Spitfire: A Livy Nash Mystery (A Livy Nash Mystery)

Written by M. L. Huie
Review by India Edghill

World War II is over, but 1946 Britain is still on rationing, half of London is rubble, and former SOE member Livy Nash is an aimless alcoholic. Her psychological wounds from the war remain agonizingly fresh, and she’s one rent check away from homelessness when Ian Fleming (yes, that Ian Fleming) gambles on her former Resistance skills and recruits her. Livy learns that the Nazis had a massive network of agents in place during the war—and that the agents of that network are still in place. Fleming is one of many who are already preparing for the next war; that list of agents will be vital.

Livy takes on the task and heads to Paris, hoping to solve a mystery of her own: Who was the traitor who handed her SOE group over to the Gestapo?

Spitfire is a thriller that I read straight through in one day. Seeing historical figures like Vera Atkins and Ian Fleming was a delightful plus in a slam-bang series opener, and I’m looking forward to the next book. Even better, the ultimate unveiling of the traitor is a surprise, but not a shock, which means the clues were beautifully planted throughout the novel. The book could almost be described as halfway between LeCarre and Fleming while managing to stand squarely on its own merits.