Of Smiling Peace is a novel about the hazards of victory, told in the human terms of liberators, liberated and oppressors. As a story it is an absorbing duel of wits and force between resourceful Bert Wolff, American Intelligence officer, and Major Ludwig von Liszt, highly placed German Staff officer. Caught up in this duel—as bait or prize, no one knew which—is the beautiful, shrewd Marguerite Fresneau, Liszt’s mistress.
Between the dueling forces is the man Jules-Marie Monaitre—the cynical betrayer-collaborator, the man of Vichy who thinks he can trade “masters” as casually as mistresses. The Monaitres, the Liszts made French North Africa a wilderness of subtly hazardous intrigue.
Upon entering Algiers, Wolff is sent to arrest the Nazi Armistice Commission that had been “legally” looting the colony. One man is missing, Liszt, of Franco’s staff, whom Wolff knew by reputation during his days with the Loyalists in Spain. Liszt is a Junker, contemptuous of Nazi party hacks, with German superiority and destiny deeply rooted in his blood and background. To Wolff Liszt becomes the embodiment of the enemy, martially and emotionally.