cover image A Peculiar Combination: An Electra McDonnell Novel

A Peculiar Combination: An Electra McDonnell Novel

Ashley Weaver. Minotaur, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-78048-5

A gifted lock-picker is called upon to serve her country during WWII in this superb series launch from Edgar finalist Weaver (the Amory Ames series). After business slows down for locksmith Mick McDonnell, Electra “Ellie” McDonnell helps her uncle crack a safe at a posh home in London, only to find it is a setup. The arrogant Maj. Gabriel Ramsey has a job for her: steal secret plans from a traitor’s safe, and Mick will walk free. When Ellie and Ramsey enter the traitor’s house, however, they find him dead and the safe empty. Ramsey thinks likely suspects belong to a group of Chinese porcelain devotees with potential ties to Germany, and takes Ellie to one of their parties to break into the host’s safe. Suspicion swirls around a former girlfriend of Ramsey, setting Ellie, Ramsey, and their associates on the trail of spies in the town of Torquay. A thorny relationship between Ellie and Ramsey, a cast of colorful characters, a brisk pace, and an ironic message about the identity of true patriots enthrall. Readers will look forward to the next mission for the smart, feisty Ellie and her circle. Agent: Ann Collette, Rees Literary. (May)