That Summer in Berlin [Book Review] @BerkleyPub #HistoricalFiction #WW11

That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall

That Summer in Berlin is a page-turning story of photography, bravery, and espionage in pre-WW11 Germany.

That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall (cover) Image: white text over the background picture of a woman in a red dress looking through the viewfinder of a camera

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, pre WW11, Nazi Germany, Olympics, Espionage

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of That Summer in Berlin:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #ThatSummerInBerlin upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In 1936, Viviane accompanies her sister on a trip to Berlin around the time of the Olympics. An aspiring photographer, Viviane is persuaded to work as a spy while posing as a tourist to capture “behind the scenes” photographs to provide evidence that Germany is rearming for another war. This is a challenging assignment as Germany is on its best behavior as the world watches the Olympics. Nazi influence and intimidation prevail and Viviane wonders who she can trust.

My Thoughts About That Summer in Berlin:

Histfic/Thriller Mashup

In the style of Kate Quinn, the author of That Summer in Berlin serves readers a compelling side of thriller and intrigue. I read very little in the thriller genre, but I can appreciate a mashup! As Viviane comes under suspicion, her life is in danger and she (and readers alike) wonder whom she can trust.


The straightforward story structure told from one perspective lends itself to a fast reading pace. Although I enjoy a challenging read, I appreciate an occasional refreshing break from dual timelines, flashbacks, and multiple perspectives. A nice balance between plot-driven and character-driven contributes to the story’s fast pace.

Fresh Perspective

Will I ever tire of WW11 stories? Probably not as long as authors continue telling stories from a fresh perspective. It’s interesting to learn about those individuals prior to WW11 who had concerns about another war. Sending an undercover spy posing as a tourist during the 1936 Olympics is an angle I had not previously considered. I love stories of ordinary people asked to do something extraordinary during challenging times. An undercover tourist/photographer is something I can connect with and I always think Would I have attempted something so brave?

Recommending That Summer in Berlin

Readers who enjoy a hisfic/thriller mashup, a page-turning story set in pre-WW11 Germany, and an inspiring, likable main character might enjoy That Summer in Berlin. And, yes, there is a small side of romance that doesn’t interfere with the focus of the story. Book clubs will find a variety of discussion possibilities.

Related: Another story that begins during pre-World War 11 Germany and features a few courageous women is Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini.

My Rating: 4.5  Stars

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That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall (cover) Image: white text over a background picture of a woman in a red dress looking through the viewfinder of a camera

More Information Here

Meet the Author of That Summer in Berlin, Lecia Cornwall

Author of That Summer in Berlin, Lecia CornwallLecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada in the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with five cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate lab, and one very patient husband. She’s hard at work on her next book. Come visit Lecia at, or drop her a line at


Is histfic/thriller on your TBR or have you read it?

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