Female spies have always held an exotic fascination for readers – think Mata Hari, Australia’s Nancy Wake or Marvel’s fictional Black Widow. Perhaps this fascination emerges from the sharp contrast between the degree of courage required and the relative physical frailty and social vulnerability of women.

At nearly every turn, the female is outmatched – except for her intelligence and wit of course. And her main ally is the fact that she is constantly underestimated.

Christine Wells’ latest spy thriller romance The Juliet Code, set in World War II France, is based on the story of a true female spy and is a testimony to the depths of courage to be found in the most unprepossessing of individuals. And, of course, what could be more French than a picnic.