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Black Roses

(Clara Vine #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  968 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Berlin, 1933. Warning bells ring across Europe as Hitler comes to power Clara Vine is young and ambitious, and determined to succeed as an actress. A chance meeting at a party in London leads her to Berlin, to the famous Ufa studios and, unwittingly, into an uneasy circle of Nazi wives, among them Magda Goebbels. Then Clara meets Leo Quinn who is undercover, working for ...more
Paperback, 471 pages
Published October 24th 2013 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published February 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  968 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Christmas Carol ꧁꧂
Ms Thynne obviously didn't want to waste a single bit of research. Not. One. Bit. It weighs the story down -& that is the main reason I'm giving up on this novel. I feel like I have been reading it forever!

I have other peeves.

I make no secret of being very shallow - good cover art is very important to me. My edition has dark haired, olive skinned Clara as a blonde with a tanned back. Black Roses (Clara Vine, #1) by Jane Thynne
Jars every time I look at it!

Flat characters

After a good beginning there is a lack of excitement,
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting novel, set in 1930's Berlin and concentrating on the women of the Third Reich. Clara Vine is the daughter of politician Sir Ronald Vine; but although she looks like an English Rose, her beloved mother was German. Somehow she feels she has never quite fitted into her family's view of the world and is an aspiring, if not very successful, actress. One day, at a party with the long term boyfriend (or possibly 'bore' friend) that she suddenly finds she wants very much to be rid ...more
I read this on a whim for no other reason than that it was 99p on the Kindle Store and I was also visiting Berlin that very same week. It was like a sign… only that it wasn’t.

Black Roses is a cloying and unconvincing romance masquerading as gritty espionage. Everything about it is misleading. Supposedly set against the glamorous backdrop of Ufa studios, what little action actually makes an appearance occurs offstage (pun not intended) in dingy side streets and nondescript offices. The central
S.P. Moss
Overall, “Black Roses” was a book that I couldn’t say wholeheartedly that I liked. I realise that I am in the minority but I will try and explain my rating in the following review.

One thing I did like about “Black Roses” is the idea behind it, which was my reason for buying it. A story about an English actress living in Berlin in the 1930s, who becomes friendly with Magda Goebbels is an interesting concept – Berlin is one of my favourite cities and I find that period of history fascinating. It
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In 1933 in Berlin, Hitler is in power and warning bells are ringing across Europe as a result. Clara Vine is a talented British actress, and she finds herself in Berlin looking for work. As she is fluent in German she quickly secures a job, but she soon finds herself in the midst of a circle of Nazi wives, causing her to feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Then she meets Leo Quinn who is an undercover intelligence agent, and he asks her to spy on these ladies and report back to him. But Clara is now ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Berlin, 1933. The Nazi party have just swept to power and adulation for Hitler is riding high. Meanwhile Jewish business are being persecuted and enemies of the State disappear on a regular basis. Into this world steps Clara Vine, a young English actress who has come to Berlin in search of work. Fluent in German thanks to her German mother and bearing the right credentials thanks to her father's political beliefs, she quickly finds work in the film industry. Before long she has attracted the ...more
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
‘What is it like to be married to a monster’ wondered the author Jane Thynne. This novel was set in Berlin during the time the Nazis were coming to power. Heroine Clara Vine, an English actress in Berlin hoping to secure a role in a forthcoming film, is persuaded to model for Hitler’s program designed to promote his revised image of German womanhood. He saw in fashion a way that women might contribute to strengthening the nation by embracing German style – dirndls and plaits and such! Magda ...more
Rebecca H.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love a good anti-nazi spy novel with a strong female lead. This one does not disappoint.
Really enjoyed this and can't wait to start the next one in the series.
Pamela Shropshire
I saw Black Roses in a BookBub email and clicked the link because it sounded like my catnip all the way; plus, a gorgeous cover and interesting back blurb, and I was sold.

And for the most part, the reality lived up to my expectations. The story focuses on Clara Vine, twenty-something daughter of English baronet, Sir Ronald Vine. Clara is determined to become an actress in spite of, or perhaps because of, the opposition of her family and friends. At a party, an acquaintance mentions a filmmaker
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really really love this book. I had read the second one first, not knowing it was a series so I ordered this book as well after I couldn't find it in any bookshop (how this is not constantly in print and on the shelves is a total mystery to me, but oh well).
Anyway it was well worth the wait and I would have read it in one go if I would have had the time but life got in the way.
The story starts with a young Clara who feels its time for something else and goes to Berlin to learn more about her
Novelle Novels
3.5 out of 5 stars
It’s 1933and Clara vine travels from England to Germany in the hope of being an actress but ends up getting involved in things that she really shouldn’t have. Getting involved with the women close up the nazis thus hitlers top men she is in so deep. She becomes friends with Magda goebbels which as we all know was so close to hitler, dangerous to say the least. When Clara meets Leo Quinn, an undercover British intelligent agent she gets recruited to spy on her new acquaintances.
David Lowther
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend recommended a Clara Vine novel two or three years ago and I read and enjoyed it without realising its part of a series. So, here I am at the start of the Clara Vine books. Black Roses is very good.

We're in Berlin in the spring of 1933 and the Nazis have just seized power. Clara arrives from England having been promised a role in a film about to be made at the legendary UFa studios just outside Berlin. Simultaneously Goebbels has taken over control of the studios as part of his
Amy Street
Very well written and researched crime novel but I’m not going to read any more fiction set in the Nazi period. Nowadays I find it too disturbing and real - it’s beyond fictionalisation
Christina McLain
Interesting series though it does read like The Real Nazi Housewives of Berlin. An absorbing and fascinating take on the Third Reich and the way it treated women.
This started well with a prologue that really grabbed my attention, but then it just went flat. It did pick up towards the end , but by that time I was page counting to get to the end. Ending wasn't bad.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Black Roses is incredibly well-researched and detailed.

Set in 1933 Clara leaves England, and a boyfriend behind who expects her to marry him and to give up her dreams of being an actress, in search of a part in a new film called Black Roses. Whilst at the film studios she meets two of Goebbels aides who invite her and another young actress to a party where they are then introduced to Magda Goebbels, a woman consumed by the drama of her own existence. As Clara becomes more and more involved in
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This opens with a prologue, April 1933. Immediately after the action is in March 1933 when more than 75% of the remaining pages take place. I sort of don't like when a prologue tells you the ending, and this didn't quite do that. Instead, the prologue increased the tension of being in Berlin at the beginning of the Nazi regime. Did there need to be more tension? Have we become so familiar with the Nazis that we need something to heighten our awareness of how truly despicable it was?

This is the
Rob Kitchin
Black Roses is set in Berlin 1933 shortly after the Nazis have come to power and are undertaking the first wave of sweeping changes. The main protagonist is Clara Vine, a young British actress who hopes to establish a career at the Ufa studios. Shortly after arriving in the city, she falls into the company of senior Nazi wives and enrolled into a new fashion state agency that aims to dress German women in appropriate clothes. Principled and determined, with little time for the Nazi ethos and ...more
If you are interested in preWar Europe this book has a lot to recommend it. The heroine is a well-connected girl who gets in with the Nazi top table - think Unity Mitford with more humanity and brains.

Clara Vine gets involved with an undercover British agent and with her connections to the Goebbels and Ribbentrop families, cosy in their mansions eating dainty cakes and considering German culture as the thugs strut their stuff outside is a promising backdrop for a superior historical thriller.

Verity W
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Atmospheric, fast-paced and tense spy novel set in 1930s Germany, which has been sitting on my kindle waiting to be read for way too long.

I only remembered about this after inadvertantly buying book 2 in the series and then getting book 3 from Netgalley without realising the links until fairly late in the day!

I really enjoyed this - and I'm not normally a reader of stuff set in Nazi Germany (too depressing) - and that enjoyment was partly because I could relax a little, knowing the heroine
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novel is a truly gripping page turner. It gives the reader a not so common insight on the women and wives of important Nazi heads - how they live, their relationships, their gossip, their involvements etc. The novel is well researched since it's based on actual people like Magda Goebbels, wife of Hitler's Propaganda Minister. The spy novel genre and a sprinkling of a love story makes this book really intriguing. The story revolves around the fictitious actress, Clara Vine, who visits Berlin ...more
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is slightly unusual in this book is that the action focuses on the wives of the Nazi leaders, rather than the more well known men themselves. The pivotal character is Magda Goebbels, who actually has a more complex background and personal history than I ever would have guessed . They say that truth is stranger than fiction and surprisingly, the novel is based on extensive research into the Nazi wives' and girlfriends' real lives.

(complete review on my blog :
Kerry Howard
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is filled with beautiful descriptions, many of which slow down the pace. Some create an evocative image of the era. I find the lead character Clara intriguing and annoying in equal measure but I am equally compelled by the world in which she inhabits. The author has a real mastery of language and the story is engaging but could do with a bit more pace.
Annette Smith
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Will definitely read more of the Clara Vine series. Loved that the story was told from the point of view of the women behind the men in the Nazi party. Lots of interesting details about the lives of women in Germany in the 1930s, the author had obviously carried out lots of research I was fascinated.
Jofox Dougwalpole
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book really hard to get into as at first the characters were sketchily drawn. But I'm glad I persisted because it is a fascinating look at the Nazi elite, particularly the women. It was researched using historical sources and fact & fiction are interwoven in a believable way.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning moves very slowly, but the ending is much more like a quick paced spy novel. The romance is clunky and seems crammed in there. My favorite part was all the researched tidbits about the historical people, like Magda Goebbels and Frank Foley.
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Gentle spy story set in the Germany of 1933. Interesting setting with historical characters mixing with fictional ones. Thynne is the wife of Philip Kerr whose books use the same period setting. I enjoyed this more than the Kerr books.
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Reading the Detec...: Black Roses - SPOILER Thread 16 13 Feb 22, 2019 12:24AM  
Reading the Detec...: Black Roses by Jane Thynne 44 16 Feb 18, 2019 07:28AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 20, 2015 12:17PM  

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Jane Thynne was born in Venezuela and educated in London. She graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English and joined the BBC as a journalist. She has also worked at The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent, as well as for numerous British magazines. She appears as a broadcaster on Radio 4 and Sky TV. Jane has three children and lives in London.

Other books in the series

Clara Vine (5 books)
  • Woman in the Shadows (Clara Vine, #2)
  • The Scent of Secrets (Clara Vine, #3)
  • The Pursuit of Pearls (Clara Vine, #4)
  • Solitaire (Clara Vine, #5)
“Perhaps, he thought, there was some strange satisfaction to be derived from confining savage animals here, given that the savagery outside this place was the kind that couldn't be confined.” 0 likes
“She had never felt so alone or frightened in her life. She had come to Berlin to feel closer to her mother, and had found instead danger and death.” 0 likes
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