It’s been a while since I have read anything by Tessa Arlen but I have loved her Lady Montford mystery series and I was excited to start her latest series featuring new heroine, Poppy Redfern.
I started reading the first book when it first came out but then something happened to my copy and I couldn’t locate it for months. I have a feeling mom or sister took it off my nightstand but I have yet to discover incriminating evidence.
Sadly I picked up something else and got distracted and never went back to Poppy Redfern but with this one coming out, I was really excited to dive back into one of Arlen’s exciting mystery novels and get acquainted with this new heroine even if I hadn’t read the first book yet.
Poppy Redfern is back on the case when two female fighter pilots take a fatal dive in an all-new Woman of World War II Mystery by Tessa Arlen.
It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained to pilot planes from factories to military airfields all over Britain.
Poppy could not be more excited to spend time with these amazing ladies, but she never expects to see one of the best pilots die in what is being labeled an accident. When another Attagirl meets a similar fate, Poppy and her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, Griff, believe foul play may be at work. They soon realize that a murderer with a desire for revenge is dead set on grounding the Attagirls for good. (summary from Goodreads)
First of all, I want to comment how wonderful these covers are. They are eye catching, interesting, and capture the feel of the era and are meant to lure readers of WWII novels in immediate. Full disclosure, the cover got me before I even read the story. Being a fan of historical mysteries in this period, the cover spoke to me and my reader heart. So big kudos to the cover design team because you guys nailed it!
Having not read the first book in the series, I felt at a slight disadvantage. I do think I need to unearth my copy or order a new one so I can go back and read the first book all the way through so I can get a better understanding of Poppy as well as her romantic interest, Griff. Part of my felt like Poppy was a little to indifferent to Griff and I wondered how they got together in the first place so I think going back and reading more about them and Poppy herself would have made me enjoy that aspect of the story a little more.
In this book there was a lot of commentary and orientation regarding the ATA girls flyers. At first I found it interesting and was excited to learn more about them, but then at some point it became a little overwhelming and I wanted to get back to the main mystery. But I didn’t think it was horribly distracting, just a personal preference.
I did enjoy Poppy’s character. She has wonderful pluck and sass that I would expect from a period mystery novel like this. I am really looking forward to the direction of this series and seeing how Poppy evolves throughout the books to come. I am also going to go back and read the first book in the series so I can fully appreciate Poppy and Griff. I personally favor the Lady Montford mysteries but I think this series could easily grow on me and I am excited to see what’s coming up!
Book Info and Rating
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2020 by Berkeley
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: historical mystery, mystery, detective novel