“The Angel Spies in Paris”


The Angel Spies in ParisVolume 6 of the Brandt Family Chronicles

By Oliver Fairfax

The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 is in full swing, but a new French rifle – although telling- is no match for Prussian tactics and Louis Napoleon’s victory, so eagerly foretold, proves elusive – even illusory.

Dr. Otto Brandt, a Prussian disguised as a Spaniard, is trapped in besieged Paris. The Prussian army advances. The French Emperor is captured. The Empress flees to England, but the Paris government remains in power, changes its name and will not surrender.

Starvation grows inside the city walls, even as the American Mission works to save life wherever it can. The French secret police seek out every threat, real or imaginary, to the hidden government that runs France. The ‘Red Left’ rises and is cut down.

The Prussians besiege the city while Otto must find and release his sister. She is under a death sentence, but it will not be carried out while she is pregnant. Only when her baby is born will Madame Guillotine’s glittering blade fall for her.

And where is the American spy Eleanor? Otto must protect her – not that she needs it, she thinks. Otto finds he has inadvertently found acceptance in the very heart of the Communist movement and from this unlikely forum miracles, like sudden blooms, occur in unlikely places.

But Paris becomes a slaughterhouse as the Versaillist army and the Communes try to eradicate each other. The city wades through rivers of blood. Both sides agree, there will be no survivors from the losing side and there is no such person as an innocent bystander.

The American Mission continues its desperate, humanitarian evacuation as shot and shell fly. Otto lives to fight another day, but as some of his tasks resolve others remain as exposed as though against the front sight post of the dreadful Mitrailleuse!

A device that can fire an unheard of one hundred bullets in a minute. After a respite in Berlin, Otto returns to Spain with Ursula, his new bride, and uncovers evidence that may finally solve the mystery surrounding his maternal great grandfather – Tsar Alexander I.

But even after so long someone else is sniffing out the land and looking for answers, or reward and if they get there first, Ursula could be a new widow. But possibly Ursula herself could be the victim.


The series, at the time of writing, comprises eight books ranging from the Napoleonic Wars (Vols 1-4), through The Franco-Prussian War (Vols 5,6), to the Cold War (Vol 7) and the present day (Vol 9). (Volume 8 is to come soon.) They start at a time when Germany was conceived and develop through its birth to modern times. (1950). The thread is the Brandt Family and their adventures. The environment is German history.

History is written by the winner and, from ace to knave, it’s a pack of lies. These books are not German history. They are a unique view of German history and the stories are told from this deserted and neglected standpoint.

This, so-far, unilluminated emphasis discloses both a disguised truth and a hidden one. Germany is not the warmonger it has been painted and as the series develops, readers’ curiosity may be piqued into checking to see if they agree with the author’s conclusions.


Oliver Fairfax is a nomad. A Scot by birth, he has wandered from England to Hong Kong and back – twice. He has lived in France and now in New Zealand. He worries that a generation is rising who cannot tell the difference between a citizen and a subject.

He is concerned about the pervasive growth of regulation that cannot be afforded, cannot be complied with, but that seeks to remove free choice. He worries also about political correctness and the suppression of dissonance being two policies that misinform ordinary people’s decision-making processes.

But those irritants aside, life’s great! – and remember, you should never have joined if you can’t take a joke.

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