Darker Reality
by Perry, Anne

Elena Standish investigates the mysterious death of Lila Worth, who she discovers is a British spy, at an anniversary party for her parents in Washington, D.C., in the third novel of the series following A Question of Betrayal.

The year is 1934. Photographer Elena Standish is visiting Washington, DC, for the first time, having come with her parents from England to attend a party celebrating her grandparents' sixtieth wedding anniversary. Tragedy strikes: a woman is run down by a car. With startling speed, Elena's grandfather is arrested for murder. But there is much more to the story. The dead woman was an agent for MI6, the British intelligence agency-as is Elena herself, who has used her cover as a photographer to carry out missions in two previous novels, Death in Focus (2019) and A Question of Betrayal (2020). Determine to find the truth behind the woman's murder, Elena soon discovers that she might not like where the search leads her. A good historical mystery is like a balancing act-too little period detail and the story feels fuzzy, too much and it gets bogged down-and Perry, who has also written the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt and the William Monk series, gets the balance just right. It would be easy to believe that Elena Standish really did exist, and that the books are actual biographical stories. Perry proves once again why she is among the top writers of historical mysteries. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

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