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June 18, 2022

The Key to Deceit by Ashley Weaver ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

The Key to Deceit by Ashley Weaver is the second book in her Electra McDonnell mystery series. I did read book one, A Peculiar Combination (read my review), but I don't think it is necessary to have read it as I didn't remember much and still enjoyed this book.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of cozy mystery The Key to Deceit by Ashley Weaver
June 2022; Dreamscape Media/Minotaur Books
audio (8h 5m), ebook, print (272 pages); historical mystery

I was looking forward to the second book in the series as I really liked the first book. It is set during one of my favorite time periods to read - WWII. It is also a little bit of a spy novel as Electra, or Ellie as she is called by her friends and family, comes from a family of safe crackers and is tapped by the Intelligence Service to aid in their investigations of spies on the homefront.

I did not enjoy this book as much as the first. I still loved the characters and it was great to catch up with them again. But the plot fell flat for me. Even though there were instances where they could be caught, there was no tension in the scenes for me. I never worried that they were in danger - which for me is one of the big appeals of spy novels. 

A young woman is found dead and Major Ramsay calls on Ellie to retrieve a bracelet from the body, In the course of the investigation, they must play the part of husband and wife. At this point, the reader is thinking that asking for her help is just a flimsy excuse to spend time with Ellie. While Ellie wonders why he asked her to do something so simple, surely there are others under his command that could do that task, she is happy to be involved in another case. She also knows there is a growing attraction to the Major, but I don't think she realized that this may have just been more about seeing her than her skills.

I listened to the audiobook read by Alison Larkin when at the office and it was easy to listen to while working. I didn't have any trouble telling the characters apart or following the plot.

If you are looking for something that isn't too intense to read then you should try this book. The writing is good and the characters are interesting.

Buy The Key to Deceit at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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