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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 6 star ratings
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    A thoroughly enjoyable new series from Anne Perry…

    I’ve long enjoyed Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt books, so I was thrilled to be offered a chance to read an ARC of the second title in her new Elena Standish series, A Question of Betrayal, in exchange for my honest review. A Question of Betrayal has a different feel than the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series – it has many elements that were more like a thriller (or maybe a romantic suspense tale) than a “straight” murder mystery. There are spies, and double agents, and political agendas, and secret plots, and money laundering. But I’m not usually a big fan of thrillers, and yet I really liked this book. Part of why I liked it so much, I think, is that Perry does a great job of melding the big-picture historical background, which we all pretty much know about, since it’s set between WWI and WII, with the specific background for this story. And her characters, whether fictional or real, fit nicely and believably into their places. I also especially liked the parts of the book that were set in Trieste, a complicated city that I’ve become more interested in since reading a history of Venice and the Adriatic in which Trieste often appeared. Another reason I liked it is that it’s more elegant than most thrillers, and doesn’t depend mainly on feats of unbelievable physical prowess - although I still love Where Eagles Dare! Instead it relies more on the subtlety of relationships and differing points of view. Perry manages to keep multiple threads going throughout the book: Elena and her mission to Trieste; Elena’s grandfather and his former school friend/MI6 colleague; and Elena’s sister, Margot, and her visit to Germany for her friend’s wedding – to a German officer. She does this without letting things become confusing, and then she ties them up nicely in the end. And, of course, there are a few murders to solve as well! On the down side, I only have one small niggle – I wish I had read the first book in the series first. Perry does do a pretty good job of filling in what background is necessary, but I just had occasional moments throughout the book when I felt as if I might be missing something I was supposed to know. In the end, I don’t think I actually was missing anything too vital, but if you have a choice, I think I’d recommend reading the first one first. All-in-all though, this was a thoroughly enjoyable book, and I very much look forward to going back and reading the first one. I also hope there will be more coming in the series! And my thanks again to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the review copy.
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    Excellent

    I received a free electronic ARC of this historical British novel from Netgalley, Anne Perry, and Ballantine Books on August 14, 2020. I have read this novel of my own volition and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. A Question of Betrayal is a pre-WWII story, but anything written by Anne Perry is a sure bet. She is an author I follow. I am thoroughly enjoying these books by several authors that cover happenings in between the European wars, and especially those that cover the growing unrest in some of the smaller countries that were rolled up by the German machine later on. There was so much going on, so many countries affected besides Germany and France. They are of course our usual focus group of WWI and WWII. The pain and suffering were however international, universal. Elena Standish is the 28-year-old granddaughter of Lucas Standish, the man who was head of British Intelligence during WWI, and is herself a member of MI6 in 1933, though with only a couple of cases under her belt. Her boss Peter Howard is certain she is the perfect operative to undertake the retrieval of Aiden Strother, an operative embedded for several years in Trieste, Italy, and currently isolated, with the chain of contact and information broken. Things are heating up in both Italy and Germany and that information chain is essential. World affairs are looking bad again, with trouble in the wings, and England cannot be caught off guard. The fact that Aiden was Elena's lover six years ago when he was accused of being a double agent and cut off without a country might make Peter think twice about using Elena for this job but the work she has tackled for him in the past has been strictly professional, and she will know Aiden when she sees him. Without access to his handler Max, disappeared these many days, finding Aiden will not be easy. Getting him out of Italy unscathed will be even harder. If anything happens to Elena, however, Peter will have to answer to Lucas, a man he really respects - and sometimes fears.
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    Interesting read!

    historical-research, historical-places-events, historical-fiction, espionage, double-agent, 1930s, British, family-dynamics, friendship***** She thought he was a traitor who turned his back on her and on England. Now she is being asked to face him again under even more difficult circumstances in the backdrop of a pending world war. In another well researched historical mystery with entanglements in family and more, the author has provided us with another devious mystery and possibly a cautionary tale. The story is as convoluted as the politics of the era and the characters are only too believable. It held my attention even after I finished it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Random House Publishing /Ballantine Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
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