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Signed, Mata Hari by Yannick Murphy
With Signed, Mata Hari, Yannick Murphy tells of Mata Hari's life in novel form. Much of the story is told by Mata Hari to those who visit her in prison, where she's in failing health and about to be executed as a spy in 1917. She tells the story of her life in hopes of convincing them of her innocence. Born in The Netherlands as Margaretha Zelle, she was orphaned as a teenager, hired as a teacher at 17 and seduced by the headmaster, and then married to an abusive Dutch naval officer who moved them to Indonesia. She gave birth to two children there, with one of them dying, and adopted the name Mata Hari (Eye of the Sun). Coming back to Europe, she became a courtesan and exotic dancer, being the lover of many powerful men and moving easily across borders during war time. This either made it easy to be a spy or easy to be framed by someone seeking vengeance. Signed, Mata Hari has received positive reviews with the London Times saying, "Erotically explicit, poignant and sad, this contribution to the Mata Hari myth may well be nearer the truth than most."