Author: Julie K. Rose
Publication Date: September 26, 2016
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Set in Tunisia and France in 1935, Dido's Crown is a taut literary-historical adventure influenced by Indiana Jones, The Thin Man, and John le Carré.
Mary Wilson MacPherson has always been adept at putting the past behind her: her father's death, her sister's disappearance, and her complicated relationship with childhood friends Tom and Will. But that all changes when, traveling to North Africa on business for her husband, Mary meets a handsome French-Tunisian trader who holds a mysterious package her husband has purchased — a package which has drawn the interest not only of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, but the Nazis as well.
When Tom and Will arrive in Tunisia, Mary suddenly finds herself on a race across the mesmerizing and ever-changing landscapes of the country, to the shores of southern France, and all across the wide blue Mediterranean. Despite her best efforts at distancing herself from her husband's world, Mary has become embroiled in a mystery that could threaten not only Tunisian and British security in the dangerous political landscape of 1935, but Mary's beliefs about her past and the security of her own future.
My Review: Mary MacPherson arrives at a party in Tunisia to retrieve a package for her husband. At the party, she is reunited with her two best friends, Will and Tom, who also want to know the package’s contents. Soon Mary, Tom, and Will find themselves amidst a dangerous conspiracy that could threaten both Britain and Tunisia. Mary and her three friends are determined to unravel the mystery of the package.
I really did not like Mary as the protagonist. I felt the author tried too hard to make her a strong character. Instead, I found her to be a very annoying character. She came across to me as a smart-alec. I did not find that to be very endearing. I honestly did not see why she was very likeable to the other characters. If she was not being smart, then she would whine and complain a lot. Despite her flaws, she is very intelligent and inquisitive. She is determined to get answers. I did like Will and Tom. I found them to be very engaging, likeable, and complex characters. I liked them better than Mary.
Overall, this book is full of political intrigue, action, adventure, mystery, and a dash of romance. I liked all the characters except for Mary, for they seem to be very complex. I also thought that this book was a very fast-paced and quick read. There were some slow moments in the book. I also did not like how it switched back and forth between 1935 and 1916, for I thought the time jumps to be confusing and distracting to the main plot. Nevertheless, the mystery and the adventure element kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end because I could not wait to find out what happens. I recommend this story for fans of Alone in Berlin, The Unlikely Spy, and A Chance to Kill.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars