The Model Spy

Maryka Biaggio


Celebrated model Toto Koopman had beauty, brains, and fame. Born to a Dutch father and Indonesian mother, she took up the life of a bon vivant in 1920s Paris and modeled...

Out of stock



Celebrated model Toto Koopman had beauty, brains, and fame. Born to a Dutch father and Indonesian mother, she took up the life of a bon vivant in 1920s Paris and modeled for Vogue magazine and Coco Chanel. But modeling didn’t satisfy her. Fluent in six languages, she was adventurous and fascinated by world politics. 

In London she attracted the attention of Lord Beaverbrook, the William Randolph Hearst of England. She soon became his confidante, companion, and translator, traversing the Continent and finding herself caught in the winds of impending war. Beaverbrook introduced her to influential people, including a director at the British Intelligence Service, who schooled her in espionage.

When Germany invaded Poland, Toto came face to face with reality: either fight the Axis powers or lose the world she loved. She moved to Florence, joined the Italian resistance, and began sending intelligence to London. But Mussolini’s Blackshirts and the Nazi’s military intelligence had her in their crosshairs and, as they pursued her, her courage was tested to the limit.


Advance Reviews:


"A sweeping, emotional novel about Toto Koopman, a beautiful model at the height of her allure and fame, who finds herself in the crosshairs of history. Toto Koopman deserves to regain her spot in history. Maryka Biaggio delivers a story of intrigue, adventure, and heart, and gives Toto–finally–her due."  ~Kim Taylor Blakemore, Amazon bestselling author of After Alice Fell 

"In this impressive biographical novel, Maryka Biaggio presents World War II spy Toto Koopman as the remarkable woman she proved herself to be. Through engaging first-person narrative, the reader is immersed in the bi-racial Toto’s childhood in Java, her experiences as a model and socialite in pre-War Britain and Europe, and her affairs with the sons of two prominent men, both of whom have the power to save or destroy her—newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook and Benito Mussolini. Moving and illuminating, this dramatic depiction of an intrepid individual is an admirable blend of fascinating fact and wonderfully conceived fiction. " ~Margaret Porter, award-winning author of The Limits of Limelight and Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr

"The story of Toto Koopman is utterly fascinating. Maryka Biaggio’s riveting novel is both heartbreaking and inspiring. With well-researched detail and gripping drama, Biaggio brings to life this audacious, brave, and ultimately enduring woman. " ~ Liza Nash Taylor, author of In All Good Faith and Etiquette for Runaways


by Maryka Biaggio

Page Count: 255
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: March  29, 2022
Imprint: Milford House
Genre: Historical

FICTION / Historical / World War II

FICTION / Thrillers / Espionage


Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review Write a review

Recently Viewed Products

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
A well-written story of intrigue and courage

The dedication to The Model Spy reads: “To the brave and dedicated, then and now, who fight and continue to fight for democracy,” which certainly compelled me to read on. I had never heard of Toto Koopman till reading this book, With her background, Koopman seemed an unlikely person to join the fight for democracy in the 1930s and '40s. She was the toast of Paris and London, well known as a model, and had excellent prospects for a film career. Then she decided to spy for England and for Italians opposed to Mussolini’s regime. She couldn't be anonymous because of her fame, so she quickly attracted the attention of Mussolini’s Blackshirts and the Nazis. Toto shows what true bravery is. I loved her story of intrigue and courage. She deserves her place in history.