The Scent of Secrets
A Clara Vine Mystery by Jane Thynne
Review: Clara Vine, an actress known in both England and Germany, has a unique background. Her mother is British, her father is German, and she has a Jewish grandmother who is not acknowledged as such on any of Clara's papers. Clara loves Germany but hates what Adolf Hitler is turning it into. This is the reason, when it was requested of her, that she agrees to become a British spy, in The Scent of Secrets, the third mystery in this series by Jane Thynne.
.Clara is able to accept roles in movies in Germany, but not before being questioned by the authorities. They are satisfied that Clara is nothing more than what she says she is, a moderately successful actress, whose ambition lay in securing better roles in German movies. But her mission for British intelligence is a difficult one. She is to meet and get close to Eva Braun, Hitler's young mistress, and to retrieve a diary that she makes entries into daily. It is hope that Hitler may have said something to her that she made a note of, no matter how trivial or innocent it may have seemed at the time. Clara is already established in knowing the wives of Germany's leaders, so it isn't too difficult to secure an invitation to Hitler's home.
Separately, these same leaders are vying for power themselves. Though Hitler's role as the Führer is established, they seek to be influential in his decisions regarding the future of Germany. An important subplot here involves a secretary for a high-ranking female in the Nazi Party, which adds interest to the story and tied into the central mystery.
Though quite long at well over 400 pages, the narrative detail of the settings in The Scent of Secrets create a strong backdrop to the action. Paris, Munich, Berlin, and Berghof, Hitler's country home in the Bavarian Alps in the late 1930s, come alive here. In addition to the fictional cast of characters, real historical figures, including Coco Chanel and Elizabeth Arden, have roles to play. The primary plot is generally a gripping one, dragging a bit in places but never long enough to alter the impact it has on the reader. For the most part, this is a remarkable novel, most especially for fans of historical fiction but also for those who enjoy a well-structured and executed mystery.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Scent of Secrets.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of The Scent of Secrets for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Scent of Secrets: Paris, France; Munich, Berlin, Germany
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The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne — A Clara Vine Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2015
List Price: $16.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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