Skip to main content

The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2) by Ashley Weaver: A Book Review

The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2)
Author: Ashley Weaver
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date:  June 21, 2022
Pages: 269
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The second in the Electra McDonnell series from Edgar-nominated author Ashley Weaver, The Key to Deceit, is a delightful World War II mystery filled with spies, murder, romance, and wit.

    London, 1940. After years of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor—well, to themselves, anyway—Ellie McDonnell and her family have turned over a new leaf as they help the government’s war effort. It’s true that the straight-laced Major Ramsey didn’t give them much choice, but still, Ellie must admit she doesn’t miss breaking and entering as much as she might have thought. What she does miss is the challenge of unlocking an impossible code and the adrenaline rush that comes from being somewhere she shouldn’t.

     So when Major Ramsey turns up unannounced with another job, she can’t say no. A woman’s body has been found floating in the Thames, with a bracelet locked onto her wrist, and a cameo locket attached to it. It’s clear this woman was involved in espionage, but whose side was she on? Who was she reporting to? And who wanted her dead?

     My Review: The Key to Deceit is the second book in the Electra McDonnell series. A woman’s body has been found floating on the Thames. The jewelry that was found on her turns out to be spy objects. Ellie is hired to investigate the case to see which side the woman was spying on. She also explores the motive for why someone wanted her dead.

     One of my main issues that I had with A Peculiar Combination was that I strongly disliked Ellie McDonnell. I found her to be an annoying character. I had hoped that Ellie would grow in the second novel. However, I was very disappointed to discover there was no character growth. Ellie still acted like a spoiled teenager. She came off as whiny. Thus, she was not particularly charming, and I did not know why two men were interested in her. I also found her to be very indecisive and selfish when it came to her romance. Ellie did not know which man she was in love with and spent the novel flirting with both of them behind the other’s back. It was like she wanted to have her cake and eat it too. Therefore, while I found her to be annoying in the first novel, this book made her insufferable.

     Overall, this novel is about spies, war, and choices. I did not like some of the secondary characters, and the mystery was not the best part of the novel. On the positive side, I found The Key to Deceit to be meticulously researched and was full of vivid details of WWII. I am still willing to give this series a chance and hope that Ellie will finally act like a more mature woman than a spoiled teenager. I recommend this novel for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Anna Lee Huber, and Kate Parker!

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars


Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: A Book Review

The Rose Code Author: Kate Quinn Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Harper Collins Release Date: 2021 Pages: 635 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: 1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.        Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.       Vivacious debutante Osla has the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses – but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, working to translate decoded enemy secrets. Self-made Mab masters the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and the poverty of her East-End London upbringing. And shy local girl Beth is the outsider who trains as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.       1947, London.        Seven years after they first meet, on the eve of the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, disaster threatens. Osla, Mab and Beth are estranged,