Thanks to NetGalley & St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a free copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
Fans of Ashley Weavers “Armory Ames” series of mysteries are rejoicing at her newest heroine, Electra McDonnell, and for new readers this series should be a real treat. Having never read any of the Armory Ames book, I was unaware of the authors abilities with regard to plot, character development and plausible mystery resolution. Fear not! Ashley Weaver has done a great job in all aspects of this book.
We are introduced to Electra (who goes by the name Ellie) and the action begins on page 1, as she and her Uncle Mick are breaking into a house in order to open a safe and steal the items that were left there while the family was away. Yes, Ellie is a safecracker and thief, and as she and Uncle Mick are leaving the residence, during the London blackout, they are apprehended and taken to a non-police location. Who apprehends them? Why were they stopped? Are their lives in danger? All these thoughts go through Ellie and our minds. It is there that we meet Major Ramsey who gives Ellie and offer. Help open and safe and steal the contents, or be turned over to the police and go to jail. Ellie quickly decides to help the Major and the plot heats up.
Things don’t go as planned, and now Ellie is working for British Military Intelligence as she and Major try and discover what happened to the contents of the safe and how can they get them back and keep them from being placed in the hands of German spies. This in turn allows Weaver to introduce some additional characters, as well as mild romantic undertones and some truly comic scenes.
Before we know it Ellie is escorting Major Ramsey to a private function to view Chinese Porcelain and to scope out the 5 or 6 potential suspects who could have the secret items in their possession and are ready to betray their country since they feel there is little hope in stopping Hitler. But Ellie’s family and contacts now provide the Major with a most unlikely army of thieves and the story never falters. Totally believable, with fun and interesting characters and a definite inkling that there will be more espionage in store for Ramsey, Ellie and the most unlikely, and loveable, group of thieves that are all needed to do their part to help the British war effort.
This review was previously published at www.mysteryandsuspense.com