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In Farleigh Field

de Rhys Bowen

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8385125,965 (3.64)58
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?… (mais)
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Not exactly my thing but good if you're looking for light historical fiction that moves along. ( )
  mmcrawford | Dec 5, 2023 |
Meh. ( )
  meallenreads | Oct 24, 2023 |
This was a great book to read. Loved the time--(spring 1941), the place--(Kent) and the glimpses of England and the people during the Blitz. I especially loved the references to wartime spy craft and the brave men and women who fought behind the scenes to help keep their country safe. Ms. Bowen's characters are real and relatable. Lord Westerham and his family of girls are a breath of fresh air, each as different from the other as can be, and the family drama that occurs within this house full of women made me smile and nod my head as I read. The family dynamics and the setting depicted perfectly what it must have been like living in the country during the Blitz. London was far away, but not far enough to keep the traitors away. Even in this idyllic country setting, the war is never far away. Many young men from the village are away and fighting in the war. Food and petrol rationing are as bad here as they were in London. One half of the house that the Westerham's own is being occupied by a British army contingent and an airfield is not far away. One of the girls and the pastor's son are each working in the intelligence field. Pamela is working in Bletchley and Ben is a junior in MI5. Neither of them can tell anyone what they are doing for the war effort, and Ben especially has to be creative with why he is not serving. When a parachutist is found dead in the fields around Farleigh, it opens up a whole can of worms, and everyone in and around the area is on high alert for some kind of German advance. Ben and Pamela find themselves in grave danger chasing potential German spies and British traitors in and around their own backyard. The book is beguiling in its simplicity and misleading by its pastoral settings. It is a cracker of an espionage book, that delights and intrigues from start to finish. ( )
  Romonko | Jun 30, 2023 |
This is a fairly strong mystery/spy novel set on the British home front during World War II. Scenes alternate between Bletchley Park, manor houses, MI-5, and Gestapo headquarters in Paris. The story revolves around an unidentified parachutist who plummeted to his death on the grounds of a family estate. He appears to be a British servicemember, but suspicions are quickly aroused. If he was a spy, whom was he attempting to contact, and what was his message?
I enjoyed the characters, and the plot progressed at a pretty fast clip. I was never bored. Even though the locations and focus jumped about a bit, it was never difficult to understand what was going on.
The dialogue was occasionally hindered by heavy exposition (as in, you've just been introduced to a character, and they conveniently sum up their whole back story in a few sentences directed at one of their relatives or neighbors--it came across a bit clunky). Also, the inclusion of the children trying to solve the mystery felt like it was going for token cuteness, and didn't really succeed for me.
But overall, this was decent historical fiction. ( )
  Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
This feels like an early effort. I have listened to several in a row, and perhaps that has jaded my view of this story. I preferred the narrator of this story (Gemma Dawson) to the narrator in previous Royal Spyness stories I listened to.

This story has poor movement, seems full of filler. The characters do not seem well done to me. The young man who is supposed to be clever is very dense. Also, the author has used the same description of debutantes in every single book. Dull. I endured to the end for the historical notes, but I'm done with this series and Rhys Bowen. The books seem the same. ( )
  MrsLee | Sep 14, 2022 |
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Septenber 1939

From: His Majesty's Government

To: Civilian Population of Great Britain

For the duration of the war, the following Seven Rules are to be observed at all times.

1. Do not waste food.

2. Do not talk to strangers.

3. Keep all information to yourself.

4. Always listen to government instructions and carry them out.

5. Report anything suspicious to the police.

6. Do not spread rumours.

7. Lock away anything that might help the enemy if we are invaded.
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This book is for Meg Ruley, who believed in it from
the beginning and helped to shape it. Meg, you are my
champion, and the day we met was one of the high
points of my life.
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Elmsleigh, Kent

August 1939

It had been unusually hot all summer.
(Prologue)
Lady Pamela Sutton started at the dreary government-issued posters on the wall of her small cubicle in Hut 3.
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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?

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