From the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir comes a thrilling new WWII story about a village busybody—the mighty Mrs. Braithwaite—who resolves to find, and then rescue, her missing daughter
Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband’s selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets her hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left—her clever daughter Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war.
But when she arrives, Betty’s landlord, the timid Mr. Norris, informs her that Betty hasn’t been home in days--with the chaos of the bombs, there’s no telling what might have befallen her. Aghast, Mrs. Braithwaite sets her bullish determination to the task of finding her only daughter.
Storming into the London Blitz, Mrs. Braithwaite drags the reluctant Mr. Norris along as an unwitting sidekick as they piece together Betty’s unexpectedly chaotic life. As she is thrown into the midst of danger and death, Mrs. Braithwaite is forced to rethink her old-fashioned notions of status, class, and reputation, and to reconsider the question that’s been puzzling her since her world overturned: How do you measure the success of your life?
Readers will be charmed by the unforgettable Mrs. Braithwaite and her plucky, ruthless optimism, and find in The Spies of Shilling Lane a novel with surprising twists and turns, quiet humor, and a poignant examination of mothers and daughters and the secrets we keep.
Ryan (The Chilbury Ladies' Choir) again focuses on women braving the dangers of WWII in this exciting tale of espionage and love. In 1941, Mrs. Braithwaite is stripped of her vaunted village position as the leader of the Women's Voluntary Service for being too bossy. Mrs. Braithwaite, a woman of more gusto than height, heads to London to reconnect with her daughter, Betty, who she hasn't seen in two years. But when she gets to Betty's boarding house, no one has seen her in days; she also hasn't been to work at her listed employment for years. As Mrs. Braithwaite searches for answers, she makes a reluctant companion of Mr. Norris, Betty's landlord and a timid accountant who is worried Betty might be in trouble. Soon they discover Betty is working for British intelligence, and Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris become embroiled in a plot to root out Nazi-sympathizers in London. Mrs. Braithwaite shakes up Mr. Norris's life in unexpected, welcome ways as they form an unlikely friendship and almost get Betty captured while she is working undercover. With its eccentric, believable characters and plot of home front intrigue, this delightful drama will appeal to fans of Martha Hall Kelly.
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Great summer read!
A female forward, historical fiction with humor and intrigue? Yes, please!! This is a page turner and I finished it way too quickly. The characters are delightful. Loved it!!
The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan is a Historical Mystery that takes place during World War II. Ryan’s new book has plenty of action with thrills, suspense, romance and the characters are fun and quirky. My favorite part was the transformation of the characters as they went through many adventures and misadventures. Mrs. Braithwaite was seen as a difficult person but she had such strength and truly cared for others. I loved the choices she made to change her life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from First to Read. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book.