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Agent 355

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Listening Length: 2 hours and 7 minutes

From Marie Benedict, best-selling author of The Only Woman in the Room and Lady Clementine, comes a captivating work of historical fiction about a young female spy who may have changed the course of American History.

The tide is turning against the colonists in the Revolutionary War, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Morris cannot sit by idly. Quietly disdainful of her Tory parents, who drag her along to society events and welcome a British soldier into their home during their occupation of New York City, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands. She realizes that, as a young woman, no one around her believes that she can comprehend the profound implications of being a nation at war - she is, effectively, invisible. And she can use this invisibility to her advantage. Her unique access to British society leads her to a role with General George Washington's own network of spies: the Culper Ring.

Based on true events, Agent 355 combines adventure, romance, and espionage to bring to life this little-known story of a hero who risked her life to fight for freedom against all odds.

2 pages, Audible Audio

First published July 2, 2020

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About the author

Marie Benedict

14 books7,828 followers
Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a commercial litigator at two of the country's premier law firms. While practicing as a NYC lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women -- and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, thematically connected series of historical fiction excavating the stories of important, complex and fascinating women from the past with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein's first wife, a physicist herself. She then released CARNEGIE'S MAID, the story of a brilliant woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie toward philanthropy, followed by the B&N Book Club pick and NYTimes bestseller THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM, the tale of the Golden Age of Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr who made a world-changing invention, and LADY CLEMENTINE about Winston Churchill's wife. She then wrote the Costco pick and NYTimes bestseller THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE which focuses on the real-life disappearance of Agatha Christie and the role it played in shaping her into the world's most successful novelist. In her first co-written novel with the talented Victoria Christopher Murray, Marie released the NYTimes bestselling and Good Morning America Book Club pick THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN about Belle da Costa Greene, the personal librarian to J.P, Morgan who hid a secret about her identity -- and that was followed by HER HIDDEN GENIUS about the brilliant British scientist Rosalind Franklin who discovered the structure of DNA but her research was taken and used by James Watson and Francis Crick. Coming this January 2023 is THE MITFORD AFFAIR, an explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters -- the brilliant, aristocratic Mitfords --, one of whom will have to choose her country or her family as the sisters get caught in the crosshairs of WWII.

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5 stars
1,206 (21%)
4 stars
2,150 (38%)
3 stars
1,704 (30%)
2 stars
339 (6%)
1 star
118 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 600 reviews
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,965 reviews675 followers
March 11, 2023
Great idea to shine a light on extraordinary women in history. But her spy efforts are overshadowed by romance. I'm intrigued by this real woman who is a spy during the Revolutionary War. Instead, readers get a lot of telling how she's a woman and how strong and smart, and different she is. Feels very forced, no showing.

2h 7m Audible
Profile Image for Katia.
64 reviews13 followers
July 7, 2020
I quite liked this. It was an interesting, quick listen. I had meant to listen to it whenever I happened to have free time but I wound up making time to hear the whole story, which is actually a big deal since often, historical fiction doesn't interest me. But while I enjoyed it, I didn't feel like there was something missing. The description says it's a story about romance, adventure and espionage. In order for all of three to be in this two-hour audiobook, there was very little of each.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,956 reviews485 followers
August 8, 2020
Audible Original performance by Emily Rankin. 2hrs 7 minutes

Marie Bendict has introduced me to some fascinating women in her novels ( Carnegie's Maid, The Other Einstein, and Lady Clementine) and her fictional character, Elizabeth Morris may just be one of my favorites. Agent 355 explores how a woman long forgotten by history helped provide essential information to the continental army during the revolutionary war. As the author notes, the woman's identity has been long debated and whether or not Benedict is correct, I absolutely adored the story.

The performance of Emily Rankin makes for an enjoyable listening experience and I hope my fellow Audiobook listeners who enjoy a historical time frame will give this one a listen.

Goodreads review published 07/08/20
Profile Image for Amy.
935 reviews232 followers
May 7, 2022
This is a short audio (2 hours 7 minutes) authored by Marie Benedict, who is my author of the year. Meaning that I am reading every book/work of hers I hadn't, and I am delighted to hear she has just come out with the Mitford Files. What a wonderful author to pick! I absolutely went Wow over the Personal Librarian, The Other Einstein, and Hidden Genius. I also really liked the Mystery of Mrs. Christie, and Smoke Signals. Still left to go is Carnegie's Maid, and the Only Woman in the Room.

Like many of my beloved authors, Marie Benedict seeks to explore and elevate the stories of hidden and obscured, but very powerful women in history, who perhaps before now, never got their "due." This audio story centers on Agent 355, a woman at the center of the Culper Ring, during the Revolutionary War. Her character is fictional, but aligns with her supposition of whom it might have been and how it may have went. The story was great, and I really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,339 reviews699 followers
August 11, 2020
“Agent 355” by Marie Benedict and narrated by Emily Rankin is an audible original production about a female spy in the late 1700’s. Benedict is known for her historical fiction stories of women who changed history. Agent 355 is an unknown woman who worked as a spy who is thought to have a major role in exposing Benedict Arnold. Because this agent is, to this day, still unknown, Marie Benedict used her imagination to create her protagonist and the situations under which she lived.

I’ve become a fan of Audible Originals. The sound production and the attention to production details make these short stories a pleasure to listen to.

I recommend this because it’s an interesting piece of history that is brought to life with a fantastic imagination.
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,135 reviews432 followers
January 23, 2021
3.5 Stars

A fictional interpretation of real events depicting a young woman who risks her life to help the American Revolution.

This offers high stakes drama that was compelling and a romance that was heartbreaking in the sacrifices made.
Profile Image for Lisa Wolf.
1,619 reviews177 followers
July 14, 2020
A beautiful, powerful Audible Original about Agent 355, the mysterious spy who provided key intelligence that helped Washington's army win the Revolutionary War. In this audiobook, author Marie Benedict creates a fictional tale about a young New York woman who might possibly have been Agent 355. Through this first person narrative, we learn what drove her to her activism and to put her own life at risk for the greater good. It's a lovely story, well worth listening to.
Profile Image for Cori.
813 reviews138 followers
July 16, 2020
Do you remember the American Girl dolls? Anyone else ever read those little book series when you were younger? For some reason, I think I went into this expecting a more teeny-bopper version of those books. Something along the vein of the Felicity series...probably because of the horse in the picture. I don't know why! But my brain started filling in a lot of gaps, apparently.

Well, imagine my brain taking a couple startled steps back, wide-eyed, with a stunned hand over my heart about 90% of the way through because...dang. This is no American Doll book. I was literally taken aback at how serious of a turn this story took so quickly, and then sucked back in with suspense.

Even better, the author note at the end tells the reader, although there's ample creative liberty involved, Agent 355 existed as did many of the elements of this story.

Dang. I was not prepared for this. Short in length-- I listened to it in one evening working around the house, but I'm still thinking about it.

The narrator did a nice job as well and had a pleasant voice.

Great for Hamilton fans, history buffs, and spy novel junkies.

I'd rate this a PG, although a heavy one, for young children.
Profile Image for Robin.
1,702 reviews60 followers
July 25, 2020
British soldiers are quartered in the New York City home of Elizabeth Morris and her Tory parents. During various parties at the house, British Officers think nothing of talking about the war in front of Elizabeth and her friends. After all, what woman could understand what they are talking about? Elizabeth sees this as her chance to help the colonists win the war. She approaches Robert Townsend, a shop owner who sympathizes with the colonists. Elizabeth becomes part of General Washington's Culper Spy Ring. Her codename is "Agent 355". She passes on important tidbits of information that changes the tide of the war.

This Audible Original is a short story about a female spy referred to as "Agent 355" in Washington's papers. No one knows the identity of the real woman. Author Marie Benedict has given her an identity and told a story featuring many real historical figures. I found this young adult story to be entertaining. It makes me want to research the Culper Ring and the Revolutionary War. My rating: 4 Stars.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
July 9, 2020

Please refer to yourself as Agent 355 or get out.

Agent 355 was so much fun to listen to! How could you not enjoy some rebels going against the British? Sign me up for this historical ride! From the very beginning, you just knew that Elizabeth didn't fit in. Even if she tried to do so.. it just felt odd. Yet, her mother was all like.. you need to marry to a fancy schmancy guy already or may your vagina be covered in cobwebs forever.

Yada yada yada.

I absolutely loved Elizabeth! She was so badass sneaking in and out of her house to help people throughout this revolution. She'd be like oh shit, this is new.. but wait.. we have soldiers out. Then someone wakes up and she's like.. oh I'm hungry. THEN she gets judged because it's 3am..

Uh, excuse me sirs and madams.. 3am cheese calls are EXTREMELY normal. Just ask my dogs.

Other than that, I loved this book. It was so much fun to listen to that I really wished that it was a lot longer than it was. Ugh, maybe it can be like a show or a movie? I just need something more from all of this.

Profile Image for Erin Arkin.
1,662 reviews356 followers
July 10, 2020
This was a quick dive into the role Agent 355 played in the revolution and while it was only around 2 hours long, it was a great read. I definitely recommend checking it out! The narrator does a fantastic job too!
Profile Image for Lindsay Luke.
471 reviews2 followers
July 5, 2020
Short Audible freebie. Agent 355 was the code for a female member or members of the Culper spy ring in the American Revolution. No one knows who this person specifically was, but she played a role in the discovery that Benedict Arnold was planning to turn West Point over to the British and arrest and hanging of British spy John Andre.
The author wrote this novella based on her theory of who agent 355 might have been. In this book, she is the patriot daughter of New York loyalists. She reads patriot pamphlets and newspapers, eavesdrops on conversations at loyalist gatherings, and half-heartedly befriends British soldiers quartered nearby.
She meets real spy Robert Townsend and falls in love with him. After overhearing the fateful information about West Point, she and Townsend secretly marry. Shortly afterward, she is captured and imprisoned on the notorious prison ship HMS Jersey. It turns out she's pregnant and someone smuggles the baby off the ship to be raised by Townsend. No one ever finds out what happens to 355.
I listened to this as a patriotic diversion on July 4 weekend. It wasn't terrible, but it could have been a lot better. There was too much silly romance, and I doubt the Brits would have put a woman on the Jersey.
Profile Image for Kacy❁.
351 reviews44 followers
April 29, 2021
I don't usually care for history but this type of historical fiction wasn't too bad. Most either loved this or hated it and I'm kind of in the middle. The narration was decent, she was almost always seeming "breathless" and she whispered a lot but it actually kind of fit the story so I didn't mind it. I felt the plot was predictable and not really exciting (lots of eye rolls) but I still wanted to find out what happened. I'd say if it wasn't included in my membership I would've been upset but it was a quick read so hard to say if it'll be your cup of tea or not. (I'm sure this is SO helpful hahahaha)

One big disappointment though:

Why was there no big horse chasing scene? The cover is honestly what made me want to read this book. Big bummer.
Profile Image for Robin Lee Hatcher.
Author 128 books2,721 followers
January 22, 2023
Audiobook (narrated by Emily Rankin)
An interesting novella, based on a mysterious woman from history.

Robin’s Ratings
5🌟 = Out of this world. Amazing. Unforgettable. A personal favorite.
4🌟 = Enjoyed/loved it. Couldn’t put it down. Will recommend to others.
3🌟 = Liked it. Glad I read it. Engaging/entertaining/interesting.
2🌟 = The book was okay, but I’ve enjoyed other books so much more.
1🌟 = For whatever reason, I didn’t like it and can’t recommend it.
Profile Image for Missy.
258 reviews9 followers
July 16, 2020
Oh dear, where do I start. I listened to this with my 18 year old daughter while doing a puzzle together.
We were intrigued by the premise of this book - a strong willed young lady assisting the rebels during the American Revolution. Problem was, she reminded us regularly during the book that she is a strong young woman and that one thing or another was "because she is a woman". I get it. I know that's the case, which is a big part of why I was interested in the story. I just wanted it to be part of the story rather than her spelling it out regularly. It felt less authentic to the day and super forced. Also, the reader was terribly dramatic. We laughed out loud several times at the over-acting. All-in-all, I won't waste my time listening again and wouldn't recommend.
Profile Image for DeAnna.
186 reviews27 followers
November 30, 2021
Agent 355 was, in fact, an actual spy during the American Revolution. Her true identity is still unknown. During the epilogue author Marie Benedict states that Agent 355's heroic efforts deserved to be remembered. Unfortunately this audiobook focuses more Agent 355's presumed love life and motherhood (two things about Agent 355 of which historians know absolutely nothing) rather than her espionage efforts for the American Revolution (the one thing about Agent 355 of which historians do know).
Profile Image for Fabi.
338 reviews9 followers
July 7, 2020
this book was so basic.

We have Elizabeth who isn't like other girls because she doest flirt with other men, she doesn't want to marry or do housework.

Then there's Robert who's the mysterious stranger and conveniently handsome.

the plot was so thin. so so so thin.

the ending was... ok.

the writing was ok but honestly so simply.
Profile Image for Denise.
6,463 reviews105 followers
July 9, 2020
A fictional take on the real-life female spy codenamed "Agent 355" who uncovered vital information during the American Revolution but whose true identity remains unknown. Short but entertaining, though I would've liked the story to focus more on the espionage part and less on romance.
Profile Image for Robin.
201 reviews
July 11, 2020
If you are looking for a fast read without much development but reflects back on historical events you might enjoy this. The main character Elizabeth is a silly young woman and there are a number of plot holes. The author had good intentions to give women in history a voice, but this book only provides a silly little love story which masquerades as historical fiction.
Profile Image for Judith von Kirchbach.
728 reviews20 followers
July 12, 2020
Fun, entertaining, well researched free audible original, I highly recommend this audiobook !
Profile Image for Barbara (The Bibliophage).
1,086 reviews148 followers
September 4, 2021
In this audiobook novella, our heroine is the daughter of Loyalist parents in the Colonies during the American Revolution. She realizes that, as a young woman, people don't think she's listening. And those "people" would be the British officers in her family's circles. So, of course, she starts working as a spy for the rebels / patriots. And her information conduit is a young male merchant with a nearby store. Naturally, they subsequently fall in love.

This story has historical basis, but I'm not much of a romance reader and it veers pretty strongly in that direction. Still, it's a compelling and quick listen. I love the female empowerment piece. Sadly, women's reality in that time period is also a bit depressing.

I picked this Original a long time ago, and it felt like a good pair to my recent read of The Midwife's Revolt. That was a good call, but I definitely preferred the full-length book to the shorter one.

All in all, a decent "palate cleanser."
Profile Image for Tracy.
552 reviews43 followers
August 13, 2020
This was a novella that really interested me. We would all love to know who Agent 355 really was. This is the first fictionalized account I've ever read about her. The art work on the cover sucked me right in. What a great cover!

It's well written and well narrated. I liked it a lot actually and would've given it 5 Stars had it not been for the ending. It's sort of a vague, cryptic ending where the reader can guess what happens. It certainly wasn't a happy ending and I just don't like being left depressed at the end of a story.

I would love reading more about Agent 355.
Profile Image for Christina Rothfusz.
744 reviews16 followers
June 15, 2022
I really enjoyed "The Only Women in the Room" by the same author, I love the she focuses on important women in history that may not have received the recognition they deserved. This is a short listen on a women history has forgotten.

Agent 355 was the code name of a female spy during the American Revolution, one of the first spies for the fledgling new United States and her identity has remained secret.

A great short listen.
Profile Image for Sarah.
289 reviews18 followers
May 9, 2022
Review to come
99 reviews
July 11, 2020
American Revolution Girl Power

Quick story that makes you wonder how much might have been true. Make sure to listen to the author's notes at the end as she explains her research into this woman spy during the American Revolution that could've been real. These were brave people in an uncertain time doing what they felt was right for the good of the many, despite the risks. I think this was relatable and empowering without ruining the authenticity of the historical era.

The narrator had very clear speech and did alright with male and female voices, as well as British accents.

Clean and appropriate to the time period, this would be a good family listen. I think I heard one swear word, a man holding onto a woman tightly and leering (she is quickly extricated), brief mention of a man taking his wife to the bedroom, and some unpleasant conditions on a prison boat, but everything is pretty vaugue and is not described further than that.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 600 reviews

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