A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver

A Peculiar Combination (Electra McDonnell #1)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Electra McDonnell #1
Publication Date: 5/25/21
Number of Pages: 304

I have been reading and enjoying this author’s Amory Ames series, so when I saw this first book in her new series, I grabbed it right up! I am so very glad I did because the mystery is an exciting and suspenseful whodunit with delightfully entertaining characters. The characters we met who will, I assume, be recurrent characters in the series are the McDonnell family including Uncle Mick, Electra (Ellie), and perhaps Uncle Mick’s son Colm as well as life-long family friend Felix Lacey. That motley crew isn’t exactly following the letter of the law – though they try – sort of. They have their own code of right and wrong. Then, add in strait-laced, law-and-order, rule-following, unyielding, unbending, aristocrat Major Ramsey and you have a delightfully entertaining uneasy alliance when they all do their best to protect England from the Germans.

London is dark – very dark – and quiet in the wee hours of the morning in August of 1940. Uncle Mick has been planning a routine safe-cracking job for himself and Ellie. The always cheerful and good-humored Irishman is highly skilled and very thorough in his planning – so why is Ellie apprehensive about this job. As they approach the house – and then enter it – she feels as if she’s being watched. She shakes those feelings off and gets on with the job at hand. She breathes a sigh of relief as they complete the job and leave the residence – only to be apprehended by a big, burly, very unfriendly set of cops.

Major Gabriel Ramsey leads a section of military intelligence in London – and he has a case on his hands that could potentially cost England the war against Germany. Top secret plans have been stolen and are being delivered to a German courier. Ramsey must identify the English conspirators, retrieve those plans, substitute an alternate set of plans for the Top-Secret ones, and do it all without alerting the Germans that he is aware of any of it. Hopefully, they’ll be able to use that same conduit to pass future misinformation along to the Germans. What Ramsey needs is someone who is skilled in stealth and locks – and he thinks he’s found the perfect person(s).

I thoroughly enjoyed Ellie’s interactions with Ramsey. He certainly didn’t know what to make of her – other than she was a law-breaking thief of the first order. There were so very many suspects and any of them could have easily been the traitor. It takes a lot of investigation – and a number of dead bodies before the case is solved. The traitor will surprise you – and make you very sad. Now, I can hardly wait to see the next book to see if any of those potential traitors we didn’t apprehend in this book turn out to be the villains in the next tale.

I definitely recommend this book and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I’m hanging on by my fingernails to see what happens with Ellie’s cousin Toby and to see what kind of relationship develops between Ramsey and Ellie (I must have a romance to go along with my mystery). Then, there is Felix – he’s sweet on Ellie, but – they’ve always been such close family friends – is that to be the romance? OMGoodness – we’re just going to have to wait and see who our next traitor is and how the romances progress.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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