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Death in Focus

(Elena Standish #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  564 ratings  ·  164 reviews
In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre-World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her imperiled lover's final, urgent message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power.

On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, twenty-eight-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister Margot have finally been able to forget some of t
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Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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The Library Lady
A new series by Perry,, who seems to have had enough of Pitt and Monk. But as I mentioned in a review of one of the Daniel Pitt books I find him less engrossing than I do his father, and the same applies here with Elena, whom I find to be a pretty weak character. The plot twists at the end are less than believable, and if Perry insists on continuing this series, I hope that future volumes are written to the high standard that has marked her work for so long.
Laurie
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1933 Hitler and the Nazi party are on the rise in Germany. In Berlin, a city filled with fear and distrust, Elena Standish finds herself alone and under suspicion in the wake of the assassination of a prominent Nazi. In order to save herself and protect what is most important to her she must learn just how resourceful and courageous she can be.

This story kept me enthralled from beginning to end. The plot, the setting, the characters…are all powerful, intricate and gripping. The plot weaves s
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Bonnye Reed
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free electronic ARC copy of this British suspense novel from Netgalley, Anne Perry, and Random House - Ballantine. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.

Anne Perry brings us another excellent suspense series! Death in Focus is the first in a series featuring Elena Standish, hopeful photographer, set in the pre-WWII year 1933 in England, Germany and a bit of Fran
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eyes.2c
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interbellum intrigue!

What would you do if you'd been having a grand old time on the Amalfi Coast and then discovered a body in a hotel laundry cupboard. It's 1931, Elena Standish Is working as a photographer at an economics conference. Her sister Margot, who marches to the beat of her own drum, came along for the ride. The opening scene captures this so vividly. At some point Elena decides to join the young man, Ian Newton, who was with her when the body made its presence felt, on a
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Julianne Bailey
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a promising start to a new series by the author of one of my favorite series (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt). I loved the historical detail. I studied abroad twice in Germany during college and am fascinated by Germany between the wars. She captured the essence of the Times perfectly, in my opinion, and really avoided anachronistic dialogue and thoughts. My favorite character was Lucas Standish by far, and also Josephine.

I did have a difficult time relating to Elena at times. She just didn
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Kim
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
The protagonist, Elena Standish, has made mistakes that have caused lasting damage to herself and her family. Unfortunately, she keeps repeating the same basic mistakes that come with inexperience and naivete. While Perry is not going to cut her main character a break, she does give her the spirit and determination to bring a house of cards down all around her. She falls in love in a minute, she jumps on a train with a self-imposed challenge to slay the perceived dragons and in doing so exposes ...more
Sophia
First there were her Victorians and then her WWI thrillers, but the latest new series is set an exciting and edgy pre-dawn of WWII. An intrepid heroine who thought of herself as rather average and the family failure until a dying spy gives her a quest that sends her into the heart of the Nazis to save her country from war.

Elena Standish failed her family and herself when she fell in love with a man who betrayed their country and her. She was a top prospect for the foreign office and
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Kaitlyn Dunnett
I've read the first seven chapters and I'm not sure I'll finish this one. From the start, I've had a hard time relating to Elena, who's supposed to be the central character (her grandfather is much more appealing) and that was before she started behaving like a Gothic heroine who's TSTL (too stupid to live). I will read further, in the hope Ms. Perry will surprise me. She's a good writer and capable of pulling off a plot that, despite many twists and turns, proves logical in the end. Just now, t ...more
Rachel
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Death in Focus by Anne Perry is an amazing, gripping, suspenseful, and fabulous historical fiction/mystery novel. This is the first in a series (with hopefully many more books to come) involving Elena Standish. We are first introduced to her with hints of a recent past of an honest mistake that may have had multiple repercussions (Ms Perry does not show all her cards on this one which is exciting as it can be used to draw on for future material) and trying to find herself and pick up the pieces ...more
Lynn Horton
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Death in Focus is between a 3.5 and 4 star for me, but because I think this new series has potential, I'm rounding up to 4.

I've read Perry for years (decades?), and enjoy her work. This protagonist (Elena Standish) has a lot of potential, but I'd like this story to have given me a little more backstory about her so that I could begin to form my own opinion about what brings her to the literary table. Also, it seems that Perry's stories are containing an increasing amount of inner dia
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Anne Slater
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hurrah! I'm so happy that Ms Perry has discovered Elena and her family (I want to see/read more about her wildly conventional sister Margot, her utterly conservative parents, Katherine and Charles (names of 2 of my siblings) to say nothing of her hardy and intriguing grandparents Josephine and Lucas (and the dog, Toby).

Upon finishing the book, I at first thought "This is as much a broad introduction to Elena and her place in her geographical and demographic milieu as a mystery." But
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Rachel
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death in Focus by Anne Perry is an amazing, gripping, suspenseful, and fabulous historical fiction/mystery novel. This is the first in a series (with hopefully many more books to come) involving Elena Standish. We are first introduced to her with hints of a recent past of an honest mistake that may have had multiple repercussions (Ms Perry does not show all her cards on this one which is exciting as it can be used to draw on for future material) and trying to find herself and pick up the pieces ...more
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
A decent effort by grande dame of historical mysteries, though I expected more, much more of this new series by the masterful Anne Perry, one of my favorite authors. The pre-WWII world period of 1930's Europe is well-trod land these days in historical mystery writing, so the bar is set high. The thoughtful, often prolonged, inner dialogue that is effective in Perry's other fiction is not as well suited in this more modern setting here. Characters are thinly drawn, and the plot teeters a bit. All ...more
Janice
Anne Perry has been one of my favorite authors for several years, and so I was happy to have the opportunity to read this first in a new series which I was provided by Netgalley, the author, and Penguin Random House.
The central character here is Elena Standish, a young British woman who, while on holiday in Amalfi becomes unwillingly involved in espionage that is ongoing during the build-up to WWII. In a few short but traumatic days she finds herself in Berlin, running for her life, a scapegoat
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Donna
Pre-War World War II

Elena Standish, along with her sister Margot are in Amalfi, Italy for an economist convention. Elena is a photographer along to snap photos of the conference.

While in Amalfi, she meets handsome Ian Newton. They meet for dinner and start becoming enamored with one another. After a fashion, he asks to come along to Paris with him. Accepting the invitation, she leaves her sister a note to the fact she is on her way to Paris. Boarding a train to Paris, the
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Coleen
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elena Standish is a new character for Anne Perry who is well- known for her William Monk and Thomas and Charles Pitt [London and Victorian era] series.

This new series is post The Great War with hints of another war to come. Spies, well-bred families, and deaths of family members in the Great War abound in the story.
Elena is a photographer and I thought there might be more about her photos or picture taking in the book, but that could be in the future. As it was, there was some tricky back
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Cynthia
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I give a 4 star rating for the wealth of historical perspective, & it's easy readability. I had it at a solid 4 star, until the end....when I might've wavered to a 3.5 in rating due to the surprise ending...I just didn't know if it 'fit' (it came quick & I didn't see that coming!), but maybe it does...?! It certainly sets up the series, I think! I'll definitely continue on with it, & see where it goes.
This might read easily in the same vein as a Victoria Thompson or Rhys Bowen
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Kathleen Freeman
I have to say I really enjoyed this book, although Elena was a bit naive at times. The time period is so interesting, I look forward to more books in this series.
Jane Cordingley
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A different character for Anne Perry - interesting, a lot she can do from here.
Dawn Teresa
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death in Focus is the start of a brand-new series from the popular and prolific historical mystery novelist, Anne Perry. Getting in on the ground floor of a new series as it's being released is always fun, so I seized upon this chance to read my first (gasp) Anne Perry.

When the curtain opens on Elena Standish, it's 1933 and she is on the paradisiacal Amalfi Coast in the south of Italy. Elena is a photographer on assignment to cover an economic conference. Her older sister Margot has
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Rick
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, my first by Anne Perry, as it takes place in pre-war Europe of 1933. Excellent characters, a few twists and it all comes together at the very end.
Ray Palen
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As I settled into this new novel from the great Anne Perry, the first in another series from her, I expected a relaxing departure from her other work and perhaps a more laid-back sort of mystery involving a young woman who is a shutter-bug, trekking across Europe. I could not have been more wrong!

DEATH IN FOCUS is the firs Elena Standish novel. The cover depicts a young woman with an expensive camera hanging from a shoulder-strap. She also is donned in a feminine trench-coat along wi
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joyce w. laudon
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kudos to Anne Perry! She is not an author who rests on her laurels. Ms. Perry recently started a series with Daniel Pitt, son of long-term series regulars Thomas and Charlotte and now, she has started a series featuring Elena Standish. This novel takes place as Hitler is rising to power in Germany.

The characters in the family...Elena is an aspiring photographer. Her sister Margot was widowed shortly after marrying during WWI. Grandfather Lucas was in MI6 during WWI and maintains his connections
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Lisa
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I must be one of the very few people who have not read anything by this author. I have only started reading mysteries in the past year. They must be in a certain time frame (WWI-WWII), and preferably set in the British Isles or continental Europe. I have been pleasantly surprised to find many wonderful books that fit this criteria, and this book was no exception. I am so glad that it is touted as ‘Elena Standish #1’, because I can’t wait to read more. The story is told from several points of vie ...more
LJ
First Sentence: Elena narrowed her eyes against the dazzling sunlight reflected off the sea.

On a vacation in Italy with her sister Margot, Elena Stanford meets Walter Mann and Ian Newton. An immediate attraction causes Elena to go with Ian to Berlin after a message compels him there. A shocking event and a request from Ian sends Elena on to Berlin, and into a danger from which she may not escape.

Perry masterfully sets the stage, lulling one into a sense of elegance, music
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Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
As I settled into this novel from the great Anne Perry, which kicks off an all-new series, I expected a relaxing departure from her other work and perhaps a more laid-back sort of mystery involving a young woman who is a shutterbug, trekking across Europe. I could not have been more wrong.

DEATH IN FOCUS is set in the year 1933. World War I is in the past, but there is a fervor growing within a few European countries that shrewd political analysts would recognize as being the start of
...more
Bookreporter.com Historical Fiction
As I settled into this novel from the great Anne Perry, which kicks off an all-new series, I expected a relaxing departure from her other work and perhaps a more laid-back sort of mystery involving a young woman who is a shutterbug, trekking across Europe. I could not have been more wrong.

DEATH IN FOCUS is set in the year 1933. World War I is in the past, but there is a fervor growing within a few European countries that shrewd political analysts would recognize as being the start of
...more
Theresa Larson
World War I has drawn to a close, and Europe is still hopeful that this “Great War” will be the war to end all wars. However, at this time, there are already rumblings that things are not ok, and peace is not safe.

After a terrible romantic involvement with a man who would become a traitor to his country, Elena Standish decides to focus on her photography. Her photography takes her to Italy to photograph an economic conference. Although not looking for a male companion, she finds one
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Louise
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I received a copy of Death in Focus in a Goodreads giveaway. I have read all of Anne Perry's novels and my reaction to Death in Focus was more visceral than any of the others. I assume this is because the novel takes place between World War I and World War II as Hitler is coming into power. Elena's father is in the diplomatic corp and her grandfather was head of MI6, although no one in the family knows. She also lost a brother in World War I. Elena is a compelling heroine. I admired her greatly ...more
Leigh
The start of a new series, Anne Perry moves out of the Victorian era and into the depression. It's the 1930's and there is a fragile peace in the world, but while most are eager to move on and forget the war, and hope it never happens again, others know that the newly elected Hitler could be looking for revenge for the humiliating defeat in the previous war. Into this mix we meet Elena. She and her sister Margot are touring Italy, Elena to photograph a conference, Margot just to tag along. Elena ...more
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TELLING THE WHOLE PLOT 1 2 Sep 24, 2019 11:09AM  
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Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is a British historical novelist.

Juliet took the name "Anne Perry," the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many of them feature a number of recu
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“You deliberately don’t ask the questions to which you would rather not know the answers. You call it trust. You know too late that it is cowardice.” 0 likes
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