Book Review: Beyond This Broken Sky

This is a dual-timeline novel set in London in 1940 and 2019. In 1940, rich and carefree Ruby has surprisingly volunteered for the ambulance service during the Nazi bombing of Britain, otherwise known as the Blitz. Her partner and driver is Joseph, a conscientious objector. Ruby owns a house in London and has rented out one of the top two floors to Joseph and the other to a married couple, Kitty and Reg. In 2019, Edi has purchased an apartment in London and is trying to start life anew. A neighbor, a book, and a hidden object lead her to pursue a mystery and learn about the actions of truly courageous women in a dangerous time.

I was spellbound by this novel, which transports us to a shell-shocked London being hit with a barrage of bombs night after night. We careen through the streets in an ambulance, saving who we can, and we do it over and over. This is the life of Ruby at that time. We also meet Joseph, who cannot take a life but wants to help his country in other ways. We learn of life-threatening prejudice against women, and we witness the very real September 1940 occupation of the Savoy Hotel, as the differences between the shelter accommodations of the rich and poor are made very obvious.  In 2019, the heartbroken but determined Edi, with the help of her neighbor, Pearl, unravels a mystery that has been hidden for decades.

This is a unique and eye-opening look at London during the Blitz that gives us deeper insight into the realities of life in that era. I highly recommend this book to fans of World War II fiction, women’s fiction, and mysteries.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Bookouture, for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of The Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Siobhan Curham

(In Her Own Words)

When I was a child my evil genius parents decided not to have a TV as they thought it was bad for a child’s imagination – I mean, as if?! And, as this was in the days before the internet and mobile phones, I had a choice – I could either learn to love books or I could die of boredom. So I learnt to love books and pretty soon my love of reading grew into a love of writing and I dreamt of one day having a shelf of books of my own.

At eighteen I set off for uni in pursuit of my dream, to study English Literature. But two years into my degree, I become plagued by the fear that I just didn’t have what it took to become a professional writer. I came from a much poorer background than most of my fellow students and I started to feel that people from council estates didn’t belong in the middle class world of publishing. So I dropped out of uni and ended up working in the complaints department for a frozen food company where all I wrote were grovelling apology letters to irate customers. (This is the tragic low point of my story).

After four years of working in jobs I hated I came to an important realisation: life can be a very dull and dark place when you don’t dare to dream. So I dusted off my literary dreams and instead of seeing writing as some kind of rarefied world solely for the silver-spooned, I decided to approach it as I would any other job, starting small and working my way up. I began my quest writing short stories for weekly women’s magazines (the kind of magazines that have headlines like: The Day My Womb Fell Out! and OMG My Fella is Sleeping With the Milkman!). Then I wrote some articles. Having short stories and articles published gave me the confidence to finally have a go at writing my first book.

That book was published in 2000.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve now written over 30 books and I’ve won three book awards. Moral of the story … never give up on your dreams!

I love helping other people with their writing, in my work as an editor and writing coach.

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Book Blast: The Girls From The Beach

***Not a Book Review

THE GIRLS FROM THE BEACH BY ANDIE NEWTON

Digital Publication Date: July 8, 2021
Paperback Publication Date: January 2022
Aria Fiction

Genre: Historical Fiction

‘We’d heard stories about the nurses in tent seven. A secret mission, stolen money, and spies…’

In 1944, four American nurses disappeared for five days. No one knew what happened to them. Until now.

When Kit and Red set foot on French soil during the Normandy landings, they know they have to rely on each other. As they head for the battlefield, their aim is simple: save lives. But when they’re called away on a top-secret mission to patch up a few men behind enemy lines, everything changes.

Alongside fellow nurses, Roxy and Gail, they’re told to prepare for the worst, trading in their nurses’ fatigues for civilian clothes and hiding medical supplies under their skirts. But it’s a lie. Their real mission tasks them with the impossible – to infiltrate the Reich and steal something the Nazis desperately need to win their losing war.

In an ultimate test of courage and comradeship, each woman must decide what she is prepared to risk and what she has to live for.

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Praise for The Girls From The Beach

‘One of my favorite books of 2021 and a true must-read for all fans of the genre. It’s not just a story of friendship, but a story of patriotism, heroism, and selfless sacrifice in the name of freedom. Absolutely riveting!’ – Ellie Midwood, USA Today bestselling author of The Violinist of Auschwitz

‘A wild ride of a book, laced with beautifully flawed characters, impeccable research and a story that will make you cry with tears of joy and sorrow. A resounding five-star read!’ – Terry Lynn Thomas, USA Today bestselling author of The Silent Woman

‘What a story! The Girls from the Beach took me on a rollercoaster ride of mystery and suspense. The Girls from the Beach is a testimony to courage, integrity and female friendship. And that ending – wow!’ – Gill Thompson, bestselling author of The Oceans Between Us

‘The Girls from the Beach is a unique and incredibly imaginative story inspired by the nurses who worked on the front line in World War Two. It is action-packed and full of unexpected drama around every turn – I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next! Readers who enjoyed Newton’s earlier books will be sure to love this one’ – Louise Fein, bestselling author of People Like Us

About the Author

Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Vichy and the author of The Girl I Left Behind. Andie holds a Bachelor degree in History and a Master in Teaching. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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Book Review: The Secretary

The Secretary is another book I reviewed for the August edition of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society.

In Germany in 1940, Magda has become Heinrich Himmler’s secretary. But all is not as it seems. By day she organizes glamorous and decadent parties for Nazi officials, and by night she smuggles secrets out of the office and helps others get to safety. Risking her life every day, she places her trust in very few people. However, an unsuspected source of betrayal is lurking in the background. In East Berlin in 1988, Nina finally gets her grandmother to talk about a beautiful drawing of a house that she found hidden away as a child. With her grandmother as a new ally, Nina attempts escape from East Berlin for both of them.

This is a heartrending dual-timeline novel that shows us the horrors in Germany in both Hitler’s 1940 and the Cold War years in late 1980s East Berlin. Two women, grandmother and granddaughter, risk themselves to help others. What ties it all together is a house and the secrets it holds. Your heart will race, and you will weep as you are swept back and forth from Heinrich Himmler’s office in the 1940s to an East Berlin prison in 1989. You will see the downfall of the Third Reich and watch the Berlin Wall come down. This is a sad but thrilling novel full of danger, love, and loss that will keep you enthralled. I was especially entranced as I watched the Berlin Wall open up from the perspective of someone inside East Berlin. The descriptions of the differences between East Berlin and West Berlin at the time were fascinating. Fans of World War II fiction, Cold War fiction, and German history will not want to miss this one.

I received a free copy of this book via Bookouture for Historical Novels Review Magazine. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Hokin

(In Her Own Words)

I seem to have followed a rather meandering career, including marketing and teaching and politics (don’t try and join the dots), to get where I have always wanted to be, which is writing historical fiction. I am a story lover as well as a story writer and nothing fascinates me more than a strong female protagonist and a quest. Hopefully those are what you will encounter when you pick up my books.

I am from the North of England but now live very happily in Glasgow with my American husband. Both my children have left home (one to London and one to Berlin) which may explain why I am finally writing. If I’m not at my desk you’ll most probably find me in the cinema, or just follow the sound of very loud music.

I’d love to hear from you and there are lots of ways you can find me, so jump in via my website https://www.catherinehokin.com/ or on my Cat Hokin FB page or on twitter @cathokinRead less

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Blog Tour and Book Review: The Rainbow

BOOK DESCRIPTION

There, on the dusty floorboards, was a piece of paper, folded neatly. A newspaper article from 1941, written in German, alongside a faded picture of two men in Nazi uniforms staring at the camera. I was about to place it back in the box of forgotten things when something in the text jumped out at me. My breath caught in my chest. I know that name.

London, present day. Isla has grown up hearing her beloved grandad’s stories about his life as a child in pre-war Poland and as a young soldier bravely fighting the Germans to protect his people. So she is shocked and heartbroken to find, while collecting photos for his 95th birthday celebration, a picture of her dear grandfather wearing a Nazi uniform. Is everything she thought she knew about him a lie?

Unable to question him due to his advanced dementia, Isla wraps herself in her rainbow-coloured scarf, a memento of his from the war, and begins to hunt for the truth behind the photograph. What she uncovers is more shocking than she could have ever anticipated – a tale of childhood sweethearts torn apart by family duty, and how one young man risked his life, his love and the respect of his own people, to secretly fight for justice from inside the heart of the enemy itself…

An heartbreaking novel of love, betrayal and a secret passed down through a familyInspired by an incredible true story. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzWe Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carly Schabowski


Carly Schabowski worked as a journalist in both North Cyprus and Australia before returning to Oxford, where she studied for an MA and then a PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University. Carly now teaches at Oxford Brookes University as an associate lecturer in Creative Writing for first and second-year English literature students.

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BOOK REVIEW

This is a complex dual-timeline novel that will break your heart, while at the same time giving you hope. We are transported to the devastation of World War II, and all its horror and secrets, and then to England 2015, as a granddaughter is dealing with the heartbreak of her grandfather’s dementia, and then even more pain upon learning certain truths. We are shown a compelling story of love, sacrifice, secrets, and betrayal, and left in awe at how love can overcome hate. I felt a connection to the dementia aspects of this story, as I personally watched dementia slowly take my Dad’s memory, and the heartbreak of that is portrayed in a real way in this novel. The fact that this is based on a true story makes it even more compelling. Carly Schabowski has woven together a complex, beautiful, and painful tale that will keep you attuned to each turning page until the last secret is revealed.

I received a free copy of this book via Bookouture. My opinions are my own.

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Blog Tour and Book Review: Those I Have Lost

*Review in the Middle of the Page

BOOK DESCRIPTION

1940 When Rosie loses her mother and is sent to Sri Lanka to live with her mother’s friend Silvia and her three sons, her world changes in a heartbeat. As she is absorbed into the bosom of a noisy family, with boys she loves like brothers, she begins to feel at home.

But the war in Europe is heading for Asia. Searching for comfort from the bleak news and the bombings, Rosie meets a heroic soldier on leave, and falls in love for the first time. Yet the war will not stop for passion; he must move on, and she must say goodbye, knowing she might never see him again. She is left with just a memory.

Meanwhile, one by one, the men she considers brothers leave to fight for their island paradise. As she waits in anguish for letters that never come, tortured by stories of torpedoed ships and massacres of innocent families, she realises that she, too, must do her bit. Rosie volunteers to work in military intelligence, keeping secrets that will help those she loves and protect her island home. But then two telegrams arrive with the chilling words ‘missing believed captured’ and ‘missing believed dead’. Who of those that she loves will survive the devastating war, and who will she lose?

BONNIE READS AND WRITES (REVIEW)

Those I have Lost is a captivating coming of age journey set mostly in the area now known as Sri Lanka before, during, and after World War II.  Sharon Maas once again portrays characters and settings that will leave the reader spellbound. We travel through Rosie’s life, from the loss of her mother to her new life with her mother’s wealthy friend Silvie,  her joy and heartbreak, and the travesty of war.  Rosie longs to be a doctor above all else, and faces strong pushback against a woman becoming more than a wife at that time.  We also see how love and war can change our best laid plans. 

Sharon Maas once again introduces us to an unforgettable story that will sweep us away to a time of war and a place of beauty, loss, and danger.   Maas conveys landscapes we can see and feel, emotions that sweep us away, and characters who show us their very souls. This  description of Rosie playing her flute by a waterfall sweeps the reader into all of these at once:  “It was a small pool, a narrow waterfall, but the sound made by water entering water was simply delicious; so soothing, so fresh and clear and pure, the constant splash pleasing to the ear and to the heart, seeming to wash away all cares.  That sound formed a backdrop to my playing. Like an unbroken flow of oil, it provided a steady baseline upon which I could improvise a thousand tunes, each one as new and original as the dawning day.”  This is just one example of a book  filled with beautiful imagery combined with vibrant characters that will take the reader on a journey into life and war that will be unforgettable.

This is a unique take on a World War II novel, as we see it from the perspective of a girl in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), watching as Japan devastates Southeast Asia and then arrives on her shores.  I learned so much from this perspective that I hadn’t known before.  I highly recommend this book to others who want to see sides of World War II that expand us to different horizons that were also devastated by war, but not as well publicized.  

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#Book Review: Keeping The Lights On For Ike

Rebecca Daniels shares the letters, thoughts, and memories of her parents, Alec and Mary Daniels, mostly during the time when her father was serving in Europe during World War II. Accompanying each letter or story from her parents, Daniels provides the rich history of what was going on in the war, the country, and/or the military at that time. The history is well researched, and the letters of her parents are an interesting look at what it was like to write letters that they knew were going to go through a censor. 

The importance of letters and the post office in general really resonated with me as well. In this day of smartphones, Facetime, and quick emails, few people really think about hand-written letters, but they were the lifeline of families during WWII. Both the soldiers and the families waited hopefully for the post, and when it finally came, drank in the only communication with their loved ones they may have had in weeks or even months.

One of the most poignant quotes for me came from Daniels’ father about the nature of war. I myself have never been in a war zone and would not presume to know what it is like, but his words rang true for me. When talking about a Christmas celebration during the war in December 1942, he said: “…The dinner was a great success and everyone forgot their trouble for a moment and had a grand old time. You see, Mary, a war isn’t all that you think it might be. You just have to be in one to understand how people live almost as they would if no war existed, except for short periods of extreme activity.” Of course, he couldn’t put anything more descriptive than “extreme activity,” or it likely would have been censored.

The letters and snippets of stories from Mary Daniels showed a woman of deep thought with real writing talent. I am the spouse of a retired military member, and when Mary described what it was like living near a Navy yard, that instantly brought me back to my own time living on military bases, and my own visits to Navy shipyards. Mary’s writings that were provided show she had a talent for connecting with the reader.

This is a well-researched and interesting memoir, and really provides a window of what things were like for World War II era couples, separated for so long but trying to keep the lines of communication open.

This is a great tribute from Rebecca Daniels to her parents, and a thoughtful history of what life was like at that time.

I downloaded the book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can borrow it for free. I also received a PDF from the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Daniels

Rebecca Daniels (MFA, PhD) Rebecca Daniels taught performance, writing, and speaking in liberal arts universities for over 25 years, including St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, from 1992-2015. She was the founding producing director of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, OR, and directed with many professional Portland theatre companies in the 1980s. She is the author of the groundbreaking Women Stage Directors Speak (McFarland, 1996) and has been published in multiple professional theatre journals. In 2015, she retired from teaching and moved to the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts where, in 2018, she completed the manuscript for Keeping the Lights on for Ike, a book based on her father’s letter home from Europe during WWII, which was published in 2019 by Sunbury Press. In 2019, she also served as literary manager and co-producer for Silverthorne Theater Company in Greenfield, MA. Lately, she has been working on two full-length plays and recently completed a memoir called Finding Sisters (to be published by Sunbury Press in 2021) that explores how DNA testing helped her find her genetic parents and other relatives in spite of being given up for a closed adoption at birth. 

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#Book Review: A Peculiar Combination

A Peculiar Combination was one of my favorites of all the books I read for the May edition of Historical Novels Review. They also made this book an “Editor’s Choice.” It’s a great read and the start of a new series.

A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver is the first book in the new Electra McDonnell series, which is set in World War II England. Electra (Ellie) belongs to a family of thieves.   Her Uncle Mick is a master safecracker, and she and her cousins, Toby and Colm, have learned everything they know from him. With Toby and Colm off fighting in the war, it is up to Ellie and Uncle Mick to keep supporting the family. When a house robbery goes bad, Ellie finds herself working for a government official, Major Ramsey, in order to keep herself and Uncle Mick out of jail. Their first mission leads to more as it becomes clear a traitor is at work and German spies are involved.

This is an engaging and addictive historical thriller with a touch of romance. I immediately connected with these characters, especially Ellie and Uncle Mick. Ellie is an intriguing and complex individual. She is a thief and safecracker, but has also been to finishing school. She can operate in any level of society, which makes her a perfect thief and a perfect spy. Uncle Mick is a locksmith by day and safecracker by night, but he has a moral code, even as a thief, that he will not break. He has passed that code onto Ellie.    Ellie’s missions into high society with the Major are thrilling and fun to watch. They are a reminder that World War II was also fought silently by spies on both sides.   Fans of historical thrillers and strong female characters are going to love this World War II spy adventure.  Highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana. She is the author of the Amory Ames series and the new Electra McDonnell series.

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The Girl From Berlin

BOOK DESCRIPTION: (My review is further down below)

From her beautiful new home in Berlin, a young woman named Liesel Scholz barely notices the changes to the city around her. Her life is one of privilege and safety thanks to her father’s job working for the new government.

But a chance encounter with Rosa, the daughter of their Jewish housekeeper, confirms Liesel’s fears that something isn’t right. That the Nazi government’s brutal rules are cruel and dangerous, and that others aren’t as safe as she is. When Rosa begs Liesel to help—pressing her grandfather’s gold pocket watch into Liesel’s hand—Liesel recklessly agrees.

She will help hide Rosa and her loved ones—in the dusty, unused rooms at the top of their house—even if it means putting everyone she loves in danger. Even if it means risking her own life.

Frankfurt, 1946: An idealistic American captain, Sam Houghton, arrives in Germany to interrogate prominent Nazis on trial and to help rebuild a battered country. When he hires an enigmatic, damaged interpreter named Anna, he doesn’t expect sparks to fly between them. Perhaps there is a chance of love for both of them. But then the question of what happened to Anna in the war raises its head.

Because Anna has secrets—ones that link her to Berlin, the Nazi party, and the story of one gold pocket watch and two young women who became friends, even when they were told it was impossible…

REVIEW: BONNIE READS AND WRITES


Oh what a beautiful and heart-rending novel! There is so much World War II fiction out right now and this one absolutely stands apart as a must-read. The character development–where should I begin–it’s a master class. The sharp awakening of the sheltered young Liesl is so well done, and you will cheer on her determination to protect the innocent, even from her own father. The relationship between Anna and Sam is touching and bittersweet as Anna fights off demons from her past and Sam tries to help her live again. Ambition and its possible pitfalls is examined in detail through the life of Leisl’s father. The purest bravery and innocence abound in the lovely character of Friedy. A lifelong friendship between Rosa and Leisl is born out of great peril. Kate Hewitt has penned a novel that will capture your heart and keep you thinking, long after you are done. This is highly recommended for all, because it’s a story that will touch every heart.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture. I also purchased a copy of this splendid novel. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives.

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The Kitchen Front

BOOK REVIEW

The Kitchen Front is a wonderful book which feels like a World War II based combination of Downton Abbey and the Great British Baking Show. In Fenley Village, England, 1942, Ambrose Hart is reluctantly looking for a radio cohost. His bosses have decided they want a local woman who can help listeners find the best uses for their food rations. A cooking contest begins, and the winner will be Ambrose’s co-host on The Kitchen Front radio show. The four contestants are Audrey, who is trying to raise three sons and wallowing in a mountain of debt, Nell, a kitchen maid who is tired of her poor treatment, Lady Gwendoline Strickland, the haughty grand lady of the manor, who is both Nell’s boss and Audrey’s sister, and Zelda Dupont, an English girl turned London-based French chef who has been forced to cook in a British factory and is not happy about it. As the show progresses, each woman’s life begins to change forever.

I immediately connected with the characters and the story. The “upstairs/downstairs,” “Downton Abbey” type relationship is demonstrated by Lady Gwendoline, Sir Strickland, and their cooks and other staff. The radio show cooking contest reminds me of a World War II radio version of the Great British Baking Show. For the contest, each contestant has to provide a starter, a main dish, and a dessert, all on different episodes of the show. All of the recipes for the contest, plus others mentioned in the story, are included in the book. We are given a window into each contestant’s life, both before and during the contest. Audrey is a grieving war widow. Gwendoline is a neglected wife of a strict and domineering nobleman. Zelda is pregnant and abandoned by the child’s father, and Nell is a young girl who wants to get out of the bonds of service. Interesting tidbits about food and history are included, such as why British sausages are called “bangers,” and how some villagers would run to “Anderson shelters,” to escape the bombings. We even get a little education on World War II era planes. I enjoyed every minute of this book, read it in one day, and will read it again. 

If you love cooking and cooking shows, World War II fiction, and strong female characters, you will enjoy this book.

The Kitchen Front will be released on February 23, 2021. I highly recommend it.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer Ryan is the author of National Bestseller THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR, THE SPIES OF SHILLING LANE, and THE KITCHEN FRONT. Her writing has featured in Literary Hub, Moms Don’t Have Time to Write, The Daily Mail, The Irish Times, The Express, BBC Online, YOU Magazine, The Simple Things Magazine, and Good Reading Magazine. Previously a book editor with The Economist, DK, and the BBC, she moved from London to Washington, DC after marrying, and she now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children. Her novels are inspired by her grandmother’s tales of the war in Britain.

JENNIFER RYAN’S WEBSITE

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(Released February 23, 2021)

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Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers

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.

The first book in the series is Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders.

I received a free copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via Netgalley for Historical Novels Review. My review is voluntary.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.