Playing it Safe by Ashley Weaver

Playing it Safe (Electra McDonnell, #3)Barbara’s rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Series: Electra McDonnell #3
Publication Date: 5/9/23
Period: WWII – Sunderland, England
Number of Pages: 288

Danger, stress, fear, and panic have taken hold in London with the nightly aerial bombings that have been going on for a month. Electra – Ellie to her friends and family – feels all of those things for her family and friends as well as those family members who are serving. She’s serving too – just in a different way. She serves by working at the behest of Major Gabriel Ramsey who heads up a secret division of the government. Ellie’s unique skills as a safecracker have already helped to uncover German spies. Now, she’s tasked with another mission – a vague one at best. She’s to travel to Sunderland under an assumed name and . . . Do what? Well, she doesn’t know yet.

In typical Ellie fashion, she makes her own mission until she learns more about her real one. Until Major Ramsey deigns to make an appearance and divulge her mission, she’ll just get to know the people around the lodging house to which she has been sent. She quickly befriends a group and begins to ask subtle (or maybe not so subtle) questions about anything and everything. But . . . those friends begin to die. Why? Ellie knows they are hiding something, but what? Is it pertinent to the deaths or to her mission? What does an ornithology book have to do with anything? Who is the charming Rafe Beaumont and why does she instinctually distrust him?

This was an exciting, suspenseful, excellently plotted and delivered story and I devoured it in one sitting. Ellie is such a fun character and I’ve loved watching her character grow and develop through the books. Major Ramsey has also been fun because he is such an uptight, proper, emotionless man – he has to be in his line of work – but it is going to be fun when the dam finally breaks and all of those walls come down. We almost saw it in this book, but some very serious stuff happened that precluded it. Maybe it will happen in the next one. 😊

Ellie and the Major won’t escape unscathed this time and the ending will leave you in a bit of shock – and dismay – and wondering what happened to those German spies. Never fear, I’m sure they’ll turn up in a future book. Great read!

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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