The Scent of Secrets
by Jane Thynne
Trade Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Released: September 15, 2015
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Amazon:
Actress Clara Vine is half-British, half-German. She uses her unique access to the upper echelons of pre-war Nazi society to spy for her native Britain. Clara is asked by British intelligence to get close to Eva Braun and glean as much as she can about the Führer’s plans.
Clara has already established friendships with several high-ranking Nazi wives, but Hitler keeps his "secret" girlfriend obsessively hidden. Eva is a fan of Clara's work, though, and sent her a fan letter. When they meet, Eva offers to make a custom perfume for Clara--a hobby of Eva's. But her new friendship draws attention and danger.
From the gilded halls of the decadent City of Light to the cobbled, quaint streets of Munich, and even to the chilling, rarefied air of the Berghof, Hitler’s private mountaintop retreat, Clara flirts with discovery at every turn—and a dangerous, devious plot unfolds.
The Scent of Secrets is a spy thriller set in 1938 mainly in Germany. It's the third book in a series, but you don't need to read the previous books to follow this one. This book didn't spoil the previous plots. In fact, I didn't even realize it was a part of a series until I started writing this review. It explains something that puzzled me, which is why Clara stayed in Germany even though she was suspected as a spy and in danger. If the series is to continue, though, then she has to stay.
The suspense came from the ongoing threat of getting caught spying. The story was rich in historical detail. At times, it was a history lecture with detailed descriptions of a place, policy, or scandal. I enjoyed this detail, but you'll find it slow if you want your spy thrillers full of fast-paced action. The main characters were interesting and had complex motives behind their actions. Clara was brave and could be caring and clever. But she was also manipulative, which I guess is good in a spy.
There was a minor amount of bad language. Sex occurred, but there were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this novel to those interested in this period of history.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.