It’s 1938. Germany has become a police state. The citizens are under constant scrutiny. Jews must be home by curfew and are no longer allowed to hold many jobs.
Clara Vine is an actress, half-German, half-English. Her career allows her to travel in and out of Germany with a little more freedom. Both of these things make her an ideal spy for England.
Her new assignment is to get close to Eva Braun, Hitler’s girlfriend, and find out everything she can about Hitler’s plans. The problem is that Braun is kept hidden, and under almost constant guard.
First things first, this is book three in the Clara Vine series. I didn’t realize that until after I started reading, though I didn’t feel like I was missing any important information as I read. I bought this one, thinking it was the first in the series, after I bought “The Pursuit of Pearls” which I thought was a stand-alone novel at the time. The back cover led me to believe that “Scent of Secrets” is the first in the series, but it’s not.
That being said, the novel it ok. The plot keeps you on your toes, and I enjoyed the characterizations for the most part. My biggest issue was the constant scene-setting. Clara walks into a room and we get a long, detailed description of colors, furniture, people, etc. There also seemed to be a lot of unnecessary historical detail. The novel was obviously amazingly researched, but these things really took me out of the story and slowed the pace.
The subplot with Rosa felt a little overdone for me, but the main plot kept me intrigued enough to finish.
The best parts were when the characters were interacting. The dialogue was crisp and kept me turning pages.
If I hadn’t already purchased “The Pursuit of Pearls” I may not read any more Clara Vine novels, but I’m going to give it a shot.
1) Overall Plot = 3.5
2) Characters = 4
3) Flow/Pace of the story = 3
4) Is the story easy to follow? = 4
5) Overall Enjoyability = 3
Average score of 3.5 out of 5