I try in November, because it's Armistice month, to read something connected to the two world wars. This year I seem to have subconsciously settled on WW2. I'm not sure why as I would have said my interests veer more towards WW1, but there you go, I'm nothing if not contrary.
So, first up for me was Murder While You Work by Susan Scarlett (which is a pseudonym for the author, Noel Streatfield.)
Next, Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear, book 12 in the author's 'Maisie Dobbs' series. A warning: this review contains spoilers so if you're thinking of starting this series best not to read it.
The year is 1938. Back from Spain but still grieving for her husband, Maisie is staying with her best friend, Priscilla. She doesn't really know what to do with herself but starts searching for a flat in London. Then she's approached by the Secret Service. A Captain of Industry, Leon Donat, has been imprisoned by the Nazis in Germany for having some connection with an illegal newspaper. They've agreed to release him only to a member of his family, which is sly of them because they know his only daughter is in very poor health. Relying on the Nazis not knowing this, the Secret Service want Maisie to impersonate the daughter and go to collect Donat. It is of course an incredibly dangerous mission, made worse by the fact that Maisie will not fly so will need to bring her charge back by train. While in Germany, Maisie has also been asked to look for the daughter of a man she feels is responsible for the death of her husband, the daughter also culpable in her opinion. It seems this girl has become infatuated with Nazism and has abandoned her child to go and live in Nazi Germany. (Shades of Unity Mitford here.) It's an incredibly dangerous can of worms and Maisie knows she'll be lucky not to be discovered as an imposter and locked up herself. This was yet another excellent instalment of this series. I thought the last one, A Dangerous Place, was bit odd but this returns to the usual format, although spying in Germany is not normally what Maisie does. It worked for me though and there was real suspense and menace in the shape of the SS people she had to deal with and of course she has no idea who she can trust in a country that is now frighteningly unstable and extreme. With WW2 rapidly approaching in the series I'm rather eager to read the next one now.
I shall continue on with my WW2 reading so this will most likely be my next non-fiction read, A Spoonful of Sugar by Brenda Ashford, a tale of the experiences of a Norland Nanny during The War.
And The Festival of Rememberance on TV on Saturday night brought up the subject of the Battle of the Atlantic, convoys, U-boats, that kind of thing. Realising I knew very little about it I grabbed this for my Kindle.
I'll probably save it for 2024, when one of my personal challenges will be to read a few books throughout the year dealing with the two world wars.
I hope you're all keeping well and finding lots of good books to hibernate with.