What’s a Southern girl to do when she harbors abolitionist views? In Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green, Sophie Kent, daughter of a slave-holding Confederate officer, lives in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. Moved by the plight of Union soldiers imprisoned in Richmond’s Libby Prison, Sophie and her slave, Daphne, bring food to the prisoners, but this draws suspicion. When a dashing Confederate officer courts Sophie and brings her to parties where she overhears war news, she decides to pass on the information through Richmond’s Union spy network.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, reporter Harrison Caldwell wants a story, he wants redemption for his past mistakes, and he wants to see his beloved Sophie. Bella Jamison, a free black woman, wants to sneak quinine to her identical twin sister, Daphne, who is dying from typho-malaria, and to find a way to free her husband from Libby Prison. Harrison and Bella sneak behind the lines to complete their mission…but things never go according to plan.
When you pick up this novel, make sure you have plenty of time to read, because you won’t want to stop. Inspired by true stories of female Union spies, Spy of Richmond is a fascinating historical novel enriched by strong research. However, the suspenseful plot and sympathetic characters bring the story to life. Sophie, Bella, and Harrison have flaws and vulnerabilities like all of us, and their courage to do the right thing is inspirational. I adored this book!
Spy of Richmond is the fourth and last book in the excellent Heroines Behind the Lines series (Wedded to War, Widow of Gettysburg, and Yankee in Atlanta). Although this novel does wrap up some story lines from earlier novels, it isn’t necessary to read the other books first…but you’ll want to!