"A fascinating journey into the past to uncover one of the most colourful rogues who spied for Britain."
Bestselling author of a wide variety of books on spies and special forces including The Anatomy of a Traitor and The Secrets of Station X.
“The wartime double agent is one of the most indelible figures in all of literature. But there are few characters as bizarre and intriguing as the rascal who was codenamed Celery by MI5. In telling the story of her grandfather’s adventures, Carolinda Witt has added a rollicking chapter to our understanding of World War II. And here's the incredible part: It’s all true.”
Bestselling author Double Agent and The Bielski Brothers.
"A classic recipe of wartime espionage with romance, perfidy and tragedy as added ingredients."
Bestselling author and intelligence expert. Voted 'The Experts' Expert' by a panel of other spy writers in The Observer in November 1989.
"An incredible story, a tangled family history and a gripping insight into the murky world of the double agent."
Dr Nick Barratt
Author and historian The Forgotten Spy, TV presenter and researcher, Who Do You Think You Are, and Hidden House Histories.
"An amazing story which has remained untold for far too long. The story of a very brave but also very complex man. This man was my Father and I wish he had been able to explain his life to me in person. However Carolinda has done this exceptionally well."
5th son of Walter Dicketts aka Double Agent Celery.
"I had read a couple of books about Agent SNOW who was inextricably linked to Agent CELERY, but Carolinda Witt's book was amazing. I had no idea what a complicated man he was, who, while a rogue and a crook, turned out to be one of MI5's earliest and most successful double agents. It must have been a tremendous 'voyage of discovery' to learn that a relative had had such an illustrious, if checkered life, for both her and the other members of the family. Her book is an extremely valuable addition to the canon of books on wartime agents. I would recommend it to anyone interested in this genre."
Author of Rough Justice: The True Story of Agent Dronkers, the Enemy Spy Captured by the British.
"Written by Walter Dicketts' granddaughter, Double Agent Celery: MI5's Crooked Hero is the amazing, true-life story of the WWII British double agent Walter Dicketts (codenamed Celery), a talented con man tasked with the daunting mission of persuading the Germans that he had turned traitor so he could obtain critical military intelligence. Although Dicketts was betrayed as an M15 plant before his initial trip to Germany, his mental agility and persuasive charisma allowed him to outwit his interrogators in Hamburg and Berlin, and successfully return to Britain. Celery successfully persuaded an Abwehr Officer to defect, and was undercover in Brazil for nine months. Dicketts' penchant for deception enveloped his private life as well as his military service; his swindles oscillated between making him wealthy and leaving him impoverished, and his family life was even more tangled. Double Agent Celery is the fascinating portrait of a man who was both hero and crook, fully capable of conning his way out of the most extraordinary situations, and highly recommended."
"There are regrettably far too few books written about WW2 by women and it is truly a breath of fresh air to read Carolinda's Witt book, Double Agent Celery: MI5's Crooked Hero. The charming but yet ambiguous protagonist, Walter Dicketts, was her maternal grandfather, a man of many faces and countless secrets. A true hero, agent of MI5 tortured by the Nazis, but also an unscrupulous swindler and an incorrigible philanderer. He kept himself quite busy on the latter front; he had four wives, two mistresses and six children that we know of. A crooked hero indeed. Witt‘s book is hugely entertaining and written with passion and flair. It has the quality of a well plotted and thought out novel, without giving any discounts on historical facts. A fascinating visit to a unique time in history. An outstanding book doesn’t need to be made into a movie as it stands on its own merits, but I’m sure that this crooked hero would shine brightly on the silver screen.
Sindri Freysson, award-winning Icelandic author & poet.
“As gripping and immersive as any spy novel. This tells the real story of agent Celery.”
Dr Helen Fry
Author and historian The M Room: Secret Listeners who Bugged the Nazis and Spymaster: The Secret Life of Kendrick.
"Powerful feel for the period and a sure touch generally on the techniques of spycraft. Without the Double Cross system the Allies would probably have lost the Second World War."
Professor Paul Moorcraft
Former UK Ministry of Defence and prolific author on security issues.
"An important and engrossing espionage history of the flawed but brave double agent, Dicketts."
Bestselling author of Jock Lewes Co-founder of the SAS and A Spy After All.
"The incredible true story of a significant and daring piece of counterespionage activity by members on both sides of the conflict."
Author Aurora and translator of her father Nikolaus Ritter's memoirs, Deckname Dr. Rantzau into English
"Spy, lover, scoundrel. Walter Dicketts was the real deal."
Sydney Morning Herald
"This has been a truly absorbing read with Carolinda demonstrating just how much can be achieved with such whole-hearted perseverance."
"My Father would have been very envious and spellbound to see his civilian and wartime exploits so vividly and accurately portrayed by Carolinda Wit. The book says it all - no holds barred - a unique and intriguing picture of a profound and perilous risk taker. There is a strong echo from author John Buchan's all action hero - Richard Hannay - who also had the miraculous knack of getting himself out of sticky situations - viz. The Thirty-Nine Steps."
"Spy stories, fiction and non-fiction, are enduringly popular. This story of a British agent during WWII will be no exception, with all the elements to keep the reader turning pages to the end – Highly Recommended. One of the difficulties of the intelligence world is that rarely is anything black and white and the game being played can have many surprising aspects. Little is what it seems and the story of 'Celery' displays some of these traits. It is also a fertile area for conspiracy theory. 'Celery' was intended to be a double agent, but some may suspect that he was a triple agent, whatever proofs are offered to the contrary. Perhaps this is part of the fascination and enthusiasm for histories and fictions about spies. Readers must draw their own conclusions but, whatever they conclude, they will find this a most enjoyable, absorbing and exciting story that is told well and supported by some very interesting images in the photo-plate section."
"Double Agent CELERY tells the complex, often convoluted story of a Double Cross agent who bravely served his country behind enemy lines and the families he left behind who only learned about him and each other after his death."
CIA Studies in Intelligence Vol. 62, No. 1 (Extracts, March, 2018).