Friday, October 6, 2023

Book Review for A Traitor in Whitehall by Julia Kelly

 A Traitor in Whitehall by Julia Kelly

Publication October 3, 2023 by Minotaur Books

Genre:  Mystery Thriller, Historical, WWII


Taken from Goodreads: 
Evelyne Redfern’s family specializes in notoriety. Her father is Sir Reginald Redfern, a feckless, louche second son of an English baron, and her late beloved mother was a glamorous French party girl. Their disastrous marriage ended in divorce and a very public custody battle over nine-year-old Evelyne that only resolved when Genevieve died three years later. However, the damage was done, with the press dubbing Evelyne “The Parisian Orphan” and making her the most notorious child in the world.

Years later in 1940, Evelyne is estranged from her father and working on the line at a munitions factory in wartime London. She’s bored and craving more from her life, but the only contentment she can find is with stacks of mystery novels that fight for space with her roommate Moira’s ever-expanding wardrobe.

When Mr. Fletcher, one of her father’s old friends, spots Evelyne at a night out at the Ritz, Evelyne seizes the chance for a change and finds herself plunged into the world of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s cabinet war rooms. However, shortly after she settles into her new role as a secretary, one of the girls at the war rooms is murdered and Evelyne must use all of her amateur sleuthing expertise earned from years of reading mysteries to find the killer. Little does she know that doing so will put her right in the path of David Poole, a cagey minister’s aide who seems determined to thwart her investigations. That is, until Evelyne finds out David’s real reason for being in the cabinet war rooms is to root out a mole selling government secrets to Britain’s enemies, and the pair begrudgingly team up.

With her quick wit, sharp eyes, and determination, Evelyne is a heroine to root for. But can she find out who's been selling England's secrets and catch a killer all while battling her growing attraction to David and her own scandalous past?


My Thoughts:  Anyone who has read my reviews before knows that WWII is my era.  A Traitor in Whitehall is set during that time and gives a unique look at the top-secret world that lived under the streets transposing minutes from top secret meetings. 

I learned so much about the world that Evelyne lived in while working as a typist keeping top secrets while questioning those who work with her to find out who the killer is.   I could picture the underground work areas, with the typewriters tapping and the women whispering.   The bunk area with the bunk beds is a place that I can picture as I saw the women putting their personal items away and the gas masks kept close at hand.    The jobs were not easy and it had to be hard to not talk about what you did for a living when you were allowed to go home, but these women were very important to the war and it was amazing what they were asked to do.

 The mystery part of the story was the main part and I loved it.   I loved that Evelyne made herself indispensable to Mr. Poole.   She asked hard questions, put together clues, listened to the answers, and she never gave up.  I never did guess who had dun it but I was thrilled with how it all came together as the story went on.  

Thank you Minotaur Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. 

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Meet Julia Kelly (taken from Goodreads):
 Julia Kelly is the international bestselling author of historical fiction and historical mystery novels about the extraordinary stories of the past. Her books have been translated into 13 languages. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

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