A Valiant Deceit

Kensington. (Olive Bright Mystery, Bk. 2). Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781496731524. $26. M
Graves’s sequel to Olive Bright, Pigeoneer combines well-developed characters with the fascinating role of carrier pigeons in World War II, historical fact, and mystery. Olive has her hands full with her multiple tasks in the war effort against the Nazis. She’s finished her FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) training, and she’s home in Pipley, England. She’s still training her pigeons to act as couriers for messages, while working at Brickendonbury Manor training school. Her hardest job, though, might be pretending to the village that she’s romantically involved with her boss, Captain Jameson Aldridge. It wouldn’t be so difficult if he’d put a little effort into that aspect of their job. When a group of Girl Guides discovers the body of a training instructor, it’s quickly ruled an accidental death. But Olive, who’s infatuated with Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, suspects murder. Jamie gives her permission to investigate, and she soon links the death to her fellow FANYs. Even worse, she fears that one of the young women might have betrayed the Belgians in the Resistance who are depending on Olive’s pigeons.
VERDICT Suggest for fans of Rhys Bowen’s World War II novel of intrigue, In Farleigh Field.
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