The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2) by Ashley Weaver: 3***

This is the second installment of the Ellie McDonnell espionage series set in England during World War Two. I was very excited to receive this book and moved it to the top of my reading list. Unfortunately my excitement did not last that long for this book. It is rather simple and lacks some of the qualities that I so enjoyed in the first book. There’s a lot of championing of England and patriotism, which is all well and good, but sometimes it gets to be a bit much.

Now, this has an interesting plot in that out of the blue Ellie is approached by Major Ramsey to help him remove a bracelet from the wrist of a young lady who was found dead in the Thames River. It was a rather simple bracelet to remove, and yet attached to the bracelet  is a locket which also needs to be opened. Again this is not a hard task and it makes you wonder why major Ramsey really needed Ellie to be with him to open this. Nonetheless it turns out that within the locket was a small camera which contained film that had photos of sensitive areas in and around London. It becomes obvious that the dead woman was a spy. Now we have to find out who was the woman, who is in the spy network and to do this we bring in her uncle Mick, as well as her friend and possible love interest Felix Lacey.

A lot of this book is easy to figure out, and I just found the writing not up to the quality of the first book of the series, and the plot was rather obvious. Now, there have been many books written about World War Two, and many of the espionage novels have already covered much of the same ground. This series is different because Ellie and her family were professional thieves, which was a very unique twist that was introduced into this series. But by the 2nd book everyone becomes legitimate and some of the fun is gone. Ellie is torn between her growing relationship with Felix, and yet everybody seems to want Ellie to end up with Major Ramsey. We also get more information as to Ellie’s mother who had been convicted of killing her father and a lot of the back story into that situation. To be honest I don’t need that. Major Ramsey makes a very good observation about that very subject and I think he hits the nail on the head.

But we have spies, spy rings, the beginning of the bombing of London, breaking into a bank vault and a lot of other action which helps move the story along. Unfortunately for me it just didn’t do enough, I had a feeling that the author was rushing this book to press after the success of her first book. It’s a good read, but it’s not a great read and that to me was a disappointment. I still think the series has a lot of potential but the author must whittle down her cast of characters to make things a little more believable. While not a major fan of this book I do look forward to her next installment in this series.

This is the second installment of the Ellie McDonnell espionage series set in England during World War Two. I was very excited to receive this book and moved it to the top of my reading list. Unfortunately my excitement did not last that long for this book. It is rather simple and lacks some of the qualities that I so enjoyed in the first book. There’s a lot of championing of England and patriotism, which is all well and good, but sometimes it gets to be a bit much.

Now, this has an interesting plot in that out of the blue Ellie is approached by Major Ramsey to help him remove a bracelet from the wrist of a young lady who was found dead in the Thames River. It was a rather simple bracelet to remove, and yet attached to the bracelet  is a locket which also needs to be opened. Again this is not a hard task and it makes you wonder why major Ramsey really needed Ellie to be with him to open this. Nonetheless it turns out that within the locket was a small camera which contained film that had photos of sensitive areas in and around London. It becomes obvious that the dead woman was a spy. Now we have to find out who was the woman, who is in the spy network and to do this we bring in her uncle Mick, as well as her friend and possible love interest Felix Lacey.

A lot of this book is easy to figure out, and I just found the writing not up to the quality of the first book of the series, and the plot was rather obvious. Now, there have been many books written about World War Two, and many of the espionage novels have already covered much of the same ground. This series is different because Ellie and her family were professional thieves, which was a very unique twist that was introduced into this series. But by the 2nd book everyone becomes legitimate and some of the fun is gone. Ellie is torn between her growing relationship with Felix, and yet everybody seems to want Ellie to end up with Major Ramsey. We also get more information as to Ellie’s mother who had been convicted of killing her father and a lot of the back story into that situation. To be honest I don’t need that. Major Ramsey makes a very good observation about that very subject and I think he hits the nail on the head.

But we have spies, spy rings, the beginning of the bombing of London, breaking into a bank vault and a lot of other action which helps move the story along. Unfortunately for me it just didn’t do enough, I had a feeling that the author was rushing this book to press after the success of her first book. It’s a good read, but it’s not a great read and that to me was a disappointment. I still think the series has a lot of potential but the author must whittle down her cast of characters to make things a little more believable. While not a major fan of this book I do look forward to her next installment in this series.

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