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by Iona Whishaw
Touchwood Editions, June 2017
384 pages
ISBN: 1771511710

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Lane Winslow, who once worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service, finds herself in the middle of another murder mystery when she visits a local hot springs near her Canadian town with a friend—and comes across a dead man.

Winslow, only 26, has retired from the spy business and settled in King's Cove, British Columbia—in what should be a small, quiet village. But in this, the second in a series, Winslow is drawn back into the spy business once again. The dead man is Russian. As Winslow speaks Russian, she serves as a translator for the local police, which includes love interest Inspector Darling.

The Russian man, Vicktor Strelieff, had been living among the Doukhobors, a pacifist community. Yet he was shot in the back of the head with a rare gun that was used in the resistance movement during the war—he was definitely targeted, but why? Winslow's work quickly moves from translating to doing her own sleuthing.

In the meantime, in a subplot, someone seems to be skimming money from accounts in the local bank. Could a young wartime hero, who seems to be romantically pursuing Winslow, be the culprit?

Set in 1946, this series cleverly combines both elements of a cozy and a spy thriller, with a heroine who is tough and independent, but harboring secrets of her own. The romance with Inspector Darling slowly plays out, and both of them have reasons to avoid a romantic entanglement. Or so they tell themselves.

The local townspeople are quirky and a nice addition, reminding the reader of another Canadian writer, Louise Penny, who populates her town with interesting characters. While the plot was a bit convoluted at times, it all came together nicely at the end. This is a series I hope to continue reading.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, July 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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