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In Farleigh Field

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“Instantly absorbing, suspenseful, romantic, and stylish—like binge-watching a great British drama on Masterpiece Theater.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author

Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel, the Macavity Award for Best Historical Novel, and the Left Coast Crime Award for Best Historical Mystery.

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.

397 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 1, 2017

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About the author

I'm a New York Times bestselling mystery author, winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards for my Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1902 New York City.

I have recently published four internationally bestselling WWII novels, one of them a #1 Kindle bestseller, and the Tuscan Child selling almost a million copies to date. In Farleigh Field won three major awards and was nominated for an Edgar. My other stand-alone novels are The Victory Garden, about land girls in WWI and Above the Bay of Angels, featuring a young woman who becomes chef for Queen Victoria.
April 2021 will mark the publication of THE VENICE SKETCHBOOK--another sweeping historical novel of love, loss and intrigue.

My books are currently translated into 29 languages and I have fans worldwide.

I also write the Agatha-winning Royal Spyness series, about the British royal family in the 1930s. It's lighter, sexier, funnier, wicked satire. It was voted by readers as best mystery series one year.
I am also known for my Constable Evans books, set in North Wales, and for my award-winning short stories.

I was born and raised in England but currently divide my time between California and Arizona where I go to escape from the harsh California winters
When I am not writing I love to travel, sing, hike, play my Celtic harp.
* Constable Evan Mystery
* Molly Murphy Mysteries
* Her Royal Spyness Mysteries

Agatha Award
◊ Best Novel (2001): Murphy's Law
Reviewer's Choice Award
◊ Historical Mystery (2001): Murphy's Law

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5 stars
22,736 (33%)
4 stars
26,683 (39%)
3 stars
13,587 (20%)
2 stars
2,870 (4%)
1 star
1,231 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,659 reviews
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,331 followers
July 21, 2017
'In Farleigh Field' tells the story of several characters in England in the midst of WWII. As the brutal war continues in Europe, each member of a group of friends plays a pivotal role in the war effort, while remaining largely unaware of the role that each of them are playing. Friendships are tested. Emotions and betrayals run deep. Many hard lessons are learned.

Of all the characters, Ben and Pamela were my favorites. Ben was the "nice guy" that is friend-zoned. He has always loved Pamela, but his affections have always taken a back seat to his friendship with Pamela and Jeremy. The three of them grew up together and Jeremy always seems to outshine Ben. He is the war hero. He has Pamela's love. Ben is relegated to the role of dutiful friend.

It would be easy to hate Pamela in many ways. She was pretty oblivious to Ben's feelings for most of the book. She couldn't see past Jeremy's handsome face and his cocky demeanor. Many would argue that she was naïve, but I would argue that she made a conscious decision to remain blissfully unaware. She didn't want to believe what was right in front of her face and she chose to lie to herself rather than deal with the disappointment of facing reality.

Nonetheless, I couldn't hate her. She was not a bad person. She was just living in a fantasy world. If anything, I felt bad for her. I knew that her illusions of a perfect life with Jeremy would eventually be shattered, but I knew that I would feel no joy when it happened.

Jeremy was easy to hate. He was just too "perfect" from the start, while it was clear that he was anything but. Despite being a war hero that returns home following a miraculous escape from a German prison camp, I couldn't bring myself to like him.

The guy was a jackass. He was inconsiderate, self-absorbed and manipulative. He showed little regard for Pamela, right from the start, even as she fawned all over him. It was clear that he didn't care for her in the same way, but he continued to string her along. He clearly knew that Ben did care for her and he enjoyed flaunting her in front of his supposed "best friend". Hands-down, he was a jerk.

When Pamela's youngest sister, Phoebe, discovers the body of a suspected spy on the family estate, it sets off a chain of events. Suspicions mount in the community as speculation goes wild. Each working in secret, Pamela and Ben try to get to the bottom of the mysterious soldier's identity and why he was found where he was. Who was he trying to contact? Is there a traitor in their midst?

Things continue to heat up as the fear of a German invasion increases. Meanwhile, there are several personal battles going on. Emotions run high and betrayals run deep.

While there were several twists and turns along the way, I can't say that I was particularly surprised by most of the revelations. I never experienced a moment when I was shocked or really felt blindsided. I was somewhat appalled by some of the events that came to pass, but they weren't really unexpected. Instead, they served only to confirm what I already knew.

Unfortunately, I never felt a strong connection to any of the characters. I really liked Ben and Pamela, but my feelings never went beyond "like". Accordingly, I wasn't particularly invested in their lives or the outcome of the story.

All things considered, this story was kind of bland. It was "okay", but I didn't ever feel a strong connection to the storyline or the characters. There were some interesting tidbits along the way, but it wasn't a particularly compelling read for me. I need more emotion in my reads. This one felt a bit "frigid" for lack of a better descriptor.

Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,937 reviews798 followers
September 30, 2017
Right, In Farleigh Field looked really intriguing. I love the cover and I was looking forward to reading it since a historical mystery is a favorite of mine. However, as my rating indicate did I not enjoy this book very much and I will list the reasons for it below.

1. Predictability - Whether it be the story or the characters did this feel like everything was following a guidebook on how to write a book for dummies. Sorry, I kept on going through the book because I wanted answers to the dead parachute mystery. But, the ending was so obvious that it was silly. It did try to be a bit surprising, but by then was my patience wearing thin with the story.

2. Stereotypes - The characters, and here I mostly think of the daughters are the usual type, the brainy one, the easy-going one, the exemplary one and the brave one and the young one. Nothing new here, I've seen these characters before so many types, but done better. I nominate Dido as the most annoying character of the year. "Buuhuu, I didn't get to come out and be presented by the court because of the stupid war. I want to dance, met men and have sex"! When she did something quite unforgiving towards the end was, I not at all surprised since I've been waiting for it since the beginning of the book.

3. Phrases - Jolly, crikey, and blimey. Take a drink every time anyone says that. You will be drunk, but at least you have fun.

So, why did I keep going if the book when I felt that the book didn't work for me? Well, I was almost half-way through when it really started to bother me and I did want to get some answers to the mystery in the book. However, the drama in this book almost made me quite the book several times. I was not bored with the book as much as I was annoyed.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
April 7, 2017
In 1941 there is great concern in England about the war and likelihood of a German invasion. Farleigh Place is currently being used by British armed forces for its’ headquarters during WW II. Roderick Sutton, The Earl of Westerham, owns Farleigh Place and lives their with his wife and five daughters. One morning, Phoebe, the youngest of Roderick Sutton’s daughters, discovers a dead body attached to a parachute while horseback riding on her parents estate. The body was found in a British uniform with some discrepancies and no identification. There is great speculation and concern that the body could be a German spy.

Pamela Sutton, Ben Cresswell and Jeremy Prescott have been lifelong friends growing up together in Farleigh Field. Ben Creswell is assigned to investigate the potential spy activity. Everyone, including his friends, are suspects during his investigation. His good friend Jeremy Prescott is the son of a wealthy neighboring landowner. He is currently home recovering from injuries sustained as a pilot. Pamela Sutton, one of the daughters of Roderick Sutton, decodes German messages at Bletchley Park in London. She has been working nights and has returned home on medical leave. Pamela has been in love with Jeremy since their teen years and hopes they marry after the war. The three friends are unaware of each other’s roles during the war and as events unfold their lives become more intertwined.

This historical fiction novel is layered with suspense, romance and drama. There are interesting secondary characters introduced that add value to the story. This is also a mystery and any more details would spoil the plot. My hope is that Rhys Bowen writes a sequel to this wonderful book.

Goodreads giveaway 100 copies https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...
Profile Image for Liz.
2,142 reviews2,760 followers
June 14, 2017
This isn't serious historical fiction, but it's a jolly good mystery. A possible German spy falls to his death on the grounds of Farleigh when his parachute fails to open. There are several investigations into the man's possible purpose, from a family friend who works for MI5 to a pair of twelve year olds who found the body.
But as with good historical fiction, I found I learned several things about England during WWII, including the existence of the New British Broadcasting Corporation.
This would make a great summer read. Light, but thoroughly entertaining.
Profile Image for Cindy Burnett (Thoughts from a Page).
575 reviews991 followers
November 28, 2016

4.5 stars

Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series is so much fun to read, and I read the newest book in the series as soon as it comes out. Accordingly, I was so excited to learn she had written a stand-alone novel that takes place during World War 2 (which is one of my favorite eras). Bowen did not disappoint – In Farleigh Field was a delight from beginning to end. I hesitated slightly when I first opened the novel because she includes a list of all of the characters upfront. I have generally found that means there are too many characters for me to keep up with, but that was not the case at all for In Farleigh Field. The central plot of the novel involves the ancestral home of Lord Westerham, Farleigh Place, which is serving as headquarters for one of the British armed forces groups. Lord Westerham has five daughters, three of whom play large roles in the story, Pamela, Margot and Phoebe. Pamela works at Bletchly Park breaking German codes, Margot is in Paris working for the French Resistance, and Phoebe is at home (she’s only 12) and discovers the body of a soldier whose parachute failed as he tried to land near Farleigh Place. There are various subplots that develop with these and other characters as the story progresses and eventually a number of them tie together very effectively. The resolution of each plot line was very realistic and convincing.

Bowen’s exhaustive research is evident, and the tidbits she includes really add to the storyline. I loved learning about the group of aristocrats that supported Hitler and created a group to try and make peace with Germany (she calls them the Ring in the novel; in actuality she explains in her Author’s Note that they were called the Link). The MI5 and Bletchly Park details were fascinating too. I highly recommend this novel and was so glad I got the chance to read it early. Thanks to Lake Union Publishing for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,322 reviews2,143 followers
April 24, 2019
I seem to have read a lot of Rhys Bowen books lately, mostly from her Molly Murphy series which I do enjoy. In Farleigh Field is a stand alone novel set during WW2 in England.

In 1941 concerns that Germany was going to invade Britain were running high and there were members of the public who thought that invasion would be a good thing as it would put an end to the fighting and the slaughter of their young men. As a result whilst the real fighting went on in the air and at sea another kind of underground fighting went on with spies and counter spies and plots against the Royal family and Winston Churchill. The author writes her fictional story based on these historic facts and I think she does a good job.

I must own straight up that I found the characters very stereotypical and some of the dialogue was awful, but I was able to set that aside and just enjoy the story. The mystery was interesting and there was such a choice of possible culprits that it was only possible to guess who they were fairly near the end. Phoebe and Alfie were amusing - they were a bit like the Bobbsey twins:)

I enjoyed the read and forgave it its problems. Maybe it is nostalgia for those more innocent times when all was made better by a nice cup of tea, but I can really relax with books like this one!
Profile Image for Kim Kaso.
298 reviews61 followers
March 7, 2017
Very enjoyable, undemanding book to read, perfect for lying in bed with a virus. Entertaining mix of English aristocracy and WW II spy games. Not a great book, but a fun one, and just what I needed. Recommended.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,942 reviews1,898 followers
March 3, 2017
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

I’m beginning to realize that I’m a bigger fan of historical fiction than I first thought, there’s something about the way it sweeps me away to a different time that really appeals to me and I truly enjoyed being whisked away to 1940’s England while reading In Farleigh Field.

I was a bit apprehensive when the book opened with a comprehensive list of the cast of characters. It was long and though I love an ensemble cast, I was worried that there be too many people to keep track of. Thankfully I didn’t have any problems keeping everyone straight and I loved reading from several viewpoints. The main narrators included most of Lord Westerham’s daughters; Pamela who is working as a code breaker in Bletchley Park, Margot who is living in Paris, Phoebe the youngest and Dido who is quite the troublemaker. There is also Ben, a family friend and M15 operative.

For a novel set during wartime it had a lighthearted feeling to it, but not in a disrespectful way, it reminded me a little of a cozy mystery. This was based loosely on real events and Bowen did a great job of remaining historically accurate. There was a good balance of history, suspense, romance and family drama, truly something for everyone.

I had a blast trying to figure out whose side everyone was really on, there were spies, double agents and plenty of betrayals. This was full of charm, wit and humor along with tension and intrigue. There were a few surprises along the way though I worked out a couple on my own, but this didn’t take away from my experience, it was still an entertaining read.
390 reviews47 followers
April 21, 2017
This was a good story! If one more person said cricky though. ;) I had a hard time getting into it at first but i felt it picked up so i kept going I ended up liking it more than it thought i would
Profile Image for Melani.
574 reviews21 followers
March 29, 2017
I believe this book was one of the free kindle books that Amazon Prime members have access to. I have quite a few of them stacked up in my electronic TBR pile and this was the first one I dove into. I’m… not impressed. Maybe there’s a reason it was free? I hope the others are better than this one. This book is aggressively mediocre. It is so middle of the road that it refuses to go places that might take it somewhere interesting. The villains are exactly who you think they are, the characters do exactly what you’d expect of them, and the plot follows along exactly as you expect it to. I can handle all of that if there was something about the book that stood out, but it isn’t. Even the writing is just blah.
Set in early WWII Britain on an estate house just outside of London, you would think this book would be anything but boring. There are Nazi spies, a daughter left in occupied France, MI6, children sent out of London for their safety, etc etc etc. It is as if every cliché of England during WWII was added to the book just in case you forgot what was really going on. Added to that, there are lords, ladies, class wars, and the very last dredges of the dying service industry. (Was that really a thing in WWII? I swear a lot of the book felt very Downton Abbey in the later years, which set was 20 years earlier).
In case I was a bit too vague, I was severely unimpressed with this book mostly because the writing was just so amateur. The book has a list of characters in the beginning, laying out the who’s who of our cast, and included in that are characterizations like, “youngest daughter of Lord X, a bit precocious and notices too much for her own good”. I hate that, show me in the book how precocious she is don’t tell me before we even meet her. It is the first sign of bad writing, and it told me exactly what I was getting into. Sadly, the rest of the novel didn’t belie those expectations at all.
Even if you are interested in the WWII era of England, skip this one. It’s not worth the bother. I didn’t hate it, so it’s not a one star read but boy does it push that rating.
Profile Image for Lewis Weinstein.
Author 10 books511 followers
December 8, 2019
On the positive side, there was enough here to keep my interest and I finished the book. On the other hand, I thought there were too many partially developed characters and too many loosely resolved details. The ending seemed to be rushed and not well set up by the preceding chapters.
Profile Image for Christina.
262 reviews228 followers
March 1, 2017
3 stars

September 1939
From: His Majesty's Government
To: Civilian Population of Great Britain

For the duration of the war, the following Seven Rules are to be observed at all times.
1. Do not waste food.
2. Do not talk to strangers.
3. Keep all information to yourself.
4. Always listen to government instructions and carry them out.
5. Report anything suspicious to the police.
6. Do not spread rumours.
7. Lock away anything that might help the enemy if we are invaded.

Farleigh Place is the ancestral home to Lord Westerham, his wife and his 5 daughters, 3 of which are in the focus of the novel's story. A regiment of soldiers are also stationed at Farleigh Place currently. One morning, Lord Westerham's youngest daughter, 12 year old Phoebe, comes across a body of a soldier, whose parachute failed, while she is out riding. At first, it is assumed that he is one of the soldiers already stationed at Farleigh Place, as he wears one of their uniforms. But when it is discovered that he is not one of them, suspicions are quickly raised.
Family friend, Ben Cresswell, an MI5 operative, is covertly tasked with determining if the soldier was a German spy and if so, who was he out to meet? Ben also welcomes the chance to be closer to another of Lord Westerham's daughters, Pamela, whom he has secretly loved for years now. But Pamela has eyes only for Jeremy Prescott, an RAF pilot that they both grew up with. But there's more to her than just a silly debutante, waiting on her guy to come home. She works as a code breaker at Bletchley Park, unbeknownst by her family.
While Ben is investigating, another of the daughters, Margot, is in German occupied Paris, not able to return home. She was originally there studying fashion and stayed because she fell in love with a French man. But she hasn't heard from him in months. When German soldiers come for her, she fears the worst, because she has secrets of her own too.
It seems Ben's investigation leads to many more questions than answers, but with Pamela's help, he discovers a horrible assassination attempt, one that may turn the tide of the war in Germany's favor, but can he discover who the traitor is before the task is carried out?

I love historical fiction, especially when they are set in the time period of World War 2, so I was pretty excited to see this as an offering for my Kindle First selection for February. In Farleigh Field was a bit different from what I was expecting, a much lighter read in comparison to some others I have read based in this time in history. There are spies, suspicion galore and mystery, but other than that, not very action packed. We definitely don't see the brutal side of war in this novel. It does covers nicely what things must have been like for people in Britain, in that time period, but I also felt that it glossed over a lot of things at the same time. Most of the British aristocracy (fictional of course) mentioned in the story were almost oblivious to the fact that there's a war on and seem more annoyed than anything else, which was a bit irritating to read about. There was just as much about the surrounding family drama as there was about the war.
The novel opens up with a list of the cast of characters, but for the most part, they were easy enough to keep track of. I did feel like some of the side characters didn't serve too much of a purpose to the story. I was actually most interested in Margot's story at first, as I think there was a lot more to her that the author could have done more with. We never really get to see fully what she's up to, we just receive a small info dump about her in the very end. And I get the author did this likely to increase suspicion around her, but I just think her story could have been handled differently.

So, I just feel a bit meh about this. It's not a bad novel at all. It seems well researched and true to history. And the ending did surprise me pretty nicely, when all of the puzzle pieces finally came together. But something about it just didn't quite win me over entirely. I would recommend to fans of historical fiction though, as I have seen some glowing reviews.
Profile Image for Beth.
783 reviews319 followers
March 30, 2017
Rhys Bowen has penned an entertaining World War II mystery with In Farleigh Field. Taking a look at relatively average people, in this case Lady Pamela Westerham and a vicar’s son, Ben Cresswell, this story covers their covert work with MI5 and code-breaking at Bletchley Park. From dank living conditions to missions they cannot share with even their closest relatives, the story gives a close up view of what it might have been like to serve in lowly but classified positions during the war, as well as live in and operate out of a top-secret facility such as Bletchley Park.

For Pamela, living a Bletchley Park is certain different from her upbringing at Farleigh. This story and her character in particular highlight how the war created opportunity and even the need for women to do tasks that might have usually fallen on men. Since Pamela nor Ben can share what they are doing with their families, there is an added layer of intrigue as well as a few mishaps and a bit of humor when they must explain away things that seem odd to those around them.

While there is a rather large cast of characters, I never felt like it was hard to keep track of everyone. Bowen provides a full listing of characters in the beginning of the book, which led me to think that I might be flipping back and forth to keep tabs on them all, but honestly, I never felt the need to do that. She introduces them in such a way that it’s easy to figure out who is who and where to place them in the story. While some of the characters might be a tad stereotypical, I also think much of it is purposeful – it seems to give a nod to other stories with the slightly pompous Lord of the manor, the slightly clueless wife, the precocious youngest sibling who manages to get into all sorts of things without the adults noticing. I also liked how no character was safe form suspicion or scrutiny, and it isn’t entirely obvious until well into the story just who Pamela and Ben should have been watching out for the entire time.

The plot never drags, making the story a quick one to read, but no less pleasurable. The romantic plotline is somewhat predictable, but altogether charming and never takes away from the main plot of mystery. I like how the story focuses the mission was at home rather than abroad, although it was interesting to see what life was like for an Englishwoman with connections to the Resistance, living in France at the time. In this case, it is one of the older Westerham daughters, Margo, living in Paris to study fashion before the war broke out. The drama of the open surveillance by Nazi officers was both chilling and heart-stopping, made even more so because the reader knows what is going on while the family in Farleigh remains oblivious to just how deeply two of their daughters are into the intrigue and danger.

I’m not sure if Rhys Bowne will be writing any more standalone novels, but if she does, her next one will definitely be going on my to-read list. Pick up In Farleigh Field if you’re looking for an intriguing, entertaining whodunit with a bit of romantic thread for good measure.

I received an advance copy of this novel from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Constantine.
860 reviews167 followers
July 5, 2019
Rating: 4.0/5.0

I love historical novels. This was nicely written one. It takes place in World War 2 and it tells us the story of Lord Westerham's five daughters in Farleigh estate. One day they find a man in uniform dead on the estate so everyone thinks he might be a spy. Was he a spy? was he not? you should read to know.

The story is certainly not just about the five daughters although most of them except the elder (Olivia) have big parts in the novel. There is also a triangle love story going on between the middle daughter Pamela who is one of the main characters with two other main characters Ben and Jeremy.

First thing I have to say here is that the way the book is written makes you imagine the atmosphere of that era especially with the war going on. It was strange a bit because the book was not very descriptive in giving details about the locations yet to achieve that is remarkable.
There are many characters in this book and when a story sometimes have many characters you tend to get confused as to who is who but I did not find this problem in this novel because the characters were distinctive and were easy to follow.

The only negative thing I can think of this book is the format (I read the Kindle edition). It is a small annoyance but still sometimes feels irritating. At some chapters especially the last few chapters a scene and location changes without any page break to make you know that the scene ended. For example, you are reading about the boy and the girl inside the car and the next paragraph is inside the party which is a totally different scene. This might be a problem with ebook formatting and not the physical book. Not sure about that.

If you like historical novels set in World War II with spy characters then read this novel you will like it.
Note: I got this book for free by participating in a Goodreads giveaway.
Profile Image for Connie G.
1,735 reviews477 followers
April 11, 2021
A soldier falls to his death when his parachute fails to open, and is found on Lord Westerham's property. His identity is unknown and he is just carrying a photograph, so rumors spread that he is a German spy wearing an outdated British uniform. It's 1941 and the British fear an invasion by Germany. Some pro-German organizations in England believe that it would be in Great Britain's best interest to make peace with Germany to spare the destruction of Britain's most precious monuments.

The book is mostly told through the alternating points of view of lifelong friends Ben Cresswell and Pamela Sutton. They are unaware of the nature of each other's jobs, and sworn to secrecy. Ben works for M15, and Pamela is a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. Their mutual childhood friend, pilot Jeremy Prescott, has escaped from a Nazi POW camp and is recovering from his injuries. Even within the intelligence and military communities, it's hard to know who you can trust, and who could be a German plant for information. The story also shows the sacrifices and fears of the British community--rationing of food and petrol, gathering of metal, billeting soldiers, housing orphans, blackouts, and the danger of bombs.

Although this is a fairly light read, "In Farleigh Field" is suspenseful, romantic, and entertaining. This historical mystery kept me turning the pages late at night. 3.5 stars, rounded up.
Profile Image for Katerina.
832 reviews694 followers
June 15, 2020
Незамысловатый, приятно предсказуемый, оправдывающий абсолютно все читательские ожидания исторический детектив о попытках вычислить шпиона среди милейших жителей приятного местечка в часе езды от Лондона.

Быт и нравы британской аристократии, хрестоматийные типажи (несчастно влюблённый, первый парень на поместье, умная сестра, разбитная сестра, сестра-матрона, слишком сообразительный ребёнок, ну и так далее), много милых деталей — все для того, чтобы провести с книжкой ленивый летний вечер на качелях.

Отдельно хочется отметить прекрасный перевод Елены Сафф: каждое слово на своём месте, читаешь и киваешь, как здорово все сделано.
Profile Image for Leigh.
184 reviews
December 19, 2018
This book was an enjoyable read with great character and a storyline that interested me to the end. I found the over all plot slightly predictable but there was a few twist and turns that made up for that. A sound enjoyable read that had enough depth to keep me reading, 4 Stars!
Profile Image for Elizabeth Camden.
Author 28 books2,728 followers
July 7, 2017
I wanted to like this more than I did.....while I loved the premise (WWII code-breakers, spies, and aristocrats!) I felt like it came together too simplistically at the end. Still, it was an engaging read, but more of a "beach read" then powerful historical novel.
Profile Image for ✨Susan✨.
926 reviews183 followers
August 19, 2018
This is the first stand alone Rhys Bowen story I have read outside of her wonderful series, Her Royal Spyness. I enjoyed the historical fiction in this cloak and dagger mystery, but missed the humor and witty banter of her series.
Profile Image for Sydny Smith.
22 reviews
March 12, 2017
It seemed unfinished, like the last couple of chapters are an afterthought the author threw together just to be done with the book.
Profile Image for Siobhan.
4,564 reviews475 followers
February 26, 2017
In Farleigh Field turned out to be a very different read to what I had been anticipating. There is absolutely nothing wrong when such a thing happens, though, especially when I come to have a lot of fun with the book.

Most World War Two books I have read in the past have been of the high-octane, endless action variety. They pull you in from the start and every moment is filled with tension and suspense. Whilst In Farleigh Field takes a number of aspects from such books – spies, double agents, questionable characters, and mystery, to name a few – it doesn’t feel like many of the other historical fiction books I have read in this time period. It is a much lighter read, a cosy read in comparison to most.

Therefore, you should know in advance that this is not a heart-stopping mission through enemy territory. Rather, this is a much lighter read looking at the dynamics back home.

In fact, this story almost felt as though it could have fit any time period. The story was one that could have worked in a variety of ways; all that was needed was for the specific time period to be selected so that the necessary references could be made. Note, I’m not pointing this out as a flaw: I’m merely making an observation. It is one of those situations that can easily be twisted to tell a variety of tales, yet you’re getting no complaints about the way in which this one was told. It worked wonderful in the time it was set, giving us a cast of great characters against a wonderful backdrop.

From the start we’re pulled into the story, curious to see how things will play out. I admit that certain things were obvious from the get-go, but the specifics left me curious as to certain aspects of the story. Yes, I knew one of the people involved; but I knew there were more, and it was these others I was interested in puzzling out. Moreover, I was curious to see how all the deception would come together, as everyone in the story had something to hide. Whenever everyone is keeping the truth close to their chest, you know it’s only a matter of time until facts start to slip free, and I wanted to see what would happen when people started to find out about their close friends and relatives.

After all, this story was more about the dynamics of the characters than it was about the mystery. Yes, the mystery was fun; but what really held my attention was the way in which the characters were interacting. I quickly came to love the characters and wanted to know more about them, turning page after page so that I could see what happened next in their lives. I really was pulled in deep, completely immersed in their world. Honestly, the characters were so much fun. We have such a great cast, we follow so many interesting characters, and it was wonderful to see how everything came together for them all.

Just as a quick note, though, I wish to make a small point. There were some times where the wording used jarred with the time. For those who read a lot of historical fiction, such will disappoint them. It’s not often that this happens, but it can be seen. Those who don’t read all that much of the genre, I cannot imagine it will be quite so off putting. Nevertheless, every so often it happened and it disappointed me. It was only small things, but it was enough to pull me out of the story for a moment.

Overall, though, I had so much fun with this one. It was a wonderful read, light and addictive throughout, pulling me into the world and refusing to let go. It’s certainly worth the read if you enjoy cosy historical fiction.

As a final note, I would like to thank the publisher for contacting me for a review. I really appreciate being given the chance to advance read this one!
Profile Image for Thomas George Phillips.
381 reviews22 followers
August 24, 2022
This Novel begins in August 1939, and England is on the verge of a possible invasion from Germany. The setting is in Kent at Farleigh, the ancestral home of Lord and Lady Westerham. The Novel is replete with dozens of characters, including the five daughters of his Lordship and her Ladyship. There is a spy in England who plans to carry out an assassination of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. MI5 has the task in exposing the plot and the people involved. Ms. Bowen was in her element, once again, writing historical fiction with fascinating and colorful characters.
Profile Image for Kirsten .
1,610 reviews259 followers
May 28, 2017
A very enjoyable historical novel set in WWII around the time of the Blitz. There are Army billeted in a large house, an aristocratic family of five daughters, a vicar's son, RAF pilots, Gestapo, etc.

The story is very solid, but - like other reviewers - I did find it predictable. I usually never guess the culprit - but I did in this case.

It was a lot of fun and a nice cozy way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,863 reviews18 followers
June 1, 2017
With the Enemy right in sight,
And with thighs clutched together tight,
Nancy "Pammy" Drew
Ends WW2
Then teas with Churchill, all is right.
Profile Image for Tracy.
585 reviews43 followers
September 30, 2020
I listened to this on Audible. I thought the narrator did a great job.

I've recently read or listened to all of Rhys Bowen's standalone historical fiction books including The Tuscan Child, The Victory Garden and now this one. This one is by far my favorite of the three.

It's set in World War II and you visit Bletchley Park, a big English country estate, London, the Paris Ritz, Gestapo headquarters and more.

There is no graphic torture or rape. Just a well done historical novel with the stress of spies and war!
Profile Image for RoseMary Achey.
1,374 reviews
September 29, 2017
A highly enjoyable historical mystery taking place in England during WWII. The war is bringing rapid change to Lord Westerham and his family living in their ancestral home of Farleigh Place an hour outside of London. The fear of German spies infiltrating their small community is ever present and when a soldier falls to his death on Farleigh Field during a failed parachute jump, questions begin as to the soldiers true intent.
Profile Image for G.J..
297 reviews61 followers
January 18, 2018
3.5* This was an easy light read, quite entertaining, but nothing of historical interest. The plot was a bit far fetched and I felt the ending was rushed.
Profile Image for Victoria Thompson.
Author 67 books2,194 followers
February 15, 2018
Another great read from Rhys Bowen.

A great adventure back in time with characters you'll love. No wonder this book has been nominated for so many a wards.
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