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Playing It Safe: Electra McDonnell #3    by Ashley Weaver order for
Playing It Safe
by Ashley Weaver
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2023 (2023)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Playing It Safe follows A Peculiar Combination and The Key to Deceit as the third in Ashley Weaver's World War II mystery series starring Electra McDonnel.

Ellie was born in Holloway prison where her mother was jailed for her father's murder. Her locksmith Uncle Mick moonlights as a burglar and safecracker. With her cousins Colm and Toby doing their part in the war, Ellie stepped up to help, was caught by intelligence officer Major Ramsey (for whom Ellie feels both strong dislike and unwilling attraction) and drafted for intelligence work.

As the episode opens and the Blitz ravages London, Ramsay tasks Ellie with establishing herself in a lodging house in Sunderland, a port city, under the identity of Elizabeth Donaldson. While she waits impatiently for further orders from the elusive Major, Ellie witnesses a suspicious death - of a man who had recently saved her from being hit by a car. He had an odd note clutched in his hand.

When the Major shows up, it becomes a race against time to stop a counterfeiting operation creating identities for German spies. Ellie and the Major save each other's lives once more and the episode ends with a shocking revelation about Ellie's family - I expect we'll learn more in episode #4.

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