Author: Elin Gregory
Publisher: Manifold Press
Cover Artist: TfL Poster
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/01/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Borrowed from the Secret Intelligence Service cipher department to assist Briers Allerdale – a field agent returning to 1920s London with news of a dangerous anarchist plot – Miles Siward moves into a ‘couples only’ boarding house, posing as Allerdale’s ‘wife’. Miles relishes the opportunity to allow his alter ego, Millie, to spread her wings but if Miles wants the other agent’s respect he can never betray how much he enjoys being Millie nor how attractive he finds Allerdale.
Pursuing a ruthless enemy who wants to throw Europe back into the horrors of the Great War, Briers and Miles are helped and hindered by nosy landladies, water board officials, suave gentlemen representing foreign powers and their own increasing attraction to each other.
Will they catch their quarry? Will they find love? Could they hope for both?
The clock is ticking.
I have never read any Elin Gregory before, bit I totally will again. I really, really enjoyed this book.
Set in the 1920’s the feeling of period was incredibly strong, I felt as if I were there. Bries/ Brian and Miles/ Millie were well fleshed, intelligent and attractive people, there was no ridiculous teenage style misunderstandings – the one time there is confusion, they talk about it, and it’s resolved. This makes for relatively low internal tension, which frankly is good, because there is buckets of it externally.
There is more than a nod to spy stories of John Buchan and that era, yet it’s also modern, that balance between giving a reader a sense of history, making the period feel totally authentic and also accessible is a balance that many historical novels don’t manage – but this book does it practically perfectly.
Miles spends a lot of the book in character as Millie, and I was worried that this would be dumbed down, but it’s not at all. Millie is part of Miles, how he expresses part of himself, and I loved how this wasn’t made into a sexual thing.
If I have one complaint, and its a terribly selfish one, is that I’d loved to have seen definitely that there was going to be a second book, I really would like to see more of Miles and Briers.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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