It’s complicated, and so well written that the story kept me engaged throughout! I wasn’t sure about Mary Anne Evans as I haven’t read any of her other works, but I’d certainly look at reading another if it’s in a similar vein to this one.

The context of the story is New Orleans, 1944. Women are key members of the workforce with so many men at war. So many mundane but critical tasks are undertaken on a daily basis. Both the on-and-on (long hours of grunt work) and the dedication of all is evident. Also, the incredible mind of the protagonist is on display. Her unique personal history contributes to her value, as well as her becoming curious about what she is seeing around her. She asks different questions. Equipment failure? Sabotage?. Who does she confide in about the possibility of spies being in their midst? Why is her long-standing ‘aunt’ behaving so strangely?

This is also a story of friendship; sharing, confiding, misunderstanding, loyalty and trust. I wonder what that means for the next in this historic mystery series?

My thanks to #Netgalley Poisoned Pen Press and the author, Mary Anna Evans, for my advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

From the back cover:

No one can be trusted. The fate of a country is at stake. And everything depends on the physicists’ daughter.

New Orleans, 1944.

Sabotage. That’s the word on factory worker Justine Byrne’s mind as she is repeatedly called to weld machine parts that keep failing with no clear cause. Could someone inside the secretive Carbon Division be deliberately undermining the factory’s Allied war efforts?

Raised by her late parents to think logically, she also can’t help wondering just what the oddly shaped carbon gadgets she assembles day after day have to do with the boats the factory builds. When a crane inexplicably crashes to the factory floor, leaving a woman dead, Justine can no longer ignore her nagging fear that German spies are at work within the building, trying to put the factory and its workers out of commission.

Unable to trust anyone―not the charming men vying for her attention, not her unpleasant boss, and not even the women who work beside her―Justine draws on the legacy of her unconventional upbringing to keep her division running and protect her coworkers, her country, and herself from a war that is suddenly very close to home.

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