The third in the Electra McDonnell series from Edgar-nominated author Ashley Weaver, Playing It Safe is a delightful World War II mystery filled with spies, murder, romance, and wit.
“Ellie is a smart and gutsy new heroine.” —Ann Lee Huber
As the Blitz continues to ravage London, Ellie McDonnell—formerly a safecracking thief, but currently determined to stay on the straight and narrow to help her country—is approached by British Intelligence officer Major Ramsey with a new assignment. She is to travel under an assumed identity to the port city of Sunderland and there await further instructions. In his usual infuriating way, the Major has left her task as vague and mysterious as possible.
Ellie, ever-ready to aid her country, heads north, her safecracking tools in tow. But before she can rendezvous with the major, she witnesses an unnatural death. A man falls dead in the street in front of her, with a note clutched in his hand. Ellie’s instincts tell her that the man’s death is connected in some way to her mission.
Soon, Ellie and the major are locked in a battle of wits and a race against time with an unknown and deadly adversary, and a case that leads them to a possible Nazi counterfeiting operation. With bombs dropping on the city and a would-be assassin shadowing their every move, it will take all of Ellie’s resourcefulness and Major Ramsey’s fortitude to unmask the spymaster and avert disastrous consequences—for England and for their own lives.
ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator at the Allen Parish Libraries in Oberlin, Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She is the author of Murder at the Brightwell, Death Wears a Mask, and A Most Novel Revenge. Weaver lives in Oakdale, Louisiana.
One of Aunt Agatha’s “Best of: History Mystery 2023”
"Outstanding . . . Weaver populates this bright, fast-paced thriller with engagingly flawed characters and breathless action. Readers will delight at the dynamic between the leads and look forward to future adventures."—Publishers Weekly (starred)
"[A] standout series . . . As usual, lots of twists and turns, and heart-stopping descriptions of break-ins, along with the comic romantic tension between Major Ramsey and Electra."—Booklist (starred)
"Weaver has a knack for tying up her readers with thin threads of clues—just enough to let the reader unwind and believe they know what the outcome is, only to be tied up again in a new chapter."—New York Journal of Books
"Mystery, romance, and adventure aplenty in a rousing wartime setting."—Kirkus Reviews
“There are plenty of twists and turns in this compelling mystery/thriller, and the plot is so clever that it will keep readers on their toes. This series is both fun and thrilling, with just a touch of romance. Highly recommended.”—Historical Novel Society
Praise for the Electra McDonnell series:
"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."—Publishers Weekly (Starred) on A Peculiar Combination
“Ellie is wonderfully resourceful and divinely funny. Let’s hope this expertise-and-romance-filled series continues for a very long time.”—Booklist (Starred) on The Key to Deceit
"Competing romances, slippery spies, and the horrors of the Blitz combined in an exciting mystery/adventure.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Key to Deceit
"Infused with witty romantic conflict, this historical mystery with convincing period details concludes with enticing story threads for future entries. For fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Allison Montclair."—Library Journal on A Peculiar Combination
"An exciting yarn filled with narrow escapes, revised strategies and a snapshot of London in August 1940, a month before the Blitz began."—Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star on A Peculiar Combination
"A cracking good mystery! Ellie is a smart and gutsy new heroine, and takes them on an adventure filled with clever twists, flourishes of romance, and her signature sparkling wit."—Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mysteries
"Filled with wry humor, tight suspense, a delightful cast of characters, and a bit of budding romance."—Alyssa Maxwell, author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady's Maid Mysteries