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Publication Order of City of Spies Books

Mara Timon
Mara Timon grew up in New York and moved to the United Kingdom; and fell in love with London and the way that it melds the new with the old.

As a teen, her dad introduced her to Jack Higgins’ novels. Great writing and great stories. Mara loved the way he’d play with your emotions, with baddies that weren’t bad exactly, they were sympathetic and good men, just fighting for their own country, even if on the wrong side. And she found herself rooting for them, even though she really didn’t want to.

Growing up with one parent fascinated with history and the other with literature, she began writing from an early age at thirteen, writing a terrible novel that she’s glad she never finished. After that, she wrote short stories for herself mostly, and some friends. She probably drove her brother and parents crazy, banging away on this old Selectric typewriter well past any kind of reasonable bedtime, although she doesn’t remember any of them actually complaining.

Although it was not until this program on the BBC caught her interest, and one ‘what if’ led to another, and then another, that her first novel started taking shape.

“City of Spies”, her first novel, was a labor of love. Mara loved exploring the role of her (fictitious) agent, and loved learning all about the role that Portugal played in the war.

Typically she will find a bit of history that intrigues her and then create a story around it. A Portuguese friend of Mara’s suggested she look into Lisbon’s history during the war. She didn’t know all that much about what was going on in Portugal around that time, and the more she researched this period, the more it intrigued her; spies rubbing shoulders with exiled royalty, businessmen, diplomats, and refugees. Espionage rings that operated out of the port, as tungsten was smuggled from Portugal, and Salazar walked a fine line of neutrality.

By the end of the novel, it was clear to Mara that Cecile was demanding to take another mission. So she decided she would parachute her right into Normandy just ahead of the landings to see what would happen. “Resistance” happened, and she loves the result.

Even though her novels and characters are just fiction, they are based, as much as possible, on what actually was happening during that time.

Mara enjoys doing the research. She loves learning little pieces of history she didn’t know about. Sometimes she’s able to work that into the story, and sometimes she’ll stash it away for future reference. Sometimes when she gets stuck on some plotting issue, the history will show her the way which the story needs to go. The tough part is incorporating enough of the research to make this story believable, without making it seem like she’s giving a history lesson.

Mara lives in London, and works on her next novel. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Pilates, running, traveling, and spending time with her friends.

“City of Spies” is the first novel in the “City of Spies” series and was released in 2020. Lisbon in 1943. SOE agent Elisabeth de Mornay (code name Cecile) escapes from Nazi-Occupied France and gets new orders: she’ll now have to infiltrate high society in neutral Lisbon and learn who’s leaking key information to the Germans about the movements of British troops.

She’s now Solange Verin, a French widow of independent means, and will be able to meet all of the rich Europeans that have gathered in Lisbon to wait the war out. One of them is a traitor and she has to figure out who it is before more British servicemen wind up dead.

Complications arise once ‘Solange’ gets the attention of a German Abwher officer, named Major Eduard Graf. While they get to know one another, she struggles to keep her lies anywhere close to the truth. However in a city chock full of spies, how will she be able to tell who is friend, or foe?

This novel is packed with intrigue with an atmospheric story line which combines fiction and fact. Our hero gets into some tight spots, and readers are left wondering how the hell she’d get herself out of this one, but it makes for an exhilarating read. You can’t help but root for her right from the very beginning, and she is simply a fantastic character and readers loved following her escape from Paris, through France and into Lisbon. It’s an intense journey she takes, both emotionally and physically.

There’s twists and turns aplenty with the excitement and tension really building in the final chapters. And it even has the perfect ending.

“Resistance” is the second novel in the “City of Spies” series and was released in 2021. Three women, one mission. Enemies are everywhere.

May of 1944. When spy Elisabeth de Mornay (code name Cecile), notices a coded transmission from an agent in the field doesn’t bear his typical signature, she suspects that his cover has been blown, something which has been happening with increasing frequency.

With the situation in Occupied France worsening and growing fears that the Resistance has been compromised, Cecile’s been ordered behind enemy lines. Having rendezvoused with Leonie and Dominque, her fellow agents, together they’ve got one mission: help the Resistance destabilize German operations in order to pave the way for the Normandy landings.

However a spy’s life is never straightforward, and the in-fighting within the Resistance makes knowing who exactly to trust that much more complicated. With their lives on the line, all three of these women are going to have to make choices which could cost them everything, because not all of their enemies are German.

Mara’s historical detail is engrossing yet doesn’t bog you down in the story line, and this one makes for a claustrophobic, exciting, and tense read. The two are combined naturally while she tells a captivating story filled with sheer horror and danger, then adds in the human element of betrayal, love, and friendship. Elisabeth is just as innovative, daring, and spontaneous as she was in the first book.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mara Timon

One Response to “Mara Timon”

  1. joan simpson: 11 months ago

    I thoroughly enjoyed City of spies and resistance books. Are there any follow up books in this series please?


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