The Key to Deceit by Ashley Weaver

The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell, #2)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Electra McDonnell #2
Publication Date: 6/21/22
Period: WWII – London
Number of Pages: 288

This series was off and running no-holds-barred with the first book in the series, A Peculiar Combination, and now this one is proudly carrying the torch. With strong major characters and strong supporting characters, this book (and this series) will definitely leave you with a pounding heart and fraught nerves! The mystery is excellently plotted and the book is well-written and perfectly paced.

I had wondered if there would be any movement in the quasi-love triangle that was set up in the first book – and the answer is – there is and there isn’t. While the Major’s interest in Ellie is quite obvious to the reader, it isn’t at all obvious to Ellie because she thinks he only tolerates her because he has to. Then there is her childhood friend Felix who is developing feelings for her. Or is he? I wonder if it is more to do with him being injured, etc. and he sees Electra as a solid in his life. Not that he doesn’t care for her, but I wonder if it is ‘the real thing’. I guess we’ll just have to continue to read and find out – but I hope it doesn’t drag on too long because that gets tiring to me – and seems unfair to the character who doesn’t ‘win’.

Everyone is on tenterhooks waiting for the German bombings that they know are coming. They know they are coming, but they are also in denial – until the bombs actually start dropping. Amid the tensions, Major Ramsey arrives at the McDonnell home to ask for their assistance with a lock – which happens to be on the wrist of a body at the morgue. Ellie takes a big breath and then agrees to help – little knowing that it would lead to a search for a nest of German spies who are helping to target London locations for the bombers.

There are banks to rob, suspects to follow, bodies to identify, and spymasters to catch all while London is being bombed into oblivion by the Germans. Before the search is over, the entire McDonnell clan along with Felix and an interesting new character will be involved. While they are pursuing the spies, Ellie and Felix are searching for information on Ellie’s mother (FYI – her mother died in prison after being convicted of murdering Ellie’s father – and she was pregnant with Ellie at the time she was convicted.)

I highly recommend both this book and the series. I hope you will read it and love it as much as I did.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) 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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