The Model Spy
by Maryka Biaggio
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Pub Date 29 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 03 May 2022
Sunbury Press, Inc., Milford House Press
Celebrated model Toto Koopman had beauty, brains, and fame. Born to a Dutch father and Indonesian mother, she took up the life of a bon vivant in 1920s Paris and modeled for Vogue magazine and Coco Chanel. But modeling didn’t satisfy her. Fluent in six languages, she was adventurous and fascinated by world politics.
In London, she attracted the attention of Lord Beaverbrook, the William Randolph Hearst of England. She soon became his confidante, companion, and translator, traversing the Continent and finding herself caught in the winds of impending war. Beaverbrook introduced her to influential people, including a director at the British Intelligence Service, who schooled her in espionage.
When Germany invaded Poland, Toto came face to face with reality: either fight the Axis powers or lose the world she loved. She moved to Florence, joined the Italian resistance, and began sending intelligence to London. But Mussolini’s Blackshirts and the Nazi’s military intelligence had her in their crosshairs and, as they pursued her, her courage was tested to the limit.
A sweeping, emotional novel about Toto Koopman, a beautiful model at the height of her allure and fame, who finds herself in the crosshairs of history. Toto Koopman deserves to regain her spot in history. Maryka Biaggio delivers a story of intrigue, adventure, and heart, and gives Toto–finally–her due. ~Kim Taylor Blakemore, Amazon bestselling author of After Alice Fell
In this impressive biographical novel, Maryka Biaggio presents World War II spy Toto Koopman as the remarkable woman she proved herself to be. Through engaging first-person narrative, the reader is immersed in the bi-racial Toto’s childhood in Java, her experiences as a model and socialite in pre-War Britain and Europe, and her affairs with the sons of two prominent men, both of whom have the power to save or destroy her—newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook and Benito Mussolini. Moving and illuminating, this dramatic depiction of an intrepid individual is an admirable blend of fascinating fact and wonderfully conceived fiction.
~Margaret Porter, award-winning author of The Limits of Limelight and Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr
The story of Toto Koopman is utterly fascinating. Maryka Biaggio’s riveting novel is both
heartbreaking and inspiring. With well-researched detail and gripping drama, Biaggio brings to life this audacious, brave, and ultimately enduring woman.
~ Liza Nash Taylor, author of In All Good Faith and Etiquette for Runaways
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