Book: A Peculiar Combination (Electra McDonnell # 1)
Author: Ashley Weaver
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Length: 296 pages
Electra McDonnell was raised by her uncle to continue the family trade: lock smithing (and safe cracking). With war now once again engulfing most of Europe, sincere work is difficult to come by. Her cousins might be off fighting Nazis, but back in London, Ellie and her uncle still need to eat. Despite misgivings, they break into a house in search of valuables only to find themselves detained by a military intelligence officer.
Now, in order keep herself and her uncle out of prison, Ellie must assist the handsome but taciturn Major Ramsey with a bit of spy work. Written ciphers, traitors to the crown, ancient pottery, and safe cracking? Add in an old not-quite-a-flame recently returned and what could possibly go wrong?
This was a fun read. I liked the character of Electra. She isn’t a dark person, but she also doesn’t shy away from the family legacies that make her who she is. Ellie is unashamed of her criminal activities, but also finds that she loves the feeling she gets from spy work—like she’s working for something bigger than herself and her family. I’m interested to see how she develops in later books.