Gravesend model to star on cover of World War Two spy book

PUBLISHED: 12:02 24 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:02 24 September 2015

Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms

Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms


The non-fiction book tells the story of espionage in London

A new book based on one of the greatest spy story of World War Two is to feature a Gravesend model on the cover.

Liv Smith, from Gravesend, features on the cover of “Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms” by Paul Willets.

The piece of non-fiction, released in October, tells the story of espionage in London 1940, featuring the spy often cited as the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Maxwell Knight.

For the cover, Miss Smith is pictured in a late 1930s haute couture gown with top West End and film stylist Natasha Hall being brought in to complete the Gravesend models transformation.

Author Paul Willets commented on how Miss Smith was chosen to star on the books cover

“We had a model planned for the shoot, but the day before the shoot she called me to say she had been diagnosed with suspected Tuberculosis.”

“I was desperately looking through modelling agencies, looking for the girl with the right look for the cover, and fortunately Liv’s agency popped up, and I thought she was perfect.”

The non-fiction book has derived from over 27 years worth of research, and Mr Willetts said he wanted to reflect this detail in the cover:

“The book is so immersed in detail, and two of its characters are very fashion conscious, so I thought, ‘why not take a picture that honours the detail and fashion of the book and use that for the cover?’”

The story covers Anna Wolkoff, and the books main protagonist Tyler Kent’s, infiltration and theft of secret messages traded between Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt.

From the author of Members Only, adapted for screen into “The Look of Love” starring Steve Coogan and Stephen Fry, Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms is released on October 1.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Gravesend Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Gravesend Reporter