Book report extra #2* (2022)

A Deceptive Devotion, by Iona Whishaw. Pub 2019

Book 6 in the Lane Winslow series continues the thread of intrigue and spy-craft from Book 4, with Soviet, British, and Canadian intelligence agencies battling to secure a retiring spy and his important information. As usual, all the plot lines end up leading to Lane’s lovely house in King’s Cove, BC. This instalment of Whishaw’s excellent mystery series draws on elements of the Gouzenko affair in 1945/6, an unusually dramatic spy drama in Canadian history the heralded the start of the Cold War and led to much of the suspicion and witch-hunting of Communists in the following years. With now-familiar characteristic deftness, Whishaw takes that historical event as a murky backdrop for a complex and dangerous web that threatens our now-beloved citizens of King’s Cove. There are the usual elements of murder, misdirection, and mystery, amidst the snails-pace romance and the delightful advances of friendships and community.

This book felt better paced (and perhaps better edited?) than Book 5, and the conclusion of this one is as delightful and full of promise as the change of seasons. I’m looking forward to the next few stories and will miss these characters a great deal when I reach the end of available books (just two left on my shelves, and one more pending publication later this year).

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* By mutual agreement with my book club buddy, these books and a few others that are on-deck (mostly in the category of murder mystery) won’t be included in this year’s book count except in extraordinary circumstances. These books are quick reads, more entertainment than engagement, and after a few will no longer fit in any of our diverse categories. So that I don’t lose track of them, I’ll still document them here and at year-end, but ultimately most won’t “count” for the list

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