I didn't actually like the Jacqueline Winspear books, although I wanted to, but I did like this one. I've started the second in this series and it's ..Show More »even better. In this first book, I think the writing was a bit 'loose', if that makes sense. I mean that sometimes people seemed to talk too long about a topic, but overall I liked it very much. It really is, as someone said, a cozy spy book, which I think is a new genre. There was a lot more plot than I expected, with some real surprises and the heroine is definitely the 'heroine', meaning a bit larger than life. It's many decades since I read Nancy Drew, but I remember admiring her as a young girl and this heroine is worth looking up to as well, as she solves problems that don't tend to happen in everyday life.
One always associates the "Keep Calm and Carry On" motto to the British and the 'stiff upper lip", but I had never really connected it to wartime, Winston Churchill, and that resolute attitude he helped the Brits maintain, before it was known that Hitler was not going to be able to steamroll over Britain as well. I find it a more inspiring quote now, plus we learned a variation: KPO for Keep Plodding On and another variation in Book 2. Good for some days at work! Also, helps one to remember every day to be grateful for NOT being in a war zone.
First of all, I don't care for the way the narrator reads these books. I've enjoyed her work in other books but here her portrayal of Maggie is too "b..Show More »reathless" for lack of a better word. I hate to review a book based on the narrator. It's a bit unfair to the author and her work. But it's an overriding factor in an audio edition.
That said, I had high hopes for this. After the previous book seemed to transition us from its preceding book to this one , I was sure this would be a great story. It really wasn't. Sure, it was interesting enough. I'm annoyed by the way Maggie's choices with the men in her life go. By the way, where is Hugh? The only reason I read this was to see what was happening with the characters. And now we have Tom thrown in the mix.
Finally, there always seems to be at least one "fact" that is incongruous. The death row prisoner talks about the possibility of becoming like a kamikaze pilot. This was 1941. I don't believe they were around until 1944-45.
And I just found out there are author's notes at the end of these books. I wish they were included with the audible editions.