America’s greatest spy of WWII was a disabled woman from Baltimore named Virginia Hall.

Hall of Mirrors by Craig Gralley

A “Best Book of 2020”
Kirkus Reviews 

“What pervades this novel like a miasma is the sensation of being a spy . . . A fascinating, electric account of a heroic woman.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Fast-paced . . . very satisfying.”

—Historical Novel Society


“Engaging from the first page . . . Gralley makes you feel as though you are in enemy territory . . . Empowering.”

—Independent Book Review (top story)

“A riveting account written with elegant clarity . . . A tremendous read.”

—General David Petraeus, Former Director, CIA

“An extraordinary accomplishment  . . . A stunner!”

—Peter Earnest, Founding Executive Director, International Spy Museum

“You understand Dindy (Virginia) better than all the other authors. I’m sure she would have been tickled with your book, Hall of Mirrors.”

—Lorna Catling, Virginia Hall’s Niece

Hall of Mirrors cover
Virginia Hall

Photo courtesy of Lorna Catling

Virginia Hall

Virginia’s Recruitment as a Spy . . .

Virginia Hall lost her left leg hunting and suffered discrimination by her employer, the US State Department.

When Paris fell to the Nazis, Virginia escaped to London and was recruited by the British to be the Allies’ first secret agent to live behind enemy lines.

Betrayal, Escape . . .

Virginia recruited spies and saboteurs, led jailbreaks, and organized the French resistance.

But she was betrayed.

As the Gestapo’s “Butcher of Lyon” closed in, she fled across the snow-capped Pyrenees to Spain, dragging her artificial limb behind her.

. . . And Virginia Hall’s Heroic Return to France

Despite the harrowing ordeal Virginia demanded to go back.

London refused. The Gestapo’s “Butcher” was still hunting her.

But the strong-willed Virginia Hall did go back with America’s new espionage organization, the OSS, on the eve of the D-Day invasion.


Hall of Mirrors, a novel, is written in the voice of Virginia Hall. It relies on extensive research and insights gained during Craig Gralley’s 30-year career with the CIA.


To see photos and learn more about Virginia’s life of espionage, click here:

Virginia Hall blog.


Read about Hall of Mirrors on CNN

Hall of Mirrors on NPR’s Morning Edition

Read about Craig Gralley’s Hall of Mirrors in the Washington Post

She was a legendary spy. He worked for three CIA directors. Now he’s writing a novel in her voice.”
—Washington Post

Read Craig Gralley’s Interview with the New York Post

Hall of Mirrors in the McLean Connection

Recent Articles By Craig About Virginia Hall

A Woman of No Importance book cover

A Woman of No Importance—Reviewed by Craig Gralley

Sonia Purnell’s biography of Office of Special Operations (OSS) and CIA clandestine officer Virginia Hall, A Woman of No Importance, is by far the clearest, most comprehensive review of Virginia Hall’s life to date. It is a fine exposition but it lacks insight into Hall’s personality, which could be revealed with greater knowledge of espionage and spy tradecraft. Still, the book breaks new ground and deserves to be on the top shelf of intelligence literature.

Studies in Intelligence magazine Cover

A Climb to Freedom

As a former analyst and writer for CIA, I’ve long been captivated by Virginia Hall’s heroic story.  I traveled to France, walked in Virginia’s footsteps, and discovered her escape route over the rugged Pyrenees.  My story, “A Climb to Freedom,was featured in Studies in Intelligence—CIA’s premier journal for intelligence professionals.

Virginia Hall

Elan Magazine—Art in the First Person: A Four-Part Series on Virginia Hall

America’s Greatest World War II Spy: Part I 
Élan May 2018

The Life of a Spy Behind the Lines in a World War II France: Part 2
Élan June 2018

Flight Across the Pyrenees: Part 3
Élan July 2018

A Spy to the End: Part 4
Élan August 2018

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