Karen Abbott, author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, on tour September 2015

Posted By on June 25, 2015

Liar Temptress Soldier SpyAbout Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

• Paperback: 544 pages
• Publisher: Harper Perennial (September 8, 2015)

New York Times bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything during the Civil War.

Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines. The beautiful widow Rose O’Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives.

With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoléon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring—and, until now, unsung—heroines.

Book clubs will be happy to know there’s a reader’s guide.

Also, learn more about the characters in the book at Experience the Past.


“Gripping… Meticulously researched and fluidly written, this book draws the reader in and doesn’t let go until the four heroines draw their final breaths… a remarkable story of passion, strength, and resilience.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Riveting… a highly entertaining narrative with the pace and tone of a novel… this fresh perspective on what is perhaps a familiar story will cause readers to ponder the fine line between traitors and patriots.” (Library Journal, best book of 2014)

“Abbott makes it look easy, weaving together four women’s stories—from a society woman who used her position to steal and share secrets, to a cross-dressing soldier in the war—in order to write a history of the Civil War through the eyes of women who did extraordinary things… wildly entertaining, with a page-turner narrative.” (Flavorwire, best book of 2014)

“George Smiley’s got nothing on the abolitionist spinster, widowed seductress, cross-dressing soldier and murderous teenager featured in this true tale of espionage.” (O, the Oprah magazine, top ten book for fall 2014)

“Karen Abbott’s Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is the kind of page-turning book you can get so absorbed in that you keep forgetting it’s nonfiction.” (Bustle.com)

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Karen AbbottAbout Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City, American Rose, and, most recently, Liar Temptress Soldier Spy, which was named one of the best books of 2014 by Library Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Amazon, and Flavorwire, and which was optioned by Sony for a miniseries. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in New York City, where she’s at work on her next book.

Find out more about Karen at her website.

Karen’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, September 8th: A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, September 9th: Let Them Read Books – guest post

Thursday, September 10th: The Maiden’s Court

Friday, September 11th: Cold Read

Monday, September 14th: Raven Haired Girl

Monday, September 14th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 16th: Man of La Book

Thursday, September 17th: Bookworm Meets Bookworm

Monday, September 21st: A Book Geek

Tuesday, September 22nd: Time 2 Read

Wednesday, September 23rd: As I turn the pages

Thursday, September 24th: FictionZeal

Tuesday, September 29th: Raven Haired Girl – guest post

Thursday, October 8th: Unabridged Chick


Leave a Reply

We see and read all comments, but we don't publish them. You can get ahold of us by leaving a comment or by emailing us at lisamunley@ca.rr.com and trish@tlcbooktours.com.