The Spies of Shilling Lane
From the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir comes a thrilling new WWII story about a village busybody—the mighty Mrs. Braithwaite—who resolves to find, and then rescue, her missing daughter   Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband’s selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets her hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left—her clever daughter Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war.   But when she arrives, Betty’s landlord, the timid Mr. Norris, informs her that Betty hasn’t been home in days--with the chaos of the bombs, there’s no telling what might have befallen her. Aghast, Mrs. Braithwaite sets her bullish determination to the task of finding her only daughter.   Storming into the London Blitz, Mrs. Braithwaite drags the reluctant Mr. Norris along as an unwitting sidekick as they piece together Betty’s unexpectedly chaotic life. As she is thrown into the midst of danger and death, Mrs. Braithwaite is forced to rethink her old-fashioned notions of status, class, and reputation, and to reconsider the question that’s been puzzling her since her world overturned: How do you measure the success of your life?   Readers will be charmed by the unforgettable Mrs. Braithwaite and her plucky, ruthless optimism, and find in The Spies of Shilling Lane a novel with surprising twists and turns, quiet humor, and a poignant examination of mothers and daughters and the secrets we keep.

The Spies of Shilling Lane Details

TitleThe Spies of Shilling Lane
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 4th, 2019
PublisherCrown
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, War, World War II

The Spies of Shilling Lane Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Happy Pub Day After reading The Chilbury Ladies Choir back in March, I knew I wanted to read the author's second WWII era novel that is being released in June 2019. Jennifer Ryan's Mrs. Braithwaite is another nominee for favorite character of 2019. Ousted from her local WVS ( Women's Voluntary Services) branch and treated like a pariah since her husband divorced her and left her for another woman Thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Happy Pub Day After reading The Chilbury Ladies Choir back in March, I knew I wanted to read the author's second WWII era novel that is being released in June 2019. Jennifer Ryan's Mrs. Braithwaite is another nominee for favorite character of 2019. Ousted from her local WVS ( Women's Voluntary Services) branch and treated like a pariah since her husband divorced her and left her for another woman, Phyllis Braithwaite decides to take herself to London to visit her daughter, Betty. Although the two don't have the best relationship, Mrs Braithwaite feels she just needs to see her daughter. Imagine her surprise when she arrives at Betty's boarding house and learns Betty hasn't returned! Investing the reluctant aide of Betty'S landlord, Mr. Norris, Mrs. Braithwaite launches a desperate search. An adventure ensues as the two soon realize that Betty may have run into some shady characters. I really loved this one because it was completely different than its predecessor and leaned a little more towards a fictional action adventure. Also, I am really enjoying the fact that authors like Jennifer Ryan are actually giving us characters that aren't solely in the 18-29 age bracket. If I have learned anything from growing up and watching Golden Girls and Murder She Wrote reruns, it's that women over 50 are not to be toyed with and they WILL get the answers. I just loved the way Mrs. Braithwaite handled everything, including poor Mr. Norris. I think even Winston Churchill would have stepped aside for Mrs. Braithwaite. As for my rating of 4 instead of a 5, I did feel that the book was about ten chapters too long and I was a little less enamored by Betty's sub story. Publication Date 04/06/19 Goodreads Review 01/06/19
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsNot quite what I expected. Given the story is about a woman searching for her missing daughter during World War 2, I assumed going in this would be a heavy read but instead it had more of a cozy mystery vibe to it. So that threw me for a loop and probably had some effect on my enjoyment of the novel. Mrs. Braithwaite has been pretty much ostracized since her divorce. Given it's the 1940s, attitudes are it's always the wife's fault when her husband leaves her. Too make matters worse, we 2.5 starsNot quite what I expected. Given the story is about a woman searching for her missing daughter during World War 2, I assumed going in this would be a heavy read but instead it had more of a cozy mystery vibe to it. So that threw me for a loop and probably had some effect on my enjoyment of the novel. Mrs. Braithwaite has been pretty much ostracized since her divorce. Given it's the 1940s, attitudes are it's always the wife's fault when her husband leaves her. Too make matters worse, we have a war going on and her daughter, Betty, is missing. So Mrs. Braithwaite goes to London to look for her and meets Mr. Norris, Betty's landlord. She soon learns Betty hasn't been completely honest with her mom about her life in London. But I guess they are even because Mrs. Braithwaite has been hiding a secret or two from her daughter.I actually liked the characters of Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris and thought they would be great working together in a cozy mystery series. I just don't think placing them in the middle of a war was the best use of them. By no means was this some slapstick comedy, but it's amazing to me how light in tone it felt given there were a few serious storylines. I guess I am just left feeling kinda empty because I believe this had the potential to be a really compelling story and instead for the most part it fell flat. So yes, this was a disappointing read for me but maybe other readers will connect better with the story.Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    Mrs. Braithwaite was not initially my cup of tea. Brash, overbearing and opinionated, I could understand why the ladies of the WVS had pushed her out of her position as chairwoman. She comes to London to see her daughter, only to find her missing. Like a steamroller, she plows over everything and everyone in her path. Her main concern is how to measure success in one’s life. She’s actually comedic with her views on life. “You saw the European history books on Baxter’s shelf. And the philosophy!. Mrs. Braithwaite was not initially my cup of tea. Brash, overbearing and opinionated, I could understand why the ladies of the WVS had pushed her out of her position as chairwoman. She comes to London to see her daughter, only to find her missing. Like a steamroller, she plows over everything and everyone in her path. Her main concern is how to measure success in one’s life. She’s actually comedic with her views on life. “You saw the European history books on Baxter’s shelf. And the philosophy!...Anyone that reads philosophy is bound to be suspicious.”The book is a very lightweight historical romp. It’s silly, to be honest. As the title implies, there are spies. Also, lots of bad guys, thugs to be more exact. Not that all the criminals are bad, some are on the side of Jolly Old England. We’re meant to warm to Mrs. Braithwaite as she has epiphany after epiphany about the type of mother she was. I thought the strength of The Chilbury’s Ladies Choir was the depth of its characters. Here, they seemed more caricature. Ryan does a decent job of of painting a picture of London during the Blitz. I was able to clearly picture the scenes. Transcription covers some of the same territory, spying on the English Fascist element and does a much better, more serious job of it. Sorry to say I wasn’t that impressed by Ryan’s sophomore effort. This might appeal to those that want something more along the lines of a “cozy” story. My thanks to netgalley and Crown Publishing for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I was charmed and delighted by The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. Unfortunately, Ryan’s second effort was neither charming nor delightful. The characters are caricatures and the dialogue is cliché. Would you believe the leader of a gang of thugs would signal an attack by shouting out “charge?” Seriously, “my darling” this is but one example. Let’s not forget a prisoner accidentally falls out of a van as a means of escape. Spare me. If this was intended to be a melodramatic farce it succeeds but I’m not I was charmed and delighted by The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. Unfortunately, Ryan’s second effort was neither charming nor delightful. The characters are caricatures and the dialogue is cliché. Would you believe the leader of a gang of thugs would signal an attack by shouting out “charge?” Seriously, “my darling” this is but one example. Let’s not forget a prisoner accidentally falls out of a van as a means of escape. Spare me. If this was intended to be a melodramatic farce it succeeds but I’m not convinced."Simple as that."
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  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars Thank you to Penguin First to Read and Crown for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published June 4, 2019. London, WWII, spies and a mother/daughter situation. Controlling, busybody Mother went in search of her daughter in London. Once there she finds out that she had been lied to and daughter Betty is missing. Betty is involved with M15 and is a spy. However Mom has been keeping a few secrets from Betty also. Personally I did not connect very well with any of the characters - oth 3 stars Thank you to Penguin First to Read and Crown for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published June 4, 2019. London, WWII, spies and a mother/daughter situation. Controlling, busybody Mother went in search of her daughter in London. Once there she finds out that she had been lied to and daughter Betty is missing. Betty is involved with M15 and is a spy. However Mom has been keeping a few secrets from Betty also. Personally I did not connect very well with any of the characters - other than Mr Norris. He came across as a Don Knotts type character, which I did find refreshing. Characters and story in this book are suitable for a cozy mystery series. There is some humor and some violence - however shaded. It is not a story that puts you on edge or forces you to turn pages, but more of a beach or cozy read. Don't expect a great spy novel or a great WWII story - this book is neither. It is not a heavy hitter. Even the serious and quasi-violent parts are more in the flavor of the Keystone Cops or Three Stooges. When considering this novel think more meddling busybody than WWII spies.
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  • Lisa Wolf
    January 1, 1970
    Jennifer Ryan is the author of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, one of my favorite reads of the past couple of years -- and she strikes gold yet again with her newest novel, The Spies of Shilling Lane. Here, we meet the intimidating Mrs. Braithwaite, pushed out of her leadership position with her village women's volunteer corps after one too many criticisms and commands aimed at the other women. Feeling utterly rejected, Mrs. Braithwaite decides to go visit her 21-year-old daughter Betty, who left th Jennifer Ryan is the author of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, one of my favorite reads of the past couple of years -- and she strikes gold yet again with her newest novel, The Spies of Shilling Lane. Here, we meet the intimidating Mrs. Braithwaite, pushed out of her leadership position with her village women's volunteer corps after one too many criticisms and commands aimed at the other women. Feeling utterly rejected, Mrs. Braithwaite decides to go visit her 21-year-old daughter Betty, who left the village to take up a clerical position in London, seeking excitement and a sense of purpose during wartime.However, when Mrs. Braithwaite arrives at Betty's lodging house, she finds out that no one has seen her daughter in at least four days, and while no one else seems particularly panicked, Mrs. Braithwaite is sure that Betty must need rescuing. And nobody stands between Mrs. Braithwaite and her daughter! She sets out to find her daughter, coercing poor Mr. Norris to help her out, and uses her cyclone energy to push, demand, and bully people into giving her information.It turns out that her motherly instincts were indeed correct and Betty is in trouble, of a sort that Mrs. Braithwaite could not have anticipated. And despite the tumultuous, strained relationship between mother and daughter, Mrs. Braithwaite charges into action to save Betty, only to end up needing saving in return.What follows is a rollicking adventure, full of can-do spirit as well as intrigue and double-crossing. Mrs. Braithwaite is an absolute delight as a main character. How many books do we get to read that feature a 50-something-year-old proper Englishwoman as an action hero? She is just a force of nature, and will not let anyone stand in the way of her taking care of her daughter. Of course, Betty is far from helpless, as Mrs. Braithwaite learns, and between the two of them, we see a pair of strong women whose courage makes a difference in the British war effort.The Spies of Shilling Lane has a light-hearted feel at times, as the action sequences aren't simply smooth Jame Bond maneuvers, but rather are full of errors and accidents and fumbling about. Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris are such an unlikely pair of secret agents, tracking down clues, picking locks, and befriending the local criminal element, all in pursuit of a rather nasty bunch of evil-doers. At the same time, the reflections on the mother-daughter relationship, the pressures of societal expectations, and the damage that can be done by overbearing family members are all well described and add resonance to the characters' feelings and reactions.It's also incredibly harrowing and moving to see the air raids and the devastation that results, and I first found myself really loving Mrs. Braithwaite because of her interactions with an injured young woman whom she discovers as she's searching for Betty.All in all, I'd say that The Spies of Shilling Lane is an excellent look at remarkable women during wartime. There are plenty of moments that made me smile, as well as scenes of tension and suspense. Mrs. Braithwaite is so delightful -- I'd love to read about more of her adventures!If you enjoy women-centered historical fiction, definitely check this one out!Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley. Full review at Bookshelf Fantasies.
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  • ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars. Review tomorrow.
  • JennSchell
    January 1, 1970
    Jennifer Ryan became one of my favorite authors after I read her delightful Chilbury Ladies' Choir and this second book of hers does not disappoint. I adored the characters especially Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris. As I was reading this I kept thinking that BBC should make this into a mini series. Fabulous characters and espionage a winning combination! Thanks Netgalley and publisher for this ARC. Highly recommended.
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  • Tina Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    The story opens with Mrs. Braithwaite being demoted from the head of the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS). She is upset and stunned that she has been treated this way. She has recently divorced her husband and now finds her life in turmoil. She decides a visit to London is long overdue to visit with her only daughter Betty.Upon arriving in London Mrs. Braithwaite meets Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord, and learns that she has been missing for four days. She is shocked that no one has reached out to h The story opens with Mrs. Braithwaite being demoted from the head of the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS). She is upset and stunned that she has been treated this way. She has recently divorced her husband and now finds her life in turmoil. She decides a visit to London is long overdue to visit with her only daughter Betty.Upon arriving in London Mrs. Braithwaite meets Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord, and learns that she has been missing for four days. She is shocked that no one has reached out to her to let her know of her daughter’s absence. She decides to take matters into her own hands and sets out to find her daughter, dragging with her a very apprehensive Mr. Norris.The two main characters are polar opposites. Mrs. Braithwaite is cold, outspoken, and a force to be reckoned with. Mr. Norris is quiet, nervous, and prefers to keep to himself. These two characters were my favorite part of this book. Mrs. Braithwaite seemed to have no idea there was a war going on. When she dragged Mr. Norris out after dark to hunt for her daughter, with no regard for their personal safety, I knew these two would be a very interesting duo. They were an absolute delight together and it was a joy to see how they rubbed off on each other.The story started off strong, but the further I got into it the crazier the story got and I just could not find the storyline plausible. That being said this book is a quirky, humorous read, with two unlikely character coming together as partners in crime.*Thank you Crown for the opportunity to read and review this book via NetGalley for my honest opinion.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    It seems odd to call this WWII spy story cozy and charming, but Jennifer Ryan has a knack for recreating a world which brings to mind the song, “There’ll always be an England.” There is no wondering who are the good guys or the bad, but going back to a time when honorable men and women fought against the Nazis and the reader knows exactly who to root for.When first we meet Mrs. Braithwaite, the domineering, cold, and supremely self confident head of the women volunteers in her village, we learn It seems odd to call this WWII spy story cozy and charming, but Jennifer Ryan has a knack for recreating a world which brings to mind the song, “There’ll always be an England.” There is no wondering who are the good guys or the bad, but going back to a time when honorable men and women fought against the Nazis and the reader knows exactly who to root for.When first we meet Mrs. Braithwaite, the domineering, cold, and supremely self confident head of the women volunteers in her village, we learn she is divorced from her philandering husband, estranged from her daughter who,has escaped to London, and soon to be toppled from her position of authority among the village ladies. She flees to London to escape the ignominy of her social defeat, only to discover her daughter has disappeared. Mrs. B marshals all her talents in the search to rescue Betty. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in a spy ring of local fascists and learns a great deal about herself. Most importantly she finally understands that it is love not social status that determines if your life can be considered a success.I had some quibbles with the writing of the story, finding myself sometimes lost in the twists of Spy vs.Spy, but in general this was a rollicking tale of good people fighting the good fight.
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  • Maine Colonial
    January 1, 1970
    The publisher provided a free advance reviewing copy of the book, via Netgalley.I enjoyed Ryan’s first novel, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, and expected this would be similar, since it’s also about women in World War II England. Well, yes, but it’s as if Ms. Ryan, having had some success with her first novel, decided to really let ‘er rip. Everything about this novel is over the top. There is an espionage plot that is completely bananas, with twists and turns, B-movie bad guys, feats of derring-do The publisher provided a free advance reviewing copy of the book, via Netgalley.I enjoyed Ryan’s first novel, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, and expected this would be similar, since it’s also about women in World War II England. Well, yes, but it’s as if Ms. Ryan, having had some success with her first novel, decided to really let ‘er rip. Everything about this novel is over the top. There is an espionage plot that is completely bananas, with twists and turns, B-movie bad guys, feats of derring-do in face of life-threatening dangers, and everybody dashing madly all over London and beyond.As the book description says, Mrs. Braithwaite’s quest to find her daughter makes her rethink her life. That aspect of the book is almost sloppily sentimental at times, but given the over-the-top nature of the book as a whole, it didn’t bother me. In fact, I came to see this book in old-movie terms, as a sort of mashup of Mrs. Miniver and those films featuring Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple.I read this book in one evening, tearing through the pages. I think that was the right approach for this crazy ride of a novel. I’d love to see somebody dramatize it if they could capture its throwback spirit.
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    The Spies of Shilling Lane By Jennifer Ryan Jennifer Ryan became one of my favorite authors after I read her delightful Chilbury Ladies' Choir.The Spies of Shilling lane, brings us the wonderful Mrs. Braithwaite, who truly is an unstoppable force. Shes very fixed in her views. But when her husband suddenly leaves and divorces her, her world as she knows it unravels.She's fired from her position as head of her local Women’s Voluntary Society. With her bruised ego and sense of injustice, she head The Spies of Shilling Lane By Jennifer Ryan Jennifer Ryan became one of my favorite authors after I read her delightful Chilbury Ladies' Choir.The Spies of Shilling lane, brings us the wonderful Mrs. Braithwaite, who truly is an unstoppable force. Shes very fixed in her views. But when her husband suddenly leaves and divorces her, her world as she knows it unravels.She's fired from her position as head of her local Women’s Voluntary Society. With her bruised ego and sense of injustice, she heads to London to see her estranged daughter Betty. However, when she arrives at Betty’s boarding house she soon discovers that her daughter has been missing for four days and nothing has been done to find her. Mrs. Braithwaite then enlists Betty’s reluctant landlord, mild mannered Mr. Norris, to find out where Betty has gone. The detecting duo soon discover that Betty is working as an agent of M15, investigating a group of fascists who are trying to recruit spies and saboteurs and may having fallen into their hands. While, dashing through war-torn London, dodging bombs and rescuing others, Mrs. Braithwaite learns lessons about the true measure of success and happiness. I really liked the pairing of Mrs Braithwaite and Mr Norris. Mr Norris was such a circumspect man who would never dream of following shady characters or confronting spies, not until Mrs Braithwaite turned his world upside down. This was a cracking good read,reminiscent of the Bletchley Circle,
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  • CallMeAfterCoffee Breanne Wiesner
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to netgalley for the eArc for review. Unfortunately this book and I didn't get along. I was expecting a heavier read, something more hard-hitting, but I was left feeling like these characters lacked depth. The Characters came across very one dimensional and bland, and the arcs were so predictable. There were parts here and there that I didn't mind, but a lot of the dialogue felt juvenile, or forced. Especially the way Betty's romance is explained. By 80% things felt wrapped up and then th Thanks to netgalley for the eArc for review. Unfortunately this book and I didn't get along. I was expecting a heavier read, something more hard-hitting, but I was left feeling like these characters lacked depth. The Characters came across very one dimensional and bland, and the arcs were so predictable. There were parts here and there that I didn't mind, but a lot of the dialogue felt juvenile, or forced. Especially the way Betty's romance is explained. By 80% things felt wrapped up and then there's another "twist" if you will? But I was so bored by that point I just started skimming (which is a rarity for me). I'm sad to say this story just missed the mark for me. I wish it has been marketed more as a Sherlock Holmes wannabe mystery?
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  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    Having read & enjoyed Jennifer Ryan's previous work, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, I was really looking forward to this title! As I started reading, I realized I didn't really remember too much of the CLC (other than liking it), but this does not affect the readability of this book at all - it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. (Although I rather hope it's the beginning of a new series, especially as the ending was left wide open for a sequel!)For a book about a missing daughter during t Having read & enjoyed Jennifer Ryan's previous work, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, I was really looking forward to this title! As I started reading, I realized I didn't really remember too much of the CLC (other than liking it), but this does not affect the readability of this book at all - it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. (Although I rather hope it's the beginning of a new series, especially as the ending was left wide open for a sequel!)For a book about a missing daughter during the Blitz of London during WWII, Jennifer Ryan managed to somehow keep the tone light enough to be thoroughly enjoyable without *making light* of the war. Mrs. Braithwaite's journey to self-reflection seemed totally genuine, as did Mr. Norris' own journey to changing his routine and standing up for himself and others. Not everyone who made a significant appearance had a fully fleshed out character, but in my opinion everyone that needed one had a backstory that fit into their actions and helped explain who they were as a character and how they related to other people.Some of the "mystery" surrounding the disappearance of Mrs. Braithwaite's daughter, Betty, is probably not too difficult for the discerning reader to discover ... but I was so caught up in the joy of reading that I totally missed some of the smaller reveals (although I generally had my suspicions). Overall, I thought this book was completely lovely and will definitely be recommending it to bookstore customers and friends alike! (Also, please, please, please - a sequel!!)
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    As a big fan of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, I was delighted to be able to read an advance copy of Ryan's latest book, The Spies of Shilling Lane. The book did not disappoint. Like Chilbury, this book is largely about the home front in England during WWII, although it was not confined to village life this time. Although I found some of the spying parts of the book far-fetched, it did not distract from my enjoyment of the story. There are great characters who have touching transformations over the As a big fan of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, I was delighted to be able to read an advance copy of Ryan's latest book, The Spies of Shilling Lane. The book did not disappoint. Like Chilbury, this book is largely about the home front in England during WWII, although it was not confined to village life this time. Although I found some of the spying parts of the book far-fetched, it did not distract from my enjoyment of the story. There are great characters who have touching transformations over the course of the book. The author does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life as well as giving the reader greater understanding of life during the blitz. I highly recommend this book.
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  • Gena DeBardelaben
    January 1, 1970
    eARC: NetgalleyI think I've found a new happy place and it's in a Jennifer Ryan novel! I loved her first book, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, so when I saw she had a new novel I was so excited! The Spies of Shilling Lane met all my expectations! It has a wonderful story, delightful characters, and my favorite WWII setting. What more could you ask for? Maybe more from these characters? That's what I'm hoping for! I could absolutely see this being one of those delightful BBC mystery series!
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    After the heavy reading I’ve been doing lately, I needed something a bit lighter. A book set in London during the Blitz centered on a mother looking for her lost daughter, such as Jennifer Ryan’s The Spies of Shilling Lane, doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice. But from the first chapter, I knew I was going to be entertained. Mrs. Braithwaite, the primary protagonist of the novel, is the epitome of the British battle axe. She is so bombastic and domineering that she has just been kicked out After the heavy reading I’ve been doing lately, I needed something a bit lighter. A book set in London during the Blitz centered on a mother looking for her lost daughter, such as Jennifer Ryan’s The Spies of Shilling Lane, doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice. But from the first chapter, I knew I was going to be entertained. Mrs. Braithwaite, the primary protagonist of the novel, is the epitome of the British battle axe. She is so bombastic and domineering that she has just been kicked out of the Women’s Volunteer Service in her village. Her spirit isn’t always a detriment. It turns into an asset when she discovers that her daughter, Betty, has gone missing and no one else is willing or able to do anything about it. Mrs. Braithwaite doesn’t hesitate before she goes looking and badgering others into helping...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful! This is a sort of cozy thriller set during WWII with spies and fascists and all sorts of things. Yes it's a tad hokey in spots but I defy you not to root for Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris by the end! Mrs. Braithwaite is searching for her daughter Betty, who lives at Mr. Norris' and, as it turns out, works for MI5 chasing, in this instance, fascists. Mrs. B enlists Mr Norris in her hunt and the two of them emerge from their respective shells- her hard one and his softer and quieter. Delightful! This is a sort of cozy thriller set during WWII with spies and fascists and all sorts of things. Yes it's a tad hokey in spots but I defy you not to root for Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris by the end! Mrs. Braithwaite is searching for her daughter Betty, who lives at Mr. Norris' and, as it turns out, works for MI5 chasing, in this instance, fascists. Mrs. B enlists Mr Norris in her hunt and the two of them emerge from their respective shells- her hard one and his softer and quieter. Mrs. B has a big secret in her past that you won't learn until deep in- keep reading and you'll understand her better. There are some terrific characters, some slightly convoluted plots, and one heck of a harrowing scene when the church where Mrs B, Mr. Norris, and Cassandra are sheltering takes a direct hit from a bomb. You'll learn a bit about the Nazi sympathizers in the UK during WWII and MI5's efforts again them but you'll also get a good story about a woman changing her attitude toward herself and others. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A very good read.
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  • Joan Happel
    January 1, 1970
    A cozy and charming WWII spy novel? Why yes, it can be done, if the writer is Jennifer Ryan, the author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. The novel centers around Mrs. Braithwaite a newly divorced, middle aged woman who has just be fired from her position as head of her local Women’s Voluntary Society. With her bruised ego and sense of injustice, she heads to London to see her estranged daughter Betty. However, when she arrives at Betty’s boarding house she soon discovers that her daughter has been A cozy and charming WWII spy novel? Why yes, it can be done, if the writer is Jennifer Ryan, the author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. The novel centers around Mrs. Braithwaite a newly divorced, middle aged woman who has just be fired from her position as head of her local Women’s Voluntary Society. With her bruised ego and sense of injustice, she heads to London to see her estranged daughter Betty. However, when she arrives at Betty’s boarding house she soon discovers that her daughter has been missing for four days and nothing has been done to find her. Mrs. Braithwaite then enlists Betty’s reluctant landlord, mild mannered Mr. Norris, to find out where Betty has gone. The detecting duo soon discover that Betty is working as an agent of M15, investigating a group of fascists who are trying to recruit spies and saboteurs and may having fallen into their hands. While, dashing through war-torn London, dodging bombs and rescuing others, Mrs. Braithwaite learns lessons about the true measure of success and happiness. This is a fun read, with engaging and eccentric characters. With twists and turns and quiet humor the story comes to a satisfying conclusion while leaving the possibility of Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris teaming up for a sequel!
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    There are very few WWII books I would describe as "fun"; this is one of them. Although it's not without its poignant moments, THE SPIES OF SHILLING LANE is mostly a madcap adventure story starring an indomitable village matron and her timid, unwitting sidekick. The tale is lively and fun, but it's also gently thought-provoking. I loved it. I'd give it 4 1/2 stars if I could.
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  • Gail
    January 1, 1970
    Not as good as The Chilbury Ladies Choir, but still very entertaining. I absolutely loved Mrs Braithwaite!
  • Linda Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    Fun and unputdownable, this new novel by Jennifer Ryan plunks the reader down into World War II London while bombs are falling and spies could be anywhere, trying to help the Nazis invade England. When Mrs. Braithwaite is forced out of her women’s group in her tiny village due to her general unlikability, she heads to London to try to fix her relationship with her daughter who has gone missing. Highjinks abound and readers who love both historic fiction and characters like Agatha Raisin will lov Fun and unputdownable, this new novel by Jennifer Ryan plunks the reader down into World War II London while bombs are falling and spies could be anywhere, trying to help the Nazis invade England. When Mrs. Braithwaite is forced out of her women’s group in her tiny village due to her general unlikability, she heads to London to try to fix her relationship with her daughter who has gone missing. Highjinks abound and readers who love both historic fiction and characters like Agatha Raisin will love this novel.
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  • Linda Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    So fun and unputdownable, this new novel by Jennifer Ryan plunks the reader down into World War II London while bombs are falling and spies could be anywhere, trying to help the Nazis invade England. When Mrs. Braithwaite is forced out of her women’s group in her tiny village due to her general unlikability, she heads to London to try to fix her relationship with her daughter who has gone missing. Highjinks abound and readers who love both historic fiction and characters like Agatha Raisin will So fun and unputdownable, this new novel by Jennifer Ryan plunks the reader down into World War II London while bombs are falling and spies could be anywhere, trying to help the Nazis invade England. When Mrs. Braithwaite is forced out of her women’s group in her tiny village due to her general unlikability, she heads to London to try to fix her relationship with her daughter who has gone missing. Highjinks abound and readers who love both historic fiction and characters like Agatha Raisin will love this novel.
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  • Best In Suspense - Kelly Underwood
    January 1, 1970
    The Spies of Shilling Lane is set in London during WWII. The story focuses on Mrs. Braithwaite, who discovers her daughter missing, and goes on a quest of her own to find Betty. Mrs. Braithwaite puts her gossipy, busy-body skills to the test and elicits the help of Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord to search London amidst bombings and air raids.The characters and setting make this novel worth reading. While war is always a hard topic to dive into without totally being depressing, Mrs. Braithwaite and The Spies of Shilling Lane is set in London during WWII. The story focuses on Mrs. Braithwaite, who discovers her daughter missing, and goes on a quest of her own to find Betty. Mrs. Braithwaite puts her gossipy, busy-body skills to the test and elicits the help of Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord to search London amidst bombings and air raids.The characters and setting make this novel worth reading. While war is always a hard topic to dive into without totally being depressing, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris make an interesting duo. Both struggle with living their lives in a small box, always doing the same thing, never really changing. They both let life happen to them, instead of living in the moment. Mr. Norris puts aside fear to help the brash and bold Mrs. Braithwaite track down unsavory people to find out what happened to Betty. Mrs. Braithwaite realizes that her bossy ways and lack of love tainted her life. She softens, while Mr. Norris becomes quite bold in their pursuits. I enjoyed this story. The suspense element of amateur sleuths tracking down Betty was quite entertaining, and I loved characters that step up and realize who they are when put to the test. Lots of plot twists and run-ins with spies make this an intriguing novel. I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Linda Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome book that you were sorry to have end. Great story of mother/daughter relationships in war torn London. Put on your June TBR list.
  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    The Spies of Shilling LaneIf you enjoy Foyle’s War & Bletchley Circle, you’re likely to enjoy The Spies of Shilling Lane. This is the charming story of how Mrs. Braithwaite goes off to London in search of her daughter and ends up finding herself. Mrs. Braithwaite comes to terms with her past, learns compassion, and opens her closed off heart. The scenes where Mrs. B. reaches out to a young woman who is seriously wounded when she heroically saves a classroom of children were especially touchi The Spies of Shilling LaneIf you enjoy Foyle’s War & Bletchley Circle, you’re likely to enjoy The Spies of Shilling Lane. This is the charming story of how Mrs. Braithwaite goes off to London in search of her daughter and ends up finding herself. Mrs. Braithwaite comes to terms with her past, learns compassion, and opens her closed off heart. The scenes where Mrs. B. reaches out to a young woman who is seriously wounded when she heroically saves a classroom of children were especially touching. ***Thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this story! Quotes I liked:“But as Mrs. Braithwaite walked into St. Thomas’s Hospital, she became all too aware of her heart.”“‘Some people have so much love in their hearts. They’d do anything for anybody. They’re the real heroes of this war . . . like this courageous woman. No one told her what to do; she simply saw someone hurt, someone in trouble, and found the bravery to go into the chaos, help in the best way she could. It didn’t matter whether it put her own life in danger.’ . . . ‘And look how she’s repaid,’ Mrs. Braithwaite murmured, looking at the tumbledown brutalized body. The nurse smiled calmly. ‘But think of the children she saved. They owe her their lives! They’ll always remember her. It must be wonderful to know that you made so much difference to so many people’s lives. You enabled them to live! Can you imagine that?’”“An overwhelming feeling came over Mrs. Braithwaite, a crush of pain that life was so fleeting, that the dance was over almost as soon as it had begun. She thought about her own life, how she’d wasted so much of it marching, staying on the footpath, when she could have been dancing.”“How much kinder she could have been . . . If a woman knew the moment of her death, would she live her life differently? More wisely, undoubtedly. More frivolously, perhaps. But would she be more fullhearted, less selfish?”“Why do people get so caught up in their own senseless struggle for status that they forget to relish the beauty in others?”“Sometimes you have to feel grateful for what you have, see the good, and only the good. We only have one life. One chance for happiness. And sometimes we forget that we can actually choose whether we want joy or cynicism. Let’s pick joy.”“When people you care for die, something inside changes, and you become a different person. Some say that you take on a part of them yourself, that everything you loved about them is enveloped within you, that you have a responsibility to keep them alive in your heart, whatever it takes.”
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    A lively read with endearing characters. Mrs. Braithwaite has been dealt some harsh cards in life and she's travels to London to see her daughter Betty. Then the adventure begin. One of my favorite scenes involves the ruffians helping apprehend the bad guys. Mrs. B has a lot of good character development throughout the book and she definitely makes the story. Thanks to Penguin First Read for the advance copy.
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  • Best In Suspense - Kelly Underwood
    January 1, 1970
    The Spies of Shilling Lane is set in London during WWII. The story focuses on Mrs. Braithwaite, who discovers her daughter missing, and goes on a quest of her own to find Betty. Mrs. Braithwaite puts her gossipy, busy-body skills to the test and elicits the help of Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord to search London amidst bombings and air raids.The characters and setting make this novel worth reading. While war is always a hard topic to dive into without totally being depressing, Mrs. Braithwaite and The Spies of Shilling Lane is set in London during WWII. The story focuses on Mrs. Braithwaite, who discovers her daughter missing, and goes on a quest of her own to find Betty. Mrs. Braithwaite puts her gossipy, busy-body skills to the test and elicits the help of Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord to search London amidst bombings and air raids.The characters and setting make this novel worth reading. While war is always a hard topic to dive into without totally being depressing, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. Norris make an interesting duo. Both struggle with living their lives in a small box, always doing the same thing, never really changing. They both let life happen to them, instead of living in the moment. Mr. Norris puts aside fear to help the brash and bold Mrs. Braithwaite track down unsavory people to find out what happened to Betty. Mrs. Braithwaite realizes that her bossy ways and lack of love tainted her life. She softens, while Mr. Norris becomes quite bold in their pursuits. I enjoyed this story. The suspense element of amateur sleuths tracking down Betty was quite entertaining, and I loved characters that step up and realize who they are when put to the test. Lots of plot twists and run-ins with spies make this an intriguing novel. I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Betcei
    January 1, 1970
    It has been 2 long years since Jennifer Ryan published the Chilbury Ladies' Choir, but this book The Spies of Shilling Lane was worth the wait! Mrs Brathwaite is newly divorced and feels the need to speak with her only child, Betty, who has moved to London to work. Arriving at her daughter's rented room she discovers Betty missing! With the help of Mr Norris (Betty's landlord), Mrs. Brathwaite sets out to find her daughter and save their lives. With characters that make you cry and laugh and lov It has been 2 long years since Jennifer Ryan published the Chilbury Ladies' Choir, but this book The Spies of Shilling Lane was worth the wait! Mrs Brathwaite is newly divorced and feels the need to speak with her only child, Betty, who has moved to London to work. Arriving at her daughter's rented room she discovers Betty missing! With the help of Mr Norris (Betty's landlord), Mrs. Brathwaite sets out to find her daughter and save their lives. With characters that make you cry and laugh and love, Jennifer Ryan has written a book that is difficult to put down at night.
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    Mrs, Braithwaite is ousted as chair of her local women’s advisory group. She leaves her home town to go to London to look for her daughter. Betty is not where she is supposed to be, so Mrs, Braithwaite enlists the aid of Betty’s mousy but sweet landlord, Mr, Norris. The story takes some twists and turns, adding in the perfect humor. Thanks to Netgalley, I thoroughly enjoyed reading a book on the era during which England is watching the Fascist group conspiring to align and offer assistance to th Mrs, Braithwaite is ousted as chair of her local women’s advisory group. She leaves her home town to go to London to look for her daughter. Betty is not where she is supposed to be, so Mrs, Braithwaite enlists the aid of Betty’s mousy but sweet landlord, Mr, Norris. The story takes some twists and turns, adding in the perfect humor. Thanks to Netgalley, I thoroughly enjoyed reading a book on the era during which England is watching the Fascist group conspiring to align and offer assistance to the Nazis. Highly recommended.
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