“A marvelous read.”
—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author
Set in a charming British village during World War II, Stephanie Graves’ debut mystery introduces Olive Bright, a spirited young pigeon fancier who finds herself at the heart of a baffling murder . . .
Though war rages across mainland Europe and London is strafed by German aircraft, the little village of Pipley in Hertfordshire bustles along much as it always has. Adrift since her best friend, George, joined the Royal Air Force, twenty-two-year-old Olive Bright fills her days by helping at her father’s veterinary practice and tending to her beloved racing pigeons. Desperate to do her bit, Olive hopes that the National Pigeon Service will enlist Bright Lofts’ expertise, and use their highly trained birds to deliver critical, coded messages for His Majesty’s Forces.
The strangers who arrive in Pipley are not from the NPS. Instead, Jameson Aldridge and his associate are tied to a covert British intelligence organization known as Baker Street. If Olive wants her pigeons to help the war effort, she must do so in complete secrecy. Olive readily agrees, but in the midst of her subterfuge, local busybody Miss Husselbee is found dead outside Olive’s pigeon loft. Is the murder tied to Olive’s new assignment? Or did Miss Husselbee ferret out a secret shameful enough to kill for? With the gruff, handsome Jameson as an unlikely ally, Olive intends to find out—but homing in on a murderer can be a deadly business . . .
“A delightful classic village mystery studded with little-known World War II facts: a promising series debut.”
“[An] enjoyable series launch . . . Graves smoothly integrates the little-known story of the wartime pigeon service into the intriguing plot. Readers will look forward to seeing more of smart, energetic, and witty Olive.”
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
World War II usually makes us think of guns, tanks, and bombers, but have you considered…pigeons? Stephanie Graves’ riveting mystery pulls us into the world of Olive Bright, a 22-year-old aspiring veterinarian who hopes her expertly trained racing pigeons will be drafted into England’s National Pigeon Service, where they can help send coded messages to the front lines. From the get-go, we were fascinated by this little-known but absolutely real historical premise—and that’s even before we got to know the quick-witted Olive. Olive may be accustomed to a quiet life, but when her rural Hertfordshire village is suddenly faced with its very own murder mystery, she quickly marshals her deductive skills and love of Agatha Christie novels to solve the crime. With a little help from a dashing British intelligence officer, Olive whittles down a splendid cast of local eccentrics to the most likely suspects. This charming and exciting read is the perfect cozy mystery, with a brilliant heroine you’re sure to adore.
In 1941, Olive Bright, the 22-year-old heroine of this enjoyable series launch from Graves (Austentatious as Alyssa Goodnight), has grown impatient knitting socks for the war effort in the English village of Pipley. She wants to make a meaningful contribution and live up to the example of her late mother's heroic service to king and country in the previous war. For some time, Olive and her father have been hounding the army to enlist their prize racing pigeons as battlefield messengers, so when Olive is approached by two officers who invite her and her birds to join a covert operation, she's delighted, even though her mission is complicated by her testy relationship with her handler, Capt. Jameson Aldridge, a handsome Irishman. When the body of the village scandal-monger is discovered near Olive's dovecote, Olive sets out to unmask the murderer. In the process, she uncovers many long-hidden secrets in Pipley. Graves smoothly integrates the little-known story of the wartime pigeon service into the intriguing plot. Readers will look forward to seeing more of smart, energetic, and witty Olive.