The key to deceit by Ashley Weaver

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The key to deceit is second in the series featuring Electra McDonnell (Ellie) and follows A peculiar combination. It continues the story of a family once engaged in breaking open safes and theft and now engaged in working for the government. Ellie misses the adrenaline thrill she once had when unlocking a difficult code but is more than happy to serve her country. When Major Ramsey wants her to unlock a bracelet on the wrist of a woman found floating in the Thames she agrees and they become involved in uncovering a spy network working for the Germans.

Set in London just before the beginning of the Blitz in 1940, The key to deceit will delight readers who enjoy  a suspenseful spy thriller with plenty of danger. Ellie is a feisty young woman who uses her skills to break the codes on locks and her intelligence to work out clues to the espionage ring. Major Ramsey is the strong silent type and there is a hint of romance with both the Major and Ellie’s friend Felix on the scene. A secondary mystery thread is Ellie’s search for evidence that her mother did not murder her father and she slowly gains some new insights into this as the novel progresses.

This can be read as a standalone but beginning with A peculiar combination will flesh out the characters for the reader. It is an easy-to-read book that should appeal to readers who like historical fiction combined with a spy thriller and murder mystery. I will be sure to pick up the next in this series, Playing it safe.

Themes: Mystery, Espionage, World War 2, London.

Pat Pledger