National (In-)Security: Fifty Notable American Espionage Novels: 43-45.


Roth, Holly.  The Content Assignment.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954.

After a career as a fashion model, Holly Roth shifted to a writing career, contributing to newspapers and magazines and then working as an editor with periodicals ranging from Seventeen and Cosmopolitan to the American Journal of Surgery.  His career as a novelist lasted only a dozen years, cut short by her death at age 48.  Over that period, she produced a novel a year, most of them in the espionage or mystery-detective genres.

Although her novels consistently received very complimentary reviews, Roth’s first novel, The Content Assignment, remains her best known and most highly regarded work.  Set in Berlin in the late 1940s, the novel focuses on the romance between a male British journalist and a female C.I.A. operative.  When the woman disappears, the journalist traces her back to America.  He begins to suspect, however…

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