top of page
  • Writer's pictureHeather Moll

Book Review: The Key to Deceit

I enjoyed Ashley Weaver’s Amory Ames series so I was eager to read this new series about a reformed safecracker set in London in 1940.


The Key to Deceit is the second in the Electra McDonnell series. After years of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor—well, to themselves, anyway—Ellie McDonnell and her family have turned over a new leaf as they help the government’s war effort. It’s true that the straight-laced Major Ramsey didn’t give them much choice, but still, Ellie must admit she doesn’t miss breaking and entering as much as she might have thought.

Pub Date 10 May 2022 Minotaur Books


Electra is now working as a locksmith for her uncle, perfectly capable of installing them and picking them, when Major Ramsay returns with another case. A dead woman has a unique bracelet and locket locked onto her wrist and it needs to come off without destroying it.

Honestly, I wondered why they didn’t just cut her hand off because the poor woman was dead. But, whatever. Electra is quickly drawn in to the espionage mystery. Alongside this investigation, Ellie is delving into her mother’s past looking for answers as to who really killed her father.

The Major is an intelligence officer, cautious, stern, smart, devoted to his country, and far too stubborn and starched to have any interest in someone like Electra. Or so she thinks. Future books will tell if there is a softer side to Major Ramsay. Right now, old-friend-turned-something-more Felix seems in the lead.

The plot of the first book is hinted at, but it wasn’t necessary to read to understand the setup and characters in this one. I will go back to read it though because I enjoyed this one.

Electra misses the thrill of her former life of crime and helping the cause seems to fill that void. She’s principled and smart and witty. It’s a well-paced multi-layered mystery perfect for anyone who likes sharp female leads, spies and England during the war, and a hint of romance.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I received an ARC from NetGalleey

What's your favorite time period for historicals? I like regency era (obviously) but wartime England is another fave of mine.

39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page