Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second book in the “A Woman of World War II” mystery series by Tessa Arlen. Although it is the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. It is 1942 and Poppy, employed by the London Crown Film Unit as a scriptwriter during the war, is sent to work on location at an airfield. The film she is working on is about the Air Transport Auxiliary pilots, or “Attagirls.” This amazing group of female pilots flew many different types of planes and transported them to airfields all over Britain during World War II. Sometimes these transports occurred during severe weather conditions. Poppy begins to work on the film and starts to get to know this intriguing group of talented and professional female pilots. When two “Attagirls” are killed in accidents during seemingly routine flights, Poppy and her boyfriend Griff begin to investigate.
This was such an interesting read, especially since I had never heard of the “Attagirls.” The history of these brave women is fascinating, and the author provides more facts about them in a historical note at the end of the book. The murder mystery is well done, with many twists, turns, and red herrings. The villain is not easy to figure out, so the reader is surprised at the end. The characters are compelling and well developed. Our heroine, Poppy, proves to be a witty and clever sleuth. Her relationship with her boyfriend Griff is complicated at times, but that just makes it more interesting. This is a great combination of World War II historical fiction and cozy mystery. I would recommend this book to fans of both genres.
Tessa Arlen is the author of the critically acclaimed Lady Montfort mystery series—Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman was a finalist for the 2016 Agatha Award Best First Novel. She is also the author of Poppy Redfern: A Woman of World War II mystery series. And the author of the historical fiction: In Royal Service to the Queen.
Tessa lives in the Southwest with her family and two corgis where she gardens in summer and writes in winter.
It’s Lottie’s 11th birthday, but her parents have to go out of town to help her much older sister, who is having a crisis. Lottie is not thrilled about going to stay in her Aunt’s cold house on her birthday while her parents are gone, but is slightly cheered by the birthday present her mother has left behind. Inside the package is a locket, which takes Lottie on an amazing adventure to another world, Orovand. But Orovand, like Earth, has problems too, and soon Lottie’s locket is missing, a man is dead, and her chance to return home is in jeopardy.
This was a good middle grade fantasy with a murder mystery thrown in. I think the mystery was engaging and there were some twists and turns. The world-building was not interesting enough in my opinion. It appeared to be a very colorful world set up like an ancient kingdom, where the King rules all. Although I feel it was an interesting story, I was not drawn in enough to want to return to Orovand for any further adventures. There are some intriguing aspects of Orovand, but I won’t reveal them as to avoid spoilers.
I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited at the request of the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own. Fans of middle grade fantasy and mystery novels may enjoy this one.
Before I post my Netgalley reads, I wanted to let you know I have been busily reading books and doing reviews for The Historical Novel Society’s magazine, Historical Novels Review (HNR). However, I cannot post those reviews until after the magazine is published in February 2021, so my reviews were kind of scarce last week. I reviewed a whopping 20 books for them over the last three months! I will share these with you as soon as I am able to do so. I am finishing up those reviews today and the rest of the week will be devoted to my Netgalley reads and some Indie books I am reading for some great authors.
Below are three Netgalley ARC reads I am working on, unrelated to HNR. These reviews will come this week.
Sisters Nora and Delia are traveling on the Titanic from their poor Irish farm life to new jobs in America. When tragedy strikes, lives are altered and secrets are kept. Will they be revealed?
My review will be coming this week. This book will be released January 26, 2021
A group of women from Smith College risk their lives in France at the height of World War I.
My review will be coming this week. This book will be released on March 2, 2021.
Two friends are forced to face a dark secret that ended their childhood bond.
My review will be done this week. This book will be released January 12, 2021.
I also have some great indie reviews coming this week and next week so stay tuned!