A Valiant Deceit (An Olive Bright Mystery)

Written by Stephanie Graves
Review by Valerie Adolph

Set in rural England in 1941, this mystery with an element of romance is the second in a series about Olive Bright and her pigeons. Olive is proud that her homing pigeons are trained and sufficiently fit to be sent to occupied Europe and to fly back carrying important messages to her in England.

The novel is principally focused on her detective work as she struggles to discover the identity of the killer of the man whose body is found by a troop of Girl Guides in the woodland. Distracting her are her feelings for her superior officer, the handsome but emotionally remote Captain Jameson Aldridge.

The author, a Texan, has tried valiantly to recreate wartime life in a small English village. She has more success in showing the role of pigeons in warfare and the deep suffering of the injured military personnel who are recovering in facilities near the village. Olive Bright has the potential to become a distinctly unique character, illuminating little known aspects of wartime England.