Rhys Bowen is one of my favorite authors. She wrote the Royal Spyness Myusteries, the Constable Evans Mysteries, and the Molly Murphy Mysteries. I have read most of these and you will fine reviews on my blog.
I have just read “In Farleigh Field”, which takes place in England during the Blitz. At one of the fields on Lord and Lady Westerham’s estate, a man dressed as a soldier is found dead. Apparently the man parachuted into the field, but the chute failed to open, plunging him to his death. Although the man is dressed like a soldier from the same unit that is occupying part of the Westerham mansion, Farleigh, something is not quite right.
Ben, Jeremy, and Pamela have been friends since childhood. Pamela is one of the daughters of the Westerhams and Jeremy is the son of another lord of the realm who lives nearby. Ben Creswell is the son of the local vicar and definitely not in the same social set as his friends. Pamela and Ben works for MI5 and Pamela is a code-breaker at Bletchley Park. Neither one knows that the other is involved in the war effort. Jeremy has been shot down over Germany and is languishing in a prison camp.
This book, even though fiction, gave me a thrill a minute. The clandestine investigation kept promising and delivering. The possibilities of betrayal by one of Britain’s own was extremely interesting, especially since I had heard of some British who supported Hitler’s regime and were prepared for Britain to surrender. I love the way Ms. Bowen incorporates historical fact in her novels. I’m sure much research goes into each and every word she writes. Although I have read many of her books, this one, “In Farleigh Field” is my favorite to date. I sincerely hope that she is working on another novel in this same vein. I will be looking for it.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you are interested in stories about World War II.
World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.
As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?
Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.