Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Tuesday - First Chapter - First Paragraph - In Farleigh Field
Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading. This week I'm sharing: In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen. This is a standalone book by an author that continues to win awards year after year for several of her mystery series - the Royal Spyness series, the Molly Murphy series, and the Evan Evans series. Bowen, who is part of the group of women authors who blog at Jungle Red Writers, shared that this is a book she's been thinking of writing for many years. When she first proposed it, she had an agent who told her that no one wanted to read about World War II. Hmmm....see what you think (by the way, I'm skipping over the prologue and sharing a bit of the first chapter):
Lady Pamela Sutton stared at the dreary government-issued posters on the wall of her small cubicle in Hut 3. Some of them cheerful exhortations to do one's best, to soldier on with a stiff upper lip, and others dire warnings about letting the side down. Beyond the blackout curtains that covered the windows, dawn would be breaking. She could hear the chorus of birds in the woods behind the hut, still chirping madly and joyfully as they had done before the war began and would keep doing after it ended--whenever that would be. It had already gone on too long, and there was no end in sight. Pamela rubbed her eyes. It had been a long night, and her eyes were stinging with tiredness. According to civil-service regulations, women were not supposed to work on the night shift with men, in case their morals were compromised. She had found this amusing when the shortage of male translators meant that one of the girls had to do night-shift work. 'Frankly, I don't think my honour is in danger from any of the chaps here,' she had said. 'They are more interested in maths problems then girls.'
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?
This book and synopsis reminds me of the TV series, Foyle's War. I've been fascinated by anything and everything I hear about Bletchley Park, and I'm also intrigued by reading about the folks at home in Britain during WWII. I read recently here on Jungle Reds that the people who were stationed at Bletchley Park had to sign an official secrets document that wasn't lifted until the 1990's. So, many families had no idea of the work their loved ones performed during that time. Also, noted here was Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, had a grandmother who was a Bletchley Park girl. I'm looking forward to reading this book!