Cozy Historical Mystery with great characters!!

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Thank you to BookishFirst and Kensington for a free physical copy/ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! The additional booklet containing recipes and historical facts during the time of this book were such a treat.

" Pigeons or no pigeons, I'll cut you loose, and the lot of you can fend for yourself. "


Before starting this book, I knew next to nothing about the extent of the use of pigeons throughout World War II and other important events in history. I chose to request an ARC to learn more! I saw others choose not to request this book due to assuming it would bore them. For me, at least, it did anything but! Although pigeons are a main plotline in this novel, there is so much to this gem.

Olive Bright is forced to watch as both her older brother and her best friend eventually go off to war and may never return. They want to make a difference, and so does Olive, although her only allowed responsibilities are caring for pigeons that are likely to never be chosen for war efforts, helping her step-mother direct a play, and caring for a few piglets in town. Not exactly anywhere near as glamorous, especially when she has a war hero of a mother to aspire after as well.

Wallowing in her rather plain predicament, Olive's life is turned upside down by two nearly simultaneous events: a pair of secret organization recruiters appearing in her loft and a well-known member of their community turning up dead due to nefarious causes. Perhaps staying in her little town will not be so uneventful after all...

I enjoyed this novel immensely and would have read it even faster if not for TBR deadlines and holidays. The characters were so well-written, the dynamics between all of the characters intriguing and the dialogue incredibly witty! I found myself laughing, tearing up, or on the edge of my seat. I will admit, I am quite new to mysteries (other than Trixie Belden), but I did not see the ending coming.

The main reason I did not give this book 5 stars is that I would have liked a little more of an ending. The final pages felt like the adventures would be continued in a second book, but there is no series listed on Goodreads. Some may think the book tried to run too many plots at once, and although the ending was a bit rushed, I found a cozy and enjoyable read. I will certainly consider reading another book by the author in the future.