14, 2021
"Thornton is a rare talent who always pairs fast-pace writing with excellent research, and Clever Girl is a fascinating true Cold War story by a gifted
storyteller."—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of The Women of Chateau Lafayette
“With meticulous research and a rare gift for breathing life into historical figures, Stephanie Marie Thornton follows the true story of a complex and fascinating woman—American spy Elizabeth Bentley. Filled with danger, intrigue, love and loss, Clever Girl is a powerhouse novel, exquisitely written and utterly gripping.”—Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance
a firecracker of a plot and add to it the true story of a female double
agent and the result is one explosive and unforgettable story.
is a complicated and absorbing woman and her life as a spy for both the
Russians and the Americans makes for a fascinating tale, told with
immense skill by Stephanie Marie Thornton.”—Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The
"John Le Carré has nothing on Stephanie Thornton. She takes the Cold War spy novel to a whole new level with this fast-paced, multifaceted drama about Elizabeth Bentley, the real-life Russian Spy turned FBI informant. Thornton gets to the heart of a woman seeking redemption after leading a tortured life of bad politics and impossible choices. I couldn’t put A Most Clever Girl down and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Bravo!”—Renée Rosen, author of Park Avenue Summer
"Stephanie Marie Thornton’s A Most Clever Girl, the harrowing tale of an American Cold War spy, is as moving as it is thought provoking. Brimming with danger, unexpected twists, and heart-shattering love, the pages of this novel all but turned themselves. Nuanced, complicated characters not only kept me guessing until the very end, but stayed with me long after I finished the book. Captivating and unforgettable, this is a must read!"—Kristin Beck, author of Courage, My Love
“Harrowing anecdotes and juicy spycraft will keep readers turning the pages.”―Publishers Weekly
ABOUT A MOST CLEVER GIRL:
A MOST CLEVER GIRL opens in 1963, as college student Catherine Gray arrives unannounced on the doorstep of a woman named Elizabeth Bentley, gun in hand, demanding answers about a scandalous family secret that has just been revealed. But Catherine never expects all that Elizabeth is about to expose.
Some of Bentley’s male counterparts provided similar espionage and informant work, and were awarded high honors for their service by the American government. But Bentley’s story has largely been pushed under the rug. The truth of her court testimonies has constantly been called into question, despite a now-declassified report that has verified her statements. Thornton’s novel aims to shed light on Bentley’s story and polish her somewhat tarnished reputation―while still leaving readers guessing at her motives and her version of the truth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
PHOTO CREDIT: BERKLEY (TR) 2021
Stephanie Marie Thornton is a USA Today bestselling author and a high school history teacher. She lives in Alaska with her husband and daughter.