A Peculiar Combination: Book summary and reviews of A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver

A Peculiar Combination

Electra McDonnell Series #1

by Ashley Weaver

A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver X
A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver
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  • Publishes in USA 
    May 25, 2021
    304 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

The first in the Electra McDonnell series from Edgar-nominated author Ashley Weaver, set in England during World War II, A Peculiar Combination is a delightful mystery filled with spies, murder, romance, and the author's signature wit.

Electra McDonnell has always known that the way she and her family earn their living is slightly outside of the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but World War II is in full swing, Ellie's cousins Colm and Toby are off fighting against Hitler, and Uncle Mick's more honorable business as a locksmith can't pay the bills any more.

So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in the empty house of a wealthy family, he and Ellie can't resist. All goes as planned―until the pair are caught redhanded. Ellie expects them to be taken straight to prison, but instead they are delivered to a large townhouse, where government official Major Ramsey is waiting with an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints that will be critical to the British war effort, before they can be delivered to a German spy, or he turns her over to the police.

Ellie doesn't care for the Major's imperious manner, but she has no choice, and besides, she's eager to do her bit for king and country. She may be a thief, but she's no coward. When she and the Major break into the house in question, they find instead the purported German spy dead on the floor, the safe already open and empty. Soon, Ellie and Major Ramsey are forced to put aside their differences to unmask the double-agent, as they try to stop allied plans falling into German hands.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[S]uperb...A thorny relationship between Ellie and Ramsey, a cast of colorful characters, a brisk pace, and an ironic message about the identity of true patriots enthrall. Readers will look forward to the next mission for the smart, feisty Ellie and her circle." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A clever young woman's criminal lifestyle improbably puts her on the road to redemption in this exciting World War II series debut from Weaver...Brave Ellie and her aristocratic love should appeal to fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Tessa Arlen." - Kirkus Reviews

"Louisiana librarian Weaver launches an engaging new series that sparkles. Infused with witty romantic conflict, this historical mystery with convincing period details concludes with enticing story threads for future entries. For fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Allison Montclair." - Library Journal

"This is a well-constructed historical spy story with plenty of romance, intriguing period details, and fascinating insights into the nitty gritties of safecracking." - Booklist

"It's a lighter read than many a mystery with the same setting, but A Peculiar Combination delivers the requisite suspense and misdirection that will keep the hard-boiled crowd on board as well." - BookPage

"Filled with vivid historical details, late nights under a London blackout and characters from all classes classes who aren't quite what they seem, A Peculiar Combination is a sparkling addition to Weaver's oeuvre and a highly enjoyable start to a new series. A whip-smart safecracking heroine and satisfyingly tricky plot." - Shelf Awareness

"This is an engaging and addictive historical thriller with a touch of romance...Fans of historical thrillers and strong female characters are going to love this World War II spy adventure. Highly recommended." - Historical Novel Society

"An exciting first book in what promises to be a thrilling new series! Weaver has given us another delightful pair of sleuths who couldn't be more different, except for their desire to save their country. While Major Ramsey follows the rules, Ellie breaks them, all against a background of London during the Blitz. What could be more delightful? I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down!" - Victoria Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of Murder on Wall Street

"A cracking good mystery! A Peculiar Combination, the first in a new series, proves that Weaver's writing chops are as strong as ever. She introduces readers to a smart and gutsy new heroine, and takes them on an adventure filled with clever twists, flourishes of romance, and her signature sparkling wit." - Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mysteries

This information about A Peculiar Combination shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Ashley Weaver

Ashley Weaver is the Technical Services Coordinator at the Allen Parish Libraries in Oberlin, Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She is the author of Murder at the Brightwell, Death Wears a Mask, and A Most Novel Revenge. Weaver lives in Oakdale, Louisiana.

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