The spies of shilling lane3.5 stars

An enjoyable historic mystery.

How do you measure the success of your life?

Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, with her old-fashioned notions of status, class, and reputation, knows exactly how she would measure the success of her life. That is, until she is dethroned and ostracized from the village by her husband’s petition for divorce. When a former close friend threatens to reveal a family secret, Mrs. Braithwaite rushes to London to see her daughter, Betty, who started working at a sewage plant shortly after WWII began.

When Mrs. Braithwaite appears at Betty’s home, she is told by timid landlord Mr. Norris that Betty hasn’t been home in days. Outraged and worried, bullish Mrs. Braithwaite sets out to find Betty, dragging reluctant Mr. Norris along. What they uncover about Betty’s life and disappearance plunges them into danger and a world Mrs. Braithwaite never knew existed. As the duo follow the clues to Betty’s disappearance, Mrs. Braithwaite discovers truths about life that forces her to rethink her idea of how one measures the success of their life.

I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s book, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and while this book is much different from that one, I really enjoyed it. The story is fast-paced, with plenty of twists and turns. It’s not a serious, in-depth book about England’s spy network during WWII, but rather a light, cozy “feel-good” mystery about a middle-aged stubborn woman and a timid awkward middle-aged man caught up in circumstances above their pay-grade. (Is that even a thing? I guess it is now.) Their gumption and determination is key, as they bumble their way to the truth. If you have that mind-set going into the book, I think you’ll enjoy the ride.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.