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The Spies of Shilling Lane

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  3,416 ratings  ·  754 reviews
Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband’s selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets her hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left—her clever daughter Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war.
 
But when
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Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Crown
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Jennifer Ryan When I was researching my last book, a twinkly-eyed older lady told me her memories from the war. She worked for MI5, the main spying agency based in …moreWhen I was researching my last book, a twinkly-eyed older lady told me her memories from the war. She worked for MI5, the main spying agency based in Britain, as a secretary--although I wondered if she was more than that, as she told me that she signed the Official Secret Act and couldn't talk about her work. But she did tell me that her mother was appalled that her only daughter wasn't getting married but had moved to London to do something so unladylike. The tale was hilarious, and the woman an absolute gem, and it was in imagining her as a girl that I formed the character for Betty. The bombastic mother, of course, became our beloved Mrs. Braithwaite.(less)
Jennifer Ryan Not a sequel, but we're still in Second World War England and the atmosphere, drama, and humor are similar, although the story is more of a warmhearte…moreNot a sequel, but we're still in Second World War England and the atmosphere, drama, and humor are similar, although the story is more of a warmhearted thriller. It's a tale of a woman from a village going in search of her daughter in London, only to find her missing. If you loved THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR, you'll definitely enjoy this one! (less)

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  3,416 ratings  ·  754 reviews


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Thomas
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cozy mystery fans
Shelves: netgalley, spy
4 stars for a light, enjoyable mystery/ romance/character study.
The blurb sets the premise of the story: "Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband’s selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets her hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left—her clever daughter Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war. "
It is March, 1941 and Mrs. B
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Katie B
2.5 stars

Not quite what I expected. Given the story is about a woman searching for her missing daughter during World War 2, I assumed going in this would be a heavy read but instead it had more of a cozy mystery vibe to it. So that threw me for a loop and probably had some effect on my enjoyment of the novel.

Mrs. Braithwaite has been pretty much ostracized since her divorce. Given it's the 1940s, attitudes are it's always the wife's fault when her husband leaves her. Too make matters worse, we
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Erin
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Pub Day

After reading The Chilbury Ladies Choir back in March, I knew I wanted to read the author's second WWII era novel that is being released in June 2019. Jennifer Ryan's Mrs. Braithwaite is another nominee for favorite character of 2019.

Ousted from her local WVS ( Women's Voluntary Services) branch and treated like a pariah since her husband divorced her and left her for another woma
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Liz
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Mrs. Braithwaite was not initially my cup of tea. Brash, overbearing and opinionated, I could understand why the ladies of the WVS had pushed her out of her position as chairwoman. She comes to London to see her daughter, only to find her missing. Like a steamroller, she plows over everything and everyone in her path. Her main concern is how to measure success in one’s life. She’s actually comedic with her views on life. “You saw the European history books on Baxter’s shelf. And the philosophy!. ...more
Tammy
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was charmed and delighted by The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. Unfortunately, Ryan’s second effort was neither charming nor delightful. The characters are caricatures and the dialogue is cliché. Would you believe the leader of a gang of thugs would signal an attack by shouting out “charge?” Seriously, “my darling” this is but one example. Let’s not forget a prisoner accidentally falls out of a van as a means of escape. Spare me. If this was intended to be a melodramatic farce it succeeds but I’m not ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
3 stars Thank you to Penguin First to Read and Crown for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published June 4, 2019.

London, WWII, spies and a mother/daughter situation. Controlling, busybody Mother went in search of her daughter in London. Once there she finds out that she had been lied to and daughter Betty is missing. Betty is involved with M15 and is a spy. However Mom has been keeping a few secrets from Betty also.

Personally I did not connect very well with any of the characters - oth
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Lisa Wolf
Jennifer Ryan is the author of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, one of my favorite reads of the past couple of years -- and she strikes gold yet again with her newest novel, The Spies of Shilling Lane. Here, we meet the intimidating Mrs. Braithwaite, pushed out of her leadership position with her village women's volunteer corps after one too many criticisms and commands aimed at the other women. Feeling utterly rejected, Mrs. Braithwaite decides to go visit her 21-year-old daughter Betty, who left th ...more
❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀
4 stars. Review tomorrow.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Actual rating 3.5 stars.
Lata
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x2019-read, auth-f
Mrs. Braithewaite is amusing, straightforward, somewhat status obsessed (thanks to the influence of a now-dead aunt), and a bit of a bulldozer in her personal relationships. When she's ousted from her position in her village, she rushes to London to see her daughter, Betty, to share a scandalous secret with her. Turns out, Betty's missing, and Mrs. Braithewaite enlists the aid of Betty's landlord, Mr. Norris, in finding Betty. They turn up a variety of unexpected things, including some scary men ...more
CallMeAfterCoffee
Thanks to netgalley for the eArc for review. Unfortunately this book and I didn't get along. I was expecting a heavier read, something more hard-hitting, but I was left feeling like these characters lacked depth. The Characters came across very one dimensional and bland, and the arcs were so predictable.

There were parts here and there that I didn't mind, but a lot of the dialogue felt juvenile, or forced. Especially the way Betty's romance is explained. By 80% things felt wrapped up and then th
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Julie  Durnell
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk
Another great book by Jennifer Ryan. I so enjoyed the spy plot of the story but Mrs. Braithwaite and the timid Mr. Norris were the stars of this book set in London during WWII. Mrs. Braithwaite's growth from the insensitive and cold-hearted divorced woman in the start to how she reconnects with her daughter and melts that cold heart, learning how love changes everything, makes for a terrific book!
Debbie
May 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir was my favorite book club read last year. It doesn’t bode well for The Spies of Shilling Lane that the first thing I say is how much I loved Jennifer Ryan’s previous book. Somehow the story of Mrs. Braithwaite going to London to search for her missing daughter during World War II just fell flat for me. I had a hard time believing both the plot developments and characters. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir I could not put down. I had a hard time convincing myself to finish The ...more
Tina Woodbury
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The story opens with Mrs. Braithwaite being demoted from the head of the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS). She is upset and stunned that she has been treated this way. She has recently divorced her husband and now finds her life in turmoil. She decides a visit to London is long overdue to visit with her only daughter Betty.

Upon arriving in London Mrs. Braithwaite meets Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord, and learns that she has been missing for four days. She is shocked that no one has reached out to h
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Faith
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, overdrive, dnf
Note to self: do not try this author again.
Sarah Juhant
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I absolutely loved Jennifer Ryan's first book The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. That book was unique with many different voices. I loved the epistolary style, and there was enough drama to keep me interested.

The Spies of Shilling Lane fell flat for me. Throughout the whole book the writing lacked a richness that made me want to keep reading. I was confused about how the reader is supposed to feel about Mrs. Braithwaite at the beginning. Her development from a seriou
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Lindsey (Bring My Books)
Having read & enjoyed Jennifer Ryan's previous work, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, I was really looking forward to this title! As I started reading, I realized I didn't really remember too much of the CLC (other than liking it), but this does not affect the readability of this book at all - it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. (Although I rather hope it's the beginning of a new series, especially as the ending was left wide open for a sequel!)

For a book about a missing daughter during the B
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Maine Colonial
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The publisher provided a free advance reviewing copy of the book, via Netgalley.

I enjoyed Ryan’s first novel, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, and expected this would be similar, since it’s also about women in World War II England. Well, yes, but it’s as if Ms. Ryan, having had some success with her first novel, decided to really let ‘er rip.

Everything about this novel is over the top. There is an espionage plot that is completely bananas, with twists and turns, B-movie bad guys, feats of derring-do
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Annie
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
After the heavy reading I’ve been doing lately, I needed something a bit lighter. A book set in London during the Blitz centered on a mother looking for her lost daughter, such as Jennifer Ryan’s The Spies of Shilling Lane, doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice. But from the first chapter, I knew I was going to be entertained. Mrs. Braithwaite, the primary protagonist of the novel, is the epitome of the British battle axe. She is so bombastic and domineering that she has just been kicked out ...more
Niki (nikilovestoread)
This was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. It was so much fun to read! Mrs. Braithwaite, whose life has fallen apart around her in her small village of Ashcombe, England in 1941, decides to visit her daughter, Betty, in London only to find that she is missing. No one has seen her for days. Mrs. Braithwaite, never one to sit idly by, sets out to find her daughter, dragging Betty's timid landlord, Mr. Norris, with her. They get into one thrilling scrape after another in their searc ...more
Allison
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems odd to call this WWII spy story cozy and charming, but Jennifer Ryan has a knack for recreating a world which brings to mind the song, “There’ll always be an England.” There is no wondering who are the good guys or the bad, but going back to a time when honorable men and women fought against the Nazis and the reader knows exactly who to root for.
When first we meet Mrs. Braithwaite, the domineering, cold, and supremely self confident head of the women volunteers in her village, we learn
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Lori
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a big fan of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, I was delighted to be able to read an advance copy of Ryan's latest book, The Spies of Shilling Lane. The book did not disappoint. Like Chilbury, this book is largely about the home front in England during WWII, although it was not confined to village life this time. Although I found some of the spying parts of the book far-fetched, it did not distract from my enjoyment of the story. There are great characters who have touching transformations over the ...more
Jo
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Spies of Shilling Lane By Jennifer Ryan
Jennifer Ryan became one of my favorite authors after I read her delightful Chilbury Ladies' Choir.
The Spies of Shilling lane, brings us the wonderful Mrs. Braithwaite, who truly is an unstoppable force. Shes very fixed in her views. But when her husband suddenly leaves and divorces her, her world as she knows it unravels.
She's fired from her position as head of her local Women’s Voluntary Society. With her bruised ego and sense of injustice, she head
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Suzanne Kelman
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fun, a great follow up book to the The Chiltern Ladies Choir. Light, and enjoyable, perfect for a rainy day in front of the fire.
Julie
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, fiction, audio-books
Lots of fun! I loved that the heroine was not a pretty young thing, but rather a middle-aged woman, with a reputation for being domineering. Definitely recommended. The narrator, Jayne Entwistle, has a good voice for this kind of novel.
Maureen DeLuca
I'm having a hard time rating this book. I went into this as a historical fiction - which it is, but having said that- This read more like a 'cozy mystery' ---- I did wind up finishing the book, and it wasn't all that bad ( I did skim towards the end, for I just wanted to get done with it!)

This really is the first time I read a historical fiction, written the way a cozy mystery would be written. So if you are looking for something on the lighter side- and you like historical fictions and you en
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Mary
The Spies of Shilling Lane is a sweet story revolving around a mother trying to find her daughter in the midst of the chaos of World War II. Mrs. Braithwaite is your classic village busybody--she has opinions on how things ought to be done, and she delights in being at the top of the social food chain. When her husband divorces her, her world comes crashing down as she is shunned by the other women in her village. Finding herself with no friends or allies, Mrs. Braithwaite decides that it's the ...more
Renee
The Spies of Shilling Lane

If you enjoy Foyle’s War & Bletchley Circle, you’re likely to enjoy The Spies of Shilling Lane. This is the charming story of how Mrs. Braithwaite goes off to London in search of her daughter and ends up finding herself. Mrs. Braithwaite comes to terms with her past, learns compassion, and opens her closed off heart. The scenes where Mrs. B. reaches out to a young woman who is seriously wounded when she heroically saves a classroom of children were especially touching.
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Gail
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not as good as The Chilbury Ladies Choir, but still very entertaining. I absolutely loved Mrs Braithwaite!
Sue Seligman
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Jennifer Ryan’s first novel, The Chilbury Ladies Choir and when I heard that her second book was about to be published I was really excited. The Spies of Shilling Lane is also set in England during World War II but that is where the similarity ends. The main character in this novel is a matronly woman, Mrs. Braithwaite, who until very recently, enjoyed the respect and fear of the women in her village. She called the shots in the Women’s Volunteer Service of Abscombe Village un ...more
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945 followers
Jennifer grew up in the British countryside with a penchant for climbing trees and a wonderful grandmother who told her hilarious stories about the Second World War.

As an adult, she became a nonfiction book editor, first editing politics and economics at The Economist Books, and then moving on to the BBC, DK, and other publishers, editing books on health, cooking, wine, and history.

All this time,
...more

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