Clara Vine is young and ambitious, and determined to succeed as an actress. A chance meeting at a party in London leads her to Berlin, to the famous Ufa studios and, unwittingly, into an uneasy circle of Nazi wives, among them Magda Goebbels.
Then Clara meets Leo Quinn who is undercover, working for British intelligence. Leo sees in Clara the perfect recruit to spy on her new acquaintances, using her acting skills to win their confidence.
But when Magda Goebbels reveals to Clara a dramatic secret and entrusts her with an extraordinary mission, Clara feels threatened, compromised and desperately caught between duty and love.
Black Roses is the first in a series of novels featuring the actress/agent Clara Vine. The second, The Winter Garden, will be published in 2014.
‘The perfect fusion of history, suspense and high romance….the pace is relentless, the background brilliantly evoked and the sex gorgeously spiced with danger.’ The Times
‘It was a clever idea to hone in on the Nazi wives and girlfriends, and the crosscurrents and dangers of the build-up to war are established with expertise and not a little menace. Terrific.’ Elizabeth Buchan, Sunday Times
‘An exciting story and a subtle, original portrait of the early days of the Third Reich . . . Jane Thynne’s smooth writing, sensitive understanding of the era and sharp observations combine into an excellent historical thriller. Good news: it’s the first of a planned trilogy. I’m eager for the next.’ Jessica Mann, Literary Review
‘Thynne’s thriller is strong on the city’s paranoia, and its exploration of the Third Reich’s bizarre attitude to women gives it an original take on Nazi Germany’ Mail on Sunday
‘Espionage writing at its best, tense and vivid by turns… in Clara she has created an impressive character who, confronted by a harsher world than she knew, learns to meet and cope with its challenges. Black Roses is a compelling and well-written book, recreating a convincing picture of German civilian, artistic and political life of the time, with its undercurrents of menace and brutality, overshadowed by increasing anti-Semitism.’ Ross Southernwood, The Age
’The book is like a sound stage on which Thynne has built a careful re-creation of early-Nazi Berlin: Jews wearing their World War I medals; an officious stranger telling Clara not to smoke; a hall full of restaurants, like a prototype of any suburban mall’s international food court…If you’re not an expert on the lives of the Nazi elite, it’s a surprise to look at the end-note and find that some of the things that sound a bit much turn out to be the truth.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘Enthralling novel of love and divided loyalties. Storytelling at its best.‘ Fanny Blake, Woman And Home
‘The terrific Black Roses by Jane Thynne, about a British female spy moving among Nazi women under the Third Reich, evokes the era with huge panache, and tells a truly gripping tale which would make a perfect TV drama series.’ Liz Jensen, Good Housekeeping
‘This a complex spy thriller, a love story and an historical novel all rolled into one compelling read.’ The Hoopla
‘Thynne takes us on an inspired tour of the rarely examined female side of the Third Reich….she has managed something quite remarkable….this is the Third Reich seen backstage and from the dressing table, with make-up both on and off.’ Peter Millar, The Oldie
‘A fascinating and absorbing narrative drawn on the landscape of a world descending into savagery… a brilliant re-creation of the early days of the Third Reich, presented to the world as sophisticated and cultured, yet built on a substructure of hatred, violence and the degradation of minorities…beautifully modulated and intelligently constructed.’ Alan Gold, The Australian
‘This is a superbly atmospheric romantic thriller, an extraordinary recreation of 1930s Berlin, and it reaches right into the heart of the most mysterious and vilified Nazi wife, Magda Goebbels to find a real woman.’ - Kate Saunders, author of Night Shall Overtake Us
‘A compelling story of love and betrayal in Hitler’s Berlin. Peppered with real characters this book offers a fascinating glimpse of the extraordinary world of the Nazi wives. - Daisy Goodwin, author of The Last Duchess
‘Most enjoyable first instalment of a planned trilogy featuring likeable English actress Clara Vine who goes to Berlin in 1933 to find word at the Ufa Studios and is drawn into dangerous company. The great cast of real life characters includes Magda Goebbels. Jane Thynne is married to Philip Kerr whose excellent Berlin Noir novels cover the same period. Tempting to imagine them scribbling away side by side…’ - The Bookseller
‘If you thought historical romance settings died out long before WWII, think again.Black Roses cleverly balances intelligent detail about the life of women in 1930s Germany with much more gentle, lightly conveyed elements of romance…‘ We Love This Book
‘This divine novel is almost unbearably exciting and the love story would melt a heart of stone… Gripping stuff.’ Saga Magazine
‘Ok although I’m a fan of Phillipa (I’m Queen of historical fiction) Gregory, I’ve found a new pash …Black Roses is the first of a trilogy set in 1933 Berlin….This is a seriously good read.’ The Hive
A really good read and would make a great film. Jane Thynne’s research is fantastic – I felt as if I was living in Berlin in 1933, and I love the fact that she knows what people were wearing then – as soon as I read that the poor murdered girl in the Prologue was wearing Tabu lipstick I knew I would enjoy this – sounds frivolous in comparison to what was going on at the time, but, for me little details are important. As for the ‘decadent’ French fashions favoured by the Nazi wives…’ Cherry Caplen, Retiremove