Cryptic crosswords helping a woman solve the mystery involving a series of murders, including her fiancé’s
Today, we are thrilled to be the stop on the Blog Tour for A Dangerous Goodbye by Fliss Chester.
A Dangerous Goodbye is a post-WWII story about a woman that went to France to follow the clues left in her fiancé’s last letter trying to figure out what happened to him.
Title: A Dangerous Goodbye by Fliss Chester.
Publisher: Bookouture (August 20, 2020)
Print Lenght: 277 pages
Your lost love never came home after the war. Would you risk everything to find out what happened to him?
1944. While war rages in Europe, Fenella Churche is doing her bit in the green fields of England. But when she finds a letter addressed to her on the scrubbed farmhouse table, she knows the news won’t be good. She hasn’t heard from her fiancé Arthur since he was posted to France on a dangerous undercover mission, and from his very first words she knows he may not be coming back.
I fear this may be my last letter to you, my darling, Arthur writes. Fen won’t give up hope and calls the war office, wanting to know if Arthur is still alive; they refuse to tell her anything. Searching for answers, she returns to his letter, but parts of it just don’t make sense. Through her tears Fen realizes that her darling Arthur is giving her all the clues she needs to find out what happened to him.
1945. With the war behind them and nothing left for her in England, Fen travels to the deceptively pretty French village where she thinks Arthur might be, but there’s no sign of him. She’s close to giving up when she finds his silver cigarette case and another letter full of clues. But when the local priest is killed, it’s clear someone wants to keep wartime secrets buried. If Arthur, a brilliant spy, was outwitted and betrayed, can Fen stay alive long enough to find out what happened to the man she loves?
A gripping story of war, mystery, espionage and murder. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd and Rhys Bowen will absolutely adore this unputdownable World War Two murder mystery.
From the Publisher’s Blurb
Fen Churche was part of the Wrens (Women’s Royal Navy Service) during WWII. While in service, she met her fiancé, Arthur, an intelligent and sweet man she dreamt of marrying and starting a family with.
They both loved cryptic crosswords and spent lots of their time working on their own puzzle hoping to one day send it to the Daily Telegraph.
But Arthur was sent to France and disappeared. He sent a last letter to Fen with what seemed like an encrypted message. If Fen wanted to know what happened to him, she would have to go to France, to a place called Burgundy.
After the war, Fen decided to follow the clue and ended up in the Chateau Morey-Fontaine, where she meets a french family, a former English soldier, and some shady employees.
It was fascinating to see how Fen used her love for cryptic crosswords to try to find out what happened to Arthur and to solve a series of deaths that start occurring around the castle.
I have never heard about cryptic crosswords before. If you want to know more, here is the link to the term on Wikipedia.
Fen is a lovely heroine. Strong but vulnerable and not ashamed to shed a tear or ten. The side characters are very intriguing and clearly had something to hide.
The setting is a beautiful medieval castle in France and its adjacent vineyard. It sounded like a place I would love to visit.
The end was satisfying, and I was proud to be on the right track. Maybe I should give cryptic crosswords a try.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Fliss Chester lives in Surrey with her husband and writes historical cozy crime. When she is not killing people off in her 1940s whodunnits, she helps her husband, who is a wine merchant, run their business. Never far from a decent glass of something, Fliss also loves cooking (and writing up her favorite recipes on her blog), enjoying the beautiful Surrey and West Sussex countryside and having a good natter.