Wolves at the Door: The True Story Of America's Greatest Female Spy

No reviews yet Write a Review


Wolves at the Door: The True Story Of America's Greatest Female Spy

by Judith Pearson

Virginia Hall left her comfortable Baltimore roots of privilege in 1931 to follow a dream of becoming a Foreign Service Officer. After watching Hitler roll into Poland, then France, she decided to work for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret espionage and sabotage organization. She was soon deployed to France where the Gestapo imprisoned, beat, and tortured spies.

Against such an ominous backdrop, Hall managed to locate drop zones for money and weapons, helped escaped POWs and downed Allied airmen flee to England, and secured safe houses for agents. Soon, wanted posters appeared throughout France offering a reward for her capture. By winter of 1942 Hall had to flee France via the only route possible: a hike on foot through the frozen Pyrénées Mountains into neutral Spain.Upon her return to England, the OSS recruited her and sent her back to France disguised as an old peasant woman. While there, she was responsible for killing 150 German soldiers and capturing 500 others, sabotaging communications and transportation links, and directing resistance activities.

This is the true story of Virginia Hall, a remarkable woman ignored by history books for over fifty years.


"Judith Pearson does a remarkable job of bringing one of America's greatest spies back to life. I highly recommend this story of derring-do and white knuckles suspense."-Patrick O'Donnell, Combat Historian and Author of Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs
"A great, true, spy tale."--Grand Rapids PressPraise for Judith Pearson's Belly of the Beast: A POW's Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival aboard the Infamous WWII Japanese Hell Ship Oryoku Maru

"An inspiring look at one of WWII's darkest hours."--James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers

"Captures an experience almost too terrifying for words. To follow one man's ordeal in a Japanese torture ship is to travel through the bowels of hell."--Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking

"[A] searing tribute."--Senator John McCain

"Recommended for any public library with readers interested in World War II."--Library Journal
About the Author

Judith L. Pearson, award winning writer's career began in a tree: a wonderful old maple in her parents’ backyard, with a perfect branch on which to sit and spill out her thoughts. Now hundreds of thousands of words later, this Michigan native is still writing.


A graduate of Michigan State University, Pearson has written nearly two decades worth of newspaper and magazine articles, and has published three books.  The first two are biographies about ordinary people who exhibited extraordinary courage: Belly of the Beast: a POW’s Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage and Survival, and Wolves at the Door: the True Story of America’s Greatest Female Spy.  The latter has been optioned for a movie.
A life-changing event caused Judy to depart from biographies to write her third book: It’s Just Hair: 20 Essential Life Lessons.  A 2012 International Book Award finalist, the book is the first in a series of three, all involving  lessons designed to help readers infuse their journey through life with courage and humor. Her current book project, A Different Kind of Courage: 10 Lessons in Celebration of Women’s Bravery is anticipated to be on bookshelves in May of 2013.

The founder of Courage Concepts, an organization that cultivates courage in women, Pearson provides workshops and keynotes for corporations and organizations. She and her husband split their time between her idyllic little home town on the shores of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. And she still climbs trees!

Extra Information

Lyons Press