Beverly Hills Spy

Author: Drabkin, Ronald

Publication Date:

January 2024



Original language and publisher

English (USA) | William Morrow (HarperCollins US)

Territories Handled

World excl. English


History, WWII

Beverly Hills Spy

Author: Drabkin, Ronald


The true story of how a British war hero helped the Japanese navy ahead of the attack on Pearl Harbor by infiltrating Golden Age Hollywood– and how the FBI, MI5, and the US Navy missed it.

This book recounts the true and up-to-now incomplete tale of Frederick Rutland.

After more than four years of rigorous research across three continents, Ronald Drabkin tells the true, never-before-told-in-full story of Frederick Rutland, a James Bond-esque, debonair, crafty, decorated war hero and flying ace who flipped to become a spy for Japan.

Rutland supplied critical intelligence leading up to Japan’s entry into WWII and the attack on Pearl Harbor by becoming a fixture of Los Angeles society, a friend of Golden Age Hollywood A-listers, a welcomed advisor of U.S. military aeronautical development and a confidante and agent of the Japanese military hierarchy.

Now, with recently released files and dogged examination and translation, we see that both Rutland’s wild and colorful exploits plus a very costly oversight of both America’s FBI and Britain’s MI5 helped lead to one of the U.S.’s worst disasters.

Due primarily to recently declassified FBI files and by incorporating unique and rare research that few English speakers have access to, through access to MI5 and Japanese Naval archives, Drabkin who is fluent in Japanese compiles and retells the story of one of the most fascinating and compelling characters of WWII.

The Hollywood Reporter and The Express (UK) have already profiled the story.

Notables who feature in the book:

– British Royals
– Charlie Chaplin
– J. Edgar Hoover
– Ian Fleming (Asst. Director, MI5)
– “K” (or as in Bond films, “M”), Director of MI5
– Alan Mowbray (founder Screen Actors Guild)
– Yoko Ono’s father
– Admiral Yamamoto (Commander of the attack on Pearl Harbor)
– Boris Karloff
– Douglas Fairbanks
– Norwegian Royals

Marketing Information

Early support:

“Drabkin’s ability to unearth a great story and tie the pieces together with Hollywood History made working with him a dream” Seth Abramovich, Senior Writer, the Hollywood Reporter

“Drabkin is a stunning researcher. We collaborated on an academic article on Rutland and Japanese espionage, and this was the first academic paper in my life that I published that went through peer review with no significant changes.” — Bradley Hart, Professor, Cal State Fresno, and award-winning author of “Hitler’s American Friends.”

 “Ronald Drabkin’s article is one of the most popular articles that we have recently published having been read more than 2,000 times in the first two months after publishing it. This double-blind reviewed article met all the criteria for solid research and writing. On the 75th anniversary of the United States Intelligence Community this year, interest in espionage and World War II is at an all-time high. Nevertheless, this subject matter would be of interest at any time given the relevancy and new perspective this article provides.”— Jan Goldman, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 

“The stories about Nazis in Hollywood have only recently come out in recent books, such as “Hitler in Los Angeles” and “Hollywood’s Spies.” But no one has yet written about the Japanese infiltration of Hollywood, and I think it’s important. I’m glad Drabkin is writing about this.”  Laura Rosenzweig, author of Hollywood’s Spies: The Undercover Surveillance of Nazis in Los Angeles

“Ronald Drabkin has continued to uncover previously unknown stories by navigating archives spanning the FBI, MI5, and the Japanese National Archives and I’ve been helping him on his quest to tell this story.” — Ken Kotani, Professor, College of Risk Management, Nihon University. Senior Fellow of National Institute for Defense Studies, MoD, Japan and Visiting fellow of the Royal United Institute for Defense Studies.