The Spies of Shilling Lane Summary and Reviews

The Spies of Shilling Lane

by Jennifer Ryan

The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan X
The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2019
    368 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

From the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir comes a thrilling new WWII story about a village busybody - the mighty Mrs. Braithwaite - who resolves to find, and then rescue, her missing daughter.

Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband's selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets her hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left—her clever daughter Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war.
 
But when she arrives, Betty's landlord, the timid Mr. Norris, informs her that Betty hasn't been home in days--with the chaos of the bombs, there's no telling what might have befallen her. Aghast, Mrs. Braithwaite sets her bullish determination to the task of finding her only daughter.

Storming into the London Blitz, Mrs. Braithwaite drags the reluctant Mr. Norris along as an unwitting sidekick as they piece together Betty's unexpectedly chaotic life. As she is thrown into the midst of danger and death, Mrs. Braithwaite is forced to rethink her old-fashioned notions of status, class, and reputation, and to reconsider the question that's been puzzling her since her world overturned: How do you measure the success of your life?
 
Readers will be charmed by the unforgettable Mrs. Braithwaite and her plucky, ruthless optimism, and find in The Spies of Shilling Lane a novel with surprising twists and turns, quiet humor, and a poignant examination of mothers and daughters and the secrets we keep.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"With its eccentric, believable characters and plot of home front intrigue, this delightful drama will appeal to fans of Martha Hall Kelly." - Publishers Weekly

"Some of the minor characters are less-than-fully fleshed out, and the last part of the story feels superficial. The very end of the book leaves the door open to a possible sequel, and readers will want to know what Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris will get up to next. A cozy, entertaining historical spy story." - Kirkus Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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CarolT

What a hoot!
Loved it! Cannot recommend it highly enough! (And can't wait for Jennifer Ryan's next foray.)

Sandi W.

More meddling busybody than WWII spies...
3 stars Thank you to Crown for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published June 4, 2019.

London, WWII, spies and a mother/daughter situation. Controlling, busybody Mother went in search of her daughter in London. Once there she finds out that she had been lied to and daughter Betty is missing. Betty is involved with M15 and is a spy. However Mom has been keeping a few secrets from Betty also.

Personally I did not connect very well with any of the characters - other than Mr Norris. He came across as a Don Knotts type character, which I did find refreshing.

Characters and story in this book are suitable for a cozy mystery series. There is some humor and some violence - however shaded. It is not a story that puts you on edge or forces you to turn pages, but more of a beach or cozy read. Don't expect a great spy novel or a great WWII story - this book is neither. It is not a heavy hitter. Even the serious and quasi-violent parts are more in the flavor of the Keystone Cops or Three Stooges.

When considering this novel think more meddling busybody than WWII spies.

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Author Information

Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer Ryan is the author of national bestseller The Chilbury Ladies' Choir and The Spies of Shilling Lane. Before she began writing, she was a nonfiction book editor with a passion for the Second World War. Her books are based on her grandmother's stories from this era.

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