Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Doris Winter is accused of stealing a valuable item from a famous Hollywood movie star, now a captain in the US Army Air Corps, after a dance at the air base in England where he’s stationed. Gathering her close friends together, she’s determined to clear her name.
Ruth’s POW son suffers a life-changing injury just as her own cottage takes damage in an air raid and Penny’s estranged little sister unexpectedly turns up, having run away from school. Together with the ongoing thefts of items of clothing and surprise personal revelations, these all threaten to hamper their investigation.
In spite of the worsening war situation, they must band together to rise above their troubles and prove love and friendship is worth fighting for.
What I Thought:
It was my pleasure to read and review the first book in The Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club last year, and now those smart, brave women are back in the second novel in the series, Wild Blue Yonder.
Once again the ATA ladies at Hamble are solving a mystery – this time a valuable souvenir is missing – while experiencing love and loss, and transporting some incredible planes across the country, working towards the war effort.
As I said with the previous novel, it’s great to see a group of strong, capable women come to the fore in a story about the war, which is so often dominated with accounts of the male experience.
If you’ve never read about the ATA, it was an incredible organisation, dominated by women who flew factory-new planes from air base to air base around the UK, before they were combat ready – as in, no radios and often without instruments. This may not have been combat, but it was vital to the war effort and often looked down upon by the male pilots they came into contact with.
I would say that, while I enjoyed the first book, this one was even better – no bad thing for a series! The relationships that were built in book one are consolidated here, and made stronger when potential tragedy hits home directly with a stray bomb. Having said that, however, you could certainly read this book as a standalone novel, as there is the right level of recapping to make sure you can follow along.
Mick Arnold’s work on recreating the time period is excellent, and his own knowledge of being part of the forces definitely comes in to play (although, yes, I know the ATA is not strictly part of that) and there is just enough background so you know where you are, but not so much that it takes you out of the action.
I wanted to (without spoliers) touch on a moment that resonates in the book regarding an air crash. I felt that this part of the book was done extremely well, giving a moment of profound sadness in what is otherwise, in general, a pretty joyful book. It served as a useful reminder that for all the larks that ladies of the mystery club have, this is still wartime, and there is still tragedy close by.
I spotted yesterday that there is a third book in this series on the way – excellent news, and one I’ll be keeping an eye out for later in the year…
Wild Blue Yonder is published by The Wild Rose Press.
About the Author:
Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. He’s replaced it somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.
He’s the proud keeper of two cats bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and humoring his Manchester United-supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. Wild Blue Yonder is the second novel in his Broken Wings series and he is very proud to be a part of the Vintage Rose Garden at The Wild Rose Press.
This blog tour is to celebrate the publication of Wild Blue Yonder – check out the other participating blogs below for more exclusive content and reviews.
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.