cosy · cover reveal · mystery · R&R Book Tour stop · series

Cover Reveal – Wedding Planned to Death

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I am so pleased to share this gorgeous cover of upcoming release, Wedding Planned to Death by Ellie Fields! Pre-order a copy today!

WEDDING PLANNED TO DEATH COVER

Wedding Planned to Death (Wedding Garden Cozy Mystery Series #1)

Expected Publication Date: August 9th, 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Cricket Creek might be off the beaten track, but it’s an idyllic place to live—a quaint town where neighbors gather at the bakery, families go back generations, and where your friends always have your back.

It’s also where introverted gardener Cicely Rue is nervously about to start her new business hosting weddings in her picturesque garden. That is, until she discovers the wedding planner dead and buried in her compost heap! With this new business, she’d expected brides and bouquets, not murder and mayhem!

Small towns mean everybody knows your name and your secrets. Secrets some would die to know . . . and others would kill to keep.

PRE-ORDER HERE

About the Author

ELLIE FIELDS HEADSHOT

Author of The Wedding Garden Cozy Mystery Series, Ellie Fields grew up running around wild and barefoot in the foothills of northern California and hating every minute her mom made her spend in the kitchen and garden. She still runs around barefoot but now she absolutely loves spending time in her garden and has fallen hopelessly in love with baking. And with murdering people. Fictionally, of course.

Ellie weaves small town charm, baking recipes, and gardening tips into her cozy mysteries. Her fictional town of Cricket Creek is based on her hometown: a place where neighbors gather at the mailboxes to chat, families go back generations, and where the grocery store clerks know your name (and what your cousin just bought for the family bbq).

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book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Betrayal: An Ann’s War Mystery (The Ann’s War Mystery Series Book 1)

Book description:

With her husband away on a top secret mission, Ann Morgan prepares for another secretarial day at Trevor Bowman’s detective agency.

However, this day will be unlike any other.

Over twenty-four hours, Ann will find her life turned upside-down as she discovers a murder, meets a handsome widower, Detective Inspector Max Deveraux, and confronts the murderer in a tale of temptation and duplicity

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My thoughts

Recently married, Ann Morgan says farewell to her husband as he undertakes a mission for the war effort. He should only be gone a couple of days, and Ann determines to carry on as normally as she can until his return. In his absence, she has the use of the car and takes to the quiet streets, passing a horse and cart on her way to work for Trevor Bowman, a private detective. No sooner has she arrived than her boss sends her to deliver a report. When she finally gets back to the office, a shadowy figure almost knocks her down and she enters the office to find her boss shot dead.
Had she just passed the killer? The thought runs through her mind when she tells Detective Inspector Max Deveraux what had happened.
Now, she is not only without her husband but also a job. With time on her hands, she wonders who would have wanted to kill Bowman, and can she possibly help to catch the killer?
With a pace and vibe reminiscent of the TV series Foyles War, Betrayal features a polite, softly-spoken detective in Max Deveraux and a young woman, modern in her actions and ambition in Ann. After deciding to question her boss’s last known client, Ann has unwittingly stumbled upon a scene of treachery, and the culprit does not wish her to be free to share her discovery with the police.
A short story, delicious in detail. Clearly well-researched, this first book in the series is engaging and invites me to want to read more … which, of course, I will. 😉

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Rose (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 6)

Operation Rose is book seven in the Eve’s War Heroines of SOE series.

Beside a graffiti-embellished pew, I turned to Rose and said, “You’re taking great risks for us.”
“Freedom is worth the risks,” Rose said.
“What about the risks to your family?”
Rose turned and offered me an angry glare. “Who said that I have a family?”
“I assumed that you are married,” I said, “with children.”
Rose looked like a housewife. She wore no rings on her fingers, yet her whole manner suggested a housewifely air.
“I would rather not mention my family,” Rose said.
“I understand,” I said.
At that point, the sound of an organ reverberated through the cathedral. Its sudden appearance caught me by surprise. It startled Rose and made her jump.
“I must go,” she said.
I nodded. “Take care.”
I waited and listened to the organ. The sound was modern, electrified. I didn’t recognise the tune, but it was pleasant enough.
Outside, I walked through the narrow alleys, along the cobbled streets. I couldn’t explain why, but I loved cobbled streets.
At a distance of five hundred metres, I turned and stared at the cathedral, and reflected on Rose. I considered that she was an enigma. Maxime Durand had vouched for her. London trusted Durand, but I had my doubts about him. For security’s sake, I reckoned that I should learn more about Rose.

My thoughts

Yay! I’m back with the latest in the Eve’s War series, and it was like catching up with old friends, the only downside being these stories are short in length and always leave me yearning for the next one.

Guy and Eve’s relationship has developed considerably but the question of whether her husband, Michel, still lives, lingers. When Guy has to leave for a meeting under the guise of an archaeology convention, he says he’ll see if he can find out about Michel.
Meanwhile, Eve is in charge and when a mayor is shot in public view by German Officer, Raab, she – and others – suspect they have a traitor among them.
If they can root this person out, Eve has to consider shooting them. Can she do it? Her answer: if need be. But when the time comes, she’s relieved to find another issue that explains everything.
In Operation Rose, the team work together to seek out the traitor and their reasons for betrayal, only to find it’s not what they think and instead they are thrown into a rescue mission.

As always, the story moves along at great pace and the main characters reveal just a little more about themselves. In this case, Eve is bewildered at her sudden weight gain 😉 … and when Guy returns to say Michel is alive, then you have to wonder what’s next for the couple.
The saga continues … and I must practise patience LOL

I’ve learnt from experience that this author’s books are addictive, and I was planning on starting The Olive Tree series next. However, I’ve now decided to wait until that series is published in full (hopefully that’ll be soonish) Instead, I’ll be getting my WWII historical fiction fix with The Ann’s War Mystery series, starting with Betrayal – all five books in this series have been released and I can binge to my heart’s content. Look out for my reviews on these stories in the coming weeks.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

blog tour · book review · cosy · mystery · series

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – A Harvest Murder

A Harvest Murder

One unexplained disappearance is strange, but two are sinister.

In Lower Hembrow, an idyllic village nestled beneath Ham Hill in Somerset, the villagers are preparing to enjoy the autumn traditions of the rural English countryside until Joe Trevillion, a curmudgeonly local farmer and the father of six children, vanishes.

When Adam Hennessy, the ex-detective proprietor of The Plough, the village’s popular Inn, investigates, he finds ominous undercurrents beneath apparently harmless rumour and gossip.

Meanwhile, a vicious campaign of vindictiveness forces Adam and his three amateur sleuth friends to dig deep into the secret lives of their neighbours to expose the source of a cruel vendetta and prevent another death.

As they uncover the disturbing truth, the friends learn they must also lay their own past lives to rest before they can hope to make their dreams for the future come true.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3tNDDDd

Author Bio

Frances Evesham is the bestselling author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea murder mysteries set in her home county of Somerset, and the Ham-Hill cosy crime series set in South Somerset.

Social Media Links

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Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/FrancesEveshamNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/frances-evesham

My Review

A Harvest Murder is a light cosy mystery set in a quintessentially English village. The main characters form a foursome, Rachel and her partner Dan, and
Adam and his partner Steph. With a couple of mysteries solved already, their sleuthing credentials are strengthened by Adam’s history as a retired Detective Inspector. Consequently he carries much of the story when it comes to questioning villagers and using his contacts to find evidence that would otherwise not be available to them. For me, that’s a little off-genre, he’s hardly your regular amateur sleuth, nonetheless he fulfils the role of the “friend in the police force” that cosy mysteries are known for.

The plot is deliciously misdirected at first to throw the reader off, but once all the supporting characters are known then the real culprit is not too hard to find – proof, however, is less easily uncovered.

The pace is gentle, in keeping with the setting, yet it’s not without its dramas both relative to the crime and the personal lives of the main four characters. I did find the reason behind the attacks on Dan to be a little reaching but I was happy to suspend belief to know his donkeys were safe. (Now you have to read it, right? 😉 )

A solid mystery (the disappearance – murder of farmer Joe) with likeable characters with believable lives and issues. The setting is stunning and almost steals the show by itself, and the romance between the two couples provide a little tension whilst also being sweet and heartwarming. For a cosy mystery, what more could you want?

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As always,

cosy · Europe · Female sleuths · series · there's a dog

Recommended Read – The Homeswappers Series

I’ve just started to read this series and am two books in but I couldn’t wait to share it with you. It’s set in different locations in Europe and has a dog – Napoleon, the Basset Hound – as one of the key players. Sounds like my absolute cup of tea.

Cosy mystery fans will love this!

The sleuths are two fabulous Italian ladies, Etta and Dora. To save on their pensions, they’ve decided to share Etta’s home and have saved some money to spend on travelling. To keep costs down, they look into homeswapping, and come across some wonderful destinations in Germany, Denmark and Czechia, and meet a host of lovely people (and a dog!) However, they get so much more from their travels than they could ever imagine – a host of new friends, an appreciation of different cultures and lifestyles, not to mention a dead body or two.

Take a look for yourself, and I dare you not to be drawn in 🙂

The Watchman of Rothenburg Dies

A holiday is a time to relax, unwind and see the sights. But for two adventurous sexagenarians, the sights have a tendency to include dead bodies.

Etta and Dora, both newly retired teachers, travel from their home in Southern Italy to a fairy-tale German town for their first home swap holiday, delighted by their neighbours’ warm welcome. But the welcome turns sour when the Night Watchman of Rothenburg is brutally murdered while his tour group takes photographs nearby, a halberd buried in his chest and a peculiar iron mask by his side.

When the murderer claims a second victim and the son of their hospitable neighbours becomes the number-one suspect, Etta’s analytical mind goes to work. Why was a shame mask left at the scene of each murder? Is there a clandestine trade going on behind the scenes of apparently upstanding local businesses? And why does every lead take her back to the sinister Devil’s Ale pub and the terrifying gang who lurk within?

Meanwhile, Dora has a puzzle of her own – how can she persuade Etta that a loveably disobedient Basset Hound called Napoleon is now a permanent part of their lives?

A Wedding and a Funeral in Mecklenburg

As two young people from different worlds are joined together in marriage, the murmuring among the guests is that the relationship is doomed. But only one knows the form that doom will take.

Etta and Dora, retired teachers from the South of Italy, arrive with their Basset Hound, the strong willed, loveable Leon, for a home swap holiday in a German mansion, just in time for the celebrations following the wedding of their hosts’ son to a beautiful Parisienne socialite. But the festivities come to an abrupt end when the bride falls face first into the wedding cake, a bullet in her heart.

Although the culprit looks obvious – the groom’s business partner stands in shock, a gun in her hand – indisputable forensic evidence clears her name. Calling on her burgeoning talent as a sleuth, Etta launches her own investigations in parallel with those of the police. But with matters of the heart seeming to play a prominent role, it’s the more sentimental Dora who comes to the fore to fill in the gaps. Still, there’s something elusive, some crucial little detail…

Then the truth strikes. And it is so diabolical that even the pragmatic Etta is left reeling.

An Aero Island Christmas Mystery

In the depths of the Nordic winter, the beautiful Island of Aero is steeped in pre-Christmas cheer and Danish hygge. But in one dark and forbidding attic, a gruesome secret waits to be discovered.

Two Italian sexagenarians and a stubborn, loveable Basset Hound are travelling across the sea to the historic town of Ærøskøbing. The ever-positive Dora is clasping her hands in delight at the prospect of their latest homeswap; her more feisty friend Etta is picking a fight with an equally belligerent Danish woman; and Leon? Well, Leon is saving a small child from certain death. Just another day in the life of a brave and noble dog.

Little do the three travellers know just how significant the people they meet during the ferry crossing are going to become over the next couple of weeks. As Aero rises before them from the Baltic Sea, an unsolved murder, a mythical treasure, an unrequited love and a bitter family feud await them. Can the analytical Etta, empathetic Dora and sharp-nosed Leon finally lay the dead to rest and lead the living to the happiest of Christmases? And who is destined to receive the most precious gift of all?

Prague, A Secret from the Past

A look of pure hatred cuts across a packed theatre foyer, where one of the revellers has only hours to live.

The morning after a convivial evening, retired teachers Etta and Dora, on a homeswap from the South of Italy, are rudely awakened by Leon, the adorably mischievous Basset Hound who’s ready for his walk – at quarter to six! Taking advantage of the empty streets and pausing to admire the views over Kampa island from Charles Bridge, the trio find themselves instead looking down upon a murder scene.

Recognising the striking red dress she had seen a glamorous businesswoman wearing the previous evening, Etta identifies the victim’s body for Czech policeman, Jan Baloun. But despite notable successes when sleuthing on previous trips around Europe, this time, the friends simply want to enjoy their holiday. And Leon? This lovelorn hound only has eyes for the pretty she-Basset in the flat opposite.

When their new friend disappears hours after telling them about the dark days of Communism, and Etta and Dora themselves narrowly escape being attacked on their way home, the case becomes personal. What is the humorous Lieutenant Baloun hiding? Who was the traitor in the US Embassy, leaking vital information to the secret police during the tense days in 1980s Prague? And what bearing could that have on a crime committed nearly three decades later?

My thoughts

Having only read the first two books, both set in Germany, I’m already hooked and only saddened that there are only four books in the series (so far 😉 I hope)

Dora and Etta are poles apart in personality, yet when they do overlap it’s quite a lovely thing to see. Their homeswapping holiday should be fun, in their teeny Fiat 500, but no driver is ever ready for the sharp turns and winding roads they face on their way, which only increases the tension between them (which is fun for the reader, not so much for them 😉 )
In book 1, they also assume ownership of Napoleon – Leon, the Bassett Hound – who was the tour guide’s dog and he helps lead them to the killer … well, once they realise he is more than just a dog!
These are highly entertaining stories with well-layered plots that draw the reader into the location to enjoy the history, culture, folklore and citizens therein. The two ladies are endearing and amusing, you can’t help but root for them as they prove that they might be retired but they are as sharp as a tack and not to be dismissed lightly.

◆◆◆ Pack your bags, jump into the backseat of Etta and Dora’s old Fiat 500, and join them on their travels around Europe. There’ll be mystery, murder and mayhem aplenty wherever they go. ◆◆◆

So, what do you think?

Are you hooked too? If you are, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Cameo (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 6)

I sat in the farmhouse in front of the open fire and read Vivienne Fernandez’s file.

Aged 24, she resided in London where, before the SOE recruited her, she was a switchboard operator. Multilingual, she enjoyed gymnastics – like Mimi – cycling, ice-skating and dressmaking. Her assessors also noted that she loved to party.

I’d met her from the plane and noted her elegance and grace. She was stylish, beautiful – the complete package. Jealousy should have raised its ugly head. Instead, I smiled at that recent memory; I liked her.

Vivienne’s French husband had died fighting for the Free French in Senegal. She’d left a two-year-old daughter at home, with childminders. Father and daughter had never met. That was sad, and all too familiar.

Vivienne’s mother was English, her father French. They’d lived on the French-Spanish border and, when the Nazis invaded, escaped over the Pyrenees. It was a route I knew well.

I tore Vivienne’s file into strips and placed it on the fire. Within seconds, it turned to ash, consumed by the orange and yellow flames.

I wondered what Guy would make of Vivienne. I would discover his thoughts soon enough, when he returned from the coast. I wondered how she would fit into our team. As a short-term replacement for Mimi, I didn’t foresee any problems.

In retrospect, I would regard that assessment as a huge mistake.

My thoughts

Eve and Guy have noticed Mimi’s decline, while she’s still the fastest wireless operator out there, she has lost her spark. They arrange for her to return to England for a break, and a new operator – Vivienne – is brought in. Mimi is not at all happy; she feels she’s being sent away because she knows how close Eve and Guy have become, and that she’s in the way. Eve admits her feelings for Guy, but assures Mimi that the break is only temporary.
Meanwhile, Eve’s German Officer admirer, Raab, wants her to spy for him. Despite Guy’s reluctance, Eve is determined to do so, although she plans on giving him out-of-date info, and just enough detail to keep him distracted from his amorous overtures to her, and to the real matters of business that they’re pursuing.
Vivienne is soon put to work, but her love for fashion worries Eve, who feels the new operator – a mother of a two-year-old – will stand out too much. Nonetheless, the business of sending and receiving messages continues until one night the power fails. It’s a tactic used by the Nazis to track down wireless signals. They have to flee.
Unfortunately, not everyone gets away and, together with Jean-Claude’s men, the SOE agents have to rescue one of their own. Clashes with the Gestapo lead to losses on all sides, and even Eve’s ardent admirer, Raab, is caught in the crossfire. Revenge is inevitable, the Resistance will not accept anything else.

Looking forward to the next in the series – roll on July! Now I’ve read all those published to date, I’m sort of wishing I’d waited till the whole series was available to binge read … but I’m not that patient!

I said in a previous post that I had a plan about how to fill the gap between now and July (for book 7) and the three month wait for each subsequent book. It’s not as if my TBR list is lacking, but having studied this author’s extensive back catalogue, I think I’ll be checking out The Olive Tree series next. As a former student of Spanish political history, I’m looking forward to this one. Hannah Howe, right now, is hitting all the buttons on my “want to read” list 😉

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Sherlock (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 5)

“Arthur is concerned about the Nazis’ latest terror weapon,” Guy said. “Rockets; they have the potential to cause death, destruction and chaos in Britain. He wants us to locate the launch site so that the RAF can bomb it.”

“How do we achieve that?” I asked.

“The Resistance in Paris think that they have identified the site,” Guy said. “Arthur wants us to confirm their suspicions.”

“Why doesn’t the local Sherlock network deal with this?” Mimi asked.

“Recently,” Guy said, “the Gestapo captured their wireless operator. Their network is in chaos. Trust is at a low ebb.”

I glanced at Mimi and noticed her pale, drawn features. As our wireless operator, she lived under constant stress; each transmission represented a moment of potential capture.

A trip to Paris sounded sublime. However, Mimi’s troubled expression reminded me that we were travelling into danger, potentially to our deaths.

My thoughts

Whoa! This book ratchets up the tension yet another notch.
The SOE are concerned about the Nazis’ latest terror weapon – a ‘silent’ rocket that could cause mass destruction and deaths if launched. The trio are informed that the weapon is being developed on the outskirts of Paris, and the Resistance think they have identified the site.
Guy, Eve and Mimi head for Paris. Mimi is already struggling so when she is challenged over the contents of her case (the wireless) she has to rely on her cover story to avoid raising further suspicion. Eve steps in to help and distracts the guard so they are able to board the train. But that is not the first time Mimi’s case will come under scrutiny …and the lengths to which Eve goes to avoid that scrutiny is shocking and yet to be applauded.

Unfortunately, sending messages in Paris is fraught with danger, the Gestapo are very active. When it appears they may be caught in the act, the idea of a traitor in their ranks comes to mind. Finding out who betrayed them is paramount. Guy and Eve have their suspicions … and are forced to confront the traitor. Working so close together in such dangerous circumstances forces the two of them to admit their feelings for each other.

So, you see, the tension is not just putting their lives at risk, it now involves risking their heart too.
Another fabulous tale that was over too quickly.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Treasure (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 4)

“A message from Arthur,” Mimi said. “He wants us to steal a set of plans from a factory and blow up the building.”

“Who owns the factory?” Guy asked.

“Auguste Maingard,” Mimi said.

“And what does the factory produce?” I asked.

“It’s a scientific establishment,” Mimi said. “It’s developing a frequency-hopping guided missile system. Naturally, the Nazis are aware of this work and intend to exploit the invention.”

“So,” I said, “we steal the guidance system from Maingard and the Nazis.”

“That’s right,” Mimi said.

“And if we fail?” I frowned.

“If we fail,” Mimi said, “Arthur will send in the bombers and raze the factory to the ground.”

“That would mean the loss of many innocent lives,” Guy said. He stared into the middle-distance, grim-faced. “We can’t allow that. We can’t afford to fail.”

There was a determination on Guy’s face, a passion in his voice that demanded success. Obviously, a new missile guidance system was important, but Guy’s look and tone suggested that this operation went beyond the machinations of war. For some reason, it was personal.

My thoughts

Eve, Guy and Mimi have assumed their new identities in France and are going about the business of obtaining information, sending coded messages, and training up the Maquis for future acts of sabotage against the Nazi regime.
Guy is revelling in his findings as an archaeologist and Mimi is proving very adept as a nurse, while Eve – aka Genevieve – is playing the mourning widow with a penchant for sketching all too well. The trio’s bond is even tighter now, and there are hints of further closeness to come between Eve and Guy. Unfortunately, this time Eve has to contend with an amorous and immensely arrogant German Officer on a date she cannot turn down. Can she handle him? Of course she can – for now, at least.

Mimi celebrates her 21st birthday and is overwhelmed by gifts and a party, although she is seriously missing – and worried about – her fiancé, Henri.

Relations with the Maquis are fraught as they are keen to show their “muscle” against the Nazis, but their leader does not like “taking orders” from a woman; patience is waning and they want to strike quickly. However, the risk of moving too fast, or being disunited, comes with consequences. In the heat of war, success relies on keeping a cool head. The tension is mounting and the team have to think on their feet when things take a wrong turn regarding a mission to sabotage Nazi plans. They’re forced to act, and Mimi has to come to Eve’s rescue. In doing so, she carries out her first kill, but is the pressure getting to her now?
This story sees both Mimi and Eve hanker after happier times; Mimi longs to be with Henri and Eve thinks about her family in Wales, sending a letter to her brother before challenging Guy on his motives for joining the SOE.

This story is short in length but goes a great way in grounding the reader in the French countryside, understanding the dangers faced by the civilians who are helping them, and in showing the arrogance of the German officers who still believe they can and will win this war.
As always, elements of the story are based on real events as experienced by female SOE operatives, and the author includes snippets about them at the end.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be rushing to read Operation Sherlock, the next in the series. I can’t wait!

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Broadsword (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 3)

As Mimi examined her wireless, a figure emerged through the darkness. In his mid-thirties, he possessed broad shoulders and a muscular frame while a proud nose and a neatly trimmed moustache dominated his handsome features.

“The owls are loud tonight,” the man said revealing a voice blessed with a deep baritone.

“You’re allowed to make a loud noise when you’re the wisest of birds,” I replied.

With our code words established, the man stepped forward and shook my hand. His handshake was firm while his pumping action threatened to remove my arm from my shoulder.

“I am Jean-Claude,” he smiled. “Jean-Claude Quiniou. I will escort you to the safe house and introduce you to the Le Roux family.”

“I’m Genevieve,” I said, “and this is Lise.” Of course, I used our aliases, for Eve and Mimi belonged to another life.

My thoughts

As you can tell by my weekly blog posts, I’m loving this series. It’s taking all my strength to not post daily about them, but that’s only because half of the series is, as yet, unpublished. What will I do when I get to the end of the current publications? Well, funny you should say … I have a plan in mind. Stay tuned!

Now, where was I?

Operation Broadsword is the third in the series, and the pace is accelerating. The trio of SOE operatives, Eve, Guy and Mimi, are waiting for the go ahead to see them parachute into France. With their training complete, it’s only a matter of time before they can leave within the window of opportunity granted them by the night’s sky. Eve will not let the minor inconvenience of a fever stop her from going and lands in France to be escorted to the Le Roux farmhouse where she will be staying. Her first few days are spent recuperating, and we get to know the Le Roux family a little. Guy and Mimi take up their positions and become acquainted with the Résistance leaders and Maquis who will work alongside them.
As she is becoming accustomed to life there, Eve still wonders what has become of her husband. Is she a widow for real or is this just a cover?
Another intriguing and engrossing novella in what is proving to be a gripping series.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · novella · series · WWII

Book Review – Operation Locksmith (Eve’s War: The Heroines of SOE, Book 2)

“I understand that you wish to return to France,” the man behind the mahogany desk said.

“That’s correct,” I said.

“Your motivation?” he asked, smoothing the corners of his moustache.

“To do my bit for the war effort,” I said, “to defeat the Nazis and to discover what’s happened to my husband.”

“It would be extremely risky,” the officious-looking man said, “suicidal even, for a lone woman to undertake such a venture. However, there is an alternative.”

“Alternative?” I frowned.

“Yes. We’ll parachute you in, as one of our people. Of course, you’d have to undertake training first. Rigorous training. Top secret training. If you fail, I’m afraid it will mean a spell in the cooler, possibly until the war is over.”

“The cooler?”

“But I trust it won’t come to that,” he said, ignoring my question. “When can you start?”

I began immediately. And during my training I met two people who would radically reshape my life – Guy Samson and Mimi Duchamp. I also discovered secrets about myself, abilities beyond my imagination. However, as the training heated up so the situations became all too real, until they reached a point where I had to kill, or be killed.

My thoughts

Having returned to Britain from France, Eve meets Vera Penrose who arranges for her to take a job at the Air Ministry. It’s dull work in comparison to her former life in France, leading airmen to safety across the border into Spain and beyond.
When Eve is offered something more suiting her skills, she can’t wait. But first she has to endure a brutal training camp, from the physical to the psychological. It’s not all plain sailing, Eve is a skilled lockbreaker and a superb shot but struggles with some of the more physical challenges. She’s also very observant and when she suspects foul play, she is not one to sit back and ignore it.
The training programme is extensive, and she builds a great bond with fellow trainees, Mimi and Guy. She’s also cutting back on the cigarettes, which makes the usual feisty Eve way more feisty when tested.
I raced through this book, it’s fast-paced and entertaining and nicely sets the scene for her next adventure.

About the Author

Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series, The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga, Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE and Saving Grace. Hannah’s books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into numerous languages.

Currently, Hannah is writing Stormy Weather, book eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. She is also researching material for future Sam Smith books along with material for a Victorian novel set in 1888, a novel set in 1948, a novel set in Bulgaria during the Second World War and A Schoolteacher’s War, a story about the French Resistance and the preparations for D-Day. Along with these projects, Hannah is also writing The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga and Eve’s War: Heroines of SOE.

As always,