Double Agent Celery (Kindle)
MI5's Crooked Hero
"The wartime double agent is one of the most indelible figures in all of literature. But there are few characters as bizarre and intriguing as the rascal who was codenamed Celery by MI5. In telling the story of her grandfather's adventures, Carolinda Witt has added a rollicking chapter to our understanding of World War II. And here's the incredible part: It's all true."
, bestselling author Double Agent and The Bielski Brothers.
"As gripping and immersive as any spy novel. This tells the real story of agent Celery."
- , author and historian The M Room: Secret Listeners who Bugged the Nazis and Spymaster: The Secret Life of Kendrick
"Powerful feel for the period and a sure touch generally on the techniques of spycraft. Without the Double Cross system Britain would probably have lost the Second World War."
- , former UK Ministry of Defence and prolific author on security issues.
With Britain braced for a German invasion, MI5 recruited an ex RNAS officer, come confidence trickster, called Walter Dicketts as a double agent. Codenamed Celery, Dicketts was sent to Lisbon with the seemingly impossible mission of persuading the Germans he was a traitor and then extract crucial secrets. Once there, the Nazis spirited him off to Germany. With his life on the line, Dicketts had to outwit his interrogators in Hamburg and Berlin before returning to Britain as, in the Nazis’ eyes, a German spy.
Despite discovering he had been betrayed as an MI5 plant before he even left for Germany, Celery somehow got back to Lisbon. After that he persuaded an Abwehr Officer to defect, and spent nine months undercover in Brazil.
A mixture of hero and crook, Dicketts was worldly and intelligent, charming and charismatic. Sometimes rich and sometimes poor, his private life was a web of complexity and deception. Using family and official records, police records, newspaper articles and memories, the author unravels the tangled yet true story of Double Agent Celery.
Double Agent Celery is fact-filled, almost too much so. I wish it read a bit more like a novel. However, author Witt (Dickett’s granddaughter) does a remarkable job of sifting stories and recollections and weaving them together with the events of WWII, told from the perspective of British Intelligence. If I concentrated mightily I was able to keep people straight and follow Dickett’s “career,” but at times it was a struggle.Stuff I Like, John Koenig
Double Agent Celery isn’t casual reading; make certain you are fully alert or you’ll lose yourself, but the phenomenal story is worth the effort. I found myself somewhat in admiration of Dicketts; as a spy, he was superb and certainly effective.
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This has been a truly absorbing read with Carolinda demonstrating just how much can be achieved with such whole-hearted perseverance.Radio Out There, Barry Eaton
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A thrilling book chronicling the story of a double agent spy who helped save countless lives in the Second World War.Forest of Dean Gazette
"Spy, lover, scoundrel. Walter Dicketts was the real deal"Sydney Morning Herald
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