Book Review: A Spying Eye


In this sixth book of the series, Clive and Henrietta return to Europe in an attempt to resurrect their failed honeymoon. While in London, they are approached by their old friend, Inspector John Hartle, who convinces them to search for the missing panel of the Ghent Altarpiece, a famous Renaissance painting, of which Hitler’s top men are also in pursuit.

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Oldrich Exley threatens to cut off financial support for the entire Von Harmon brood if Elsie continues with her plan to marry Gunther—a situation made worse by the sudden appearance of one Heinrich Meyer, who claims to be little Anna’s father and threatens to take her away. Desperate, Elsie seeks the help of Clive’s sister, Julia, who is herself the victim of domestic abuse and who has fallen under the spell of a handsome Texas millionaire bent on acquiring a rare painting from the Howard collection.

Clive and Henrietta’s search takes them to Chateau du Freudeneck in Strasbourg, France—the ancient seat of the Von Harmons and home to three eccentric distant relatives. What begins as a wild goose chase turns decidedly more deadly when several Nazi officers also arrive at the chateau in search of a “valuable item.” When Henrietta and Clive attempt to flee after Henrietta uncovers a shocking truth, they are forced to trust themselves to a suspicious French servant who seems all-too willing to help . . .

Book Review:

I am a fan of this series. It is one of the best historical fiction series I have read in a long while. With each book I grown so much closer to the characters that I no longer look at them as characters in a story but as family.

Clive and Henrietta just get better and better. While, they have done some mystery solving on their own and are good at it, they shine the brightest when they are together solving cases. In addition, it was nice to see the two sisters of Clive and Henrietta, Elise and Julia again. they are started to become more prominent in this series.

I do agree with another reader that with the multiple characters and storylines, it did seem like there was multiple stories in one book. However, Michelle does a wonderful job of meshing all of them together so that they flow nicely into one another. I "spy" with my little eye another great book by Michelle with the sixth book in this series...A Spying Eye!

Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents.  She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there.

Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something.  Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music.  Also marmalade.


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