Tag Archive | spies

“Until We Find Home” by Cathy Gohlke

I love reading books by Cathy Gohlke.  “Until We Find Home” is her latest novel and again is set during WW II.  Claire Stewart, an American, has joined the French Resistance and helps transport French Jewish children to England.  This is a clandestine enterprise, as smuggling refugees into Britain is illegal.   Planning to join the man she loves, who is also in the Resistance, before sailing to England, she is terrified to learn that he is not coming and that she is in charge of the five children during the channel crossing and in England.  She knows no one in Britain, but does remember an estranged aunt who may help her.  She and the children find their way to the estate in the Lake District, and she persuades her Aunt Miranda to take them in.  However her aunt agrees only if Claire stays to help with them.  Because most Brits have been pressed into service to billet war workers and refugee children, a fellow American border, David Campbell also stays at the estate.  He becomes the voice of reason in a tumultuous time.

I recommend this book highly.  I loved reading about the life of the citizens of Britain before the Americans stepped up to join the war.  Americans were not looked upon with favor during this time because the British thought that the United States was deserting them.  My only criticism of this book is the character of Claire.  I was ready to smack her a few times because she seemed to be self-absorbed.  During the course of the novel, however, I saw her growth in spirit and compassion and that was her redeeming quality.

NetGalley.com and Tyndale publishers provided me a complimentary Kindle advance reading copy in return for my honest review of this book.

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“My Daughter’s Legacy” by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have collaborated on a number of novels.  “My Daughter’s Legacy” is the third book in their Cousins of the Dove series.  This novel is the story of two women, living decades apart.  Nicole Talbot is a recovering addict determined to turn her life around and make something of it.  Therese Jennings lives near Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War.  They are connected by an ancient manuscript which has disappeared.

When Nicole, Maddee, her sister, and their cousins were very young, they came upon a murdered man.  However, when they went to get their parents and returned to the sight, there was no body, no blood, and no weapon.  All these years Nicole has harbored a secret about her grandfather that she is now determined to bring to light.

Therese’s father is an abolitionist living in the South.  Since his passing, and afterwards her maternal grandfather’s passing, she and her mother move to the estate where her mother was raised.  Therese wants her mother to free the slaves on their plantation, but her mother refuses.  Therese decides to leave home and take a job as a nanny in Richmond.  There she is introduced to nursing the wounded along with her friend Polly.  Dr. Alec Talbot, a Quaker, has gotten permission to tend the patients and is their only doctor.  Therese becomes aware that Polly and her cousin, Dr. Alec, may be a part of a spy ring, spying for the Union.  As a staunch abolitionist herself, she wants to help.

This novel’s chapters bounce back and forth between Nicole in present day and Therese in Civil War era Richmond.  What becomes a murder mystery to be solved by Nicole is strongly connected to the plantation where Therese’s family lives.  The interaction between the two time frames is sometimes confusing, but leads the reader to the conclusive end.  This is a very intriguing book.

“Soar Like Eagles” by Terri Wangard

“Soar Like Eagles” is book three in the Promise for Tomorrow series by Terri Wangard.  First of all, this book is definitely written in my favorite genre.  I love historical novels set in World War II.  This book was different because it was written about the Red Cross Doughnut Girls who went to England to staff canteens and to pass out doughnuts and coffee to our boys serving overseas.

Carol Doucet is the young woman in this story who desires to do her part in the war.  She is a society reporter for her hometown paper, but wants to do something worthwhile.  She and friends join the Red Cross in order to be of service, and for some girls, to meet young men.  Carol longs to follow the troops into the battle areas, but has no idea of the hardships and sorrows, danger and heartbreak that it brings.  She is serving in a canteen in the states when she meets a young airman, Chet.  They feel an instant rapport and both are saddened that they may never meet again.  However, Carol is assigned to one of the airbases in England that Chet flies out of.  She doesn’t want to marry him because of the danger they both fact and she doesn’t want that fear.  After the invasion of France, Carol follows the battles to help the morale of the soldiers by bringing a little cheer in the form of doughnuts and coffee to them.  It reminds them of home.

I was totally engaged in the story of this novel.  I thought the descriptive writing about the battle areas and the horrors of war were very convincing.  The chances that Carol and Chet will meet again seem remote, however, nothing is impossible.  I know readers will enjoy this novel, not only because of the historical significance, but also because of the characters, which you will love.

 

“When Tides Turn” by Sarah Sundin

I have read all of Sarah Sundin’s books that she has written about America in World War II, the Wings of Glory series, the Wings of the Nightingale series, and now the Waves of Freedom series.  I have been eagerly anticipating the third book in her Waves of Freedom series, “When Tides Turn”.  Finally!  This third book in the series follows another member of the Avery family as he fights the Nazi U-boats in the Atlantic.  The shipping lanes have been hounded by German wolf packs that terrorize merchant ships trying to ferry needed supplies to England.  Lt. Dan Avery is a no-nonsense naval officer who is stuck on land when he really wants to go to sea.  Tess Beaumont is a beautiful woman who longs to contribute to the war effort.  Since Dan is “married to the navy”, Tess has to be content to be his friend although she would like to be something more.  She decides to join the WAVES to do her duty for her country.

Along with the give and take between Dan and Tess, Ms. Sundin provides us with terrorism, espionage, treason, suspicion and a feel for life in the 1940’s during wartime.  Ms. Sundin’s extensive research is evident in her writing as she brings real history into her fiction.  She has also given a history of the WAVES along with the storyline.  I find her books to be interesting, true to actual events and romantic.  My wait for this book was rewarded with a wonderful story.  I am now eagerly waiting for the debut of her next series.  Don’t keep me waiting too long, Sarah!

I received a print copy of this book from RevellReads.com in return for my honest review.

“In Farleigh Field” by Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen is one of my favorite authors.  She wrote the Royal Spyness Myusteries, the Constable Evans Mysteries, and the Molly Murphy Mysteries.  I have read most of these and you will fine reviews on my blog.

I have just read “In Farleigh Field”, which takes place in England during the Blitz.  At one of the fields on Lord and Lady Westerham’s estate, a man dressed as a soldier is found dead.  Apparently the man parachuted into the field, but the chute failed to open, plunging him to his death.  Although the man is dressed like a soldier from the same unit that is occupying part of the Westerham mansion, Farleigh, something is not quite right.

Ben, Jeremy, and Pamela have been friends since childhood.  Pamela is one of the daughters of the Westerhams and Jeremy is the son of another lord of the realm who lives nearby.  Ben Creswell is the son of the local vicar and definitely not in the same social set as his friends.  Pamela and Ben works for MI5 and Pamela is a code-breaker at Bletchley Park.  Neither one knows that the other is involved in the war effort.  Jeremy has been shot down over Germany and is languishing in a prison camp.

This book, even though fiction, gave me a thrill a minute.  The clandestine investigation kept promising and delivering.  The possibilities of betrayal by one of Britain’s own was extremely interesting, especially since I had heard of some British who supported Hitler’s regime and were prepared for Britain to surrender.  I love the way Ms. Bowen incorporates historical fact in her novels.  I’m sure much research goes into each and every word she writes.  Although I have read many of her books, this one, “In Farleigh Field” is my favorite to date.  I sincerely hope that she is working on another novel in this same vein.  I will be looking for it.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you are interested in stories about World War II.  I received a print copy of this book from NightOwlReviews.com and was asked to do an honest review.

“An Extraordinary Union” by Alyssa Cole

“An Extraordinary Union” by Alyssa Cole was a very intriguing book about people of color working with the Union as spies in the South.  Ellie Burns, a former slave, has the ability to remember with astonishing accuracy things, conversations, written words, most everything.  Her talents are greatly prized by the Union.  She is sent back into slavery in the South as a spy to garner any information that she can to help the North.  Malcolm McCall is a detective with Pinkerton who is sent to infiltrate a Southern stronghold.  Elle and Malcolm are very much attracted to each other although their liaison, since one is black and the other white, is much frowned upon in that day and age.  As the two of them work together, they discover a plot that would be disastrous to the North.  They have to work together to make sure that this plot is uncovered and destroyed.

I found this book to be very interesting and well-written.  I enjoy novels about this time period and thought that this one in particular was intriguing because of the forbidden love of the two main characters and how they handled the situation.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from NightOwlReviews.com in return for my honest review.

“The Paris Librarian” by Mark Pryor

“The Paris Librarian” is a Hugh Marston crime fiction book by Mark Pryor.  I had not read his books before and so found this novel to be appealing.  I enjoy crime fiction and found that this setting in Paris with all the accompanying Parisian sights and sounds was very thought-provoking.  The fact that Hugo’s friend Paul has unexpectedly died in a locked room is first found to be death by natural causes.  However, Hugh’s nose for trouble leads him to suspect otherwise.  Working with a Parisian detective, jumping through the hoops in the investigation keeps Hugh thinking.  Is there a connection with an aging actress and the murder of a Nazi officer?  Does this murder have anything to do with a new exhibit that is being shown at the library?  There is a plethora of suspects, each with a reason to do away with Paul.  When other bodies start to pile up and the list of suspects is reduced because of their deaths, Hugo has to be quite inventive in his investigation to find out how someone is killed in a locked room with no visible means of entry by anyone else.

I really enjoyed this crime thriller.  I was kept in suspense throughout the novel because I kept deciding on the wrong suspect as the killer.  The ending will be a total surprise and the lead up to it equally surprising.

I was sent a complimentary print copy by NightOwlReviews.com.