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Publisher's Summary

The first in a planned historical series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Susan Elia MacNeal, and our very own Rhys Bowen. Through research and tireless attention to detail, the author dramatizes the hard truths of war for an industrial town on the cutting edge between victory and death, all told through the lens of a woman ahead of her time—one of the first female officers in the Women’s Police Constabulary (WPC), who during WW2, challenged stereotypes and risked their lives to protect the home front.   

The year 1940: Her mother just killed in a blackout accident, and her rector father and brother MIA in France, Wilhelmina Harkness finds herself homeless, penniless, and the recipient of an unwanted marriage proposal for “propriety’s sake”. Instead of being married off, she leaves small village life behind, reinvents herself as “Billie”, and accepts her aunt’s invitation to live with her in Kingston-Upon-Hull...a coastal industrial town about to be bombed relentlessly by the Germans. Billie crawls from beneath the rubble of her first air raid to find the body of the enigmatic stranger she had encountered earlier that day. A passing policeman whisks Billie from the collapsing building, hastily reporting the woman’s death a result of bombings. An astute observer with a resolute conscience, Billie challenges the ruling. The victim’s body was unharmed, despite the fallen debris, information that inflames the wrong people but earns Billie an invitation to the newly formed Women’s Police Constabulary (WPC) and a partner—the officer whose findings she challenged.   

Death in a Blackout opens with the outbreak of war on British soil and features a police officer whose work protects Britain from German bombs—as well as from criminals intent on taking advantage of wartime chaos.

©2022 Jessica Ellicott (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Death in a Blackout

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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First in series - starts slow, gets better

Okay I was hoping would be snappy and more sophisticated like the Edwina and Beryl series. Starts slowly and sounds more like young adult story in the beginning, probably cuz from point of view of young adult. Gets more interesting about half way through and then has plenty of plot twists and surprises. Hopeful the second book snappier from chapter one. So the overall four star rating a bit aspirational. I miss the excellent narrator of other series, but she’s too mature sounding for the main character in this one.

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Complex and compelling

A rich, complicated, story! A new-to-me environment and lots of interesting twists. Enjoyed very much!

1 person found this helpful