Rating 3 out of 5
"He knew from experience that sometimes the best spies were those least likely to be involved in espionage, namely women. They were often better than men at assuming a role, and far superior to men when it came to suppressing their ego in pursuit of a goal. In terms of self-sacrifice, they were legendary."
Emma is a young woman who has recently become a widow. She returns to the Danish West Indies to reclaim the life that she left behind. However, it isn't long before Emma discovers that she may have nothing to reclaim. Her late husband disinherited her in his will, leaving everything to his illegitimate child instead. In desperate need of money Emma turns to the one thing she has always known: gambling; soon she finds herself in massive debt. It is at this moment that she is approached by Cornelius Smith with a business offer: infiltrate a rival shipping line and spy on its leader to gain intelligence. Emma accepts the offer but soon realizes that neither of these men are what they seem and she may have gotten in over her head. Will this latest gamble prove her undoing?
So this was my first ever spy novel of any kind and I chose it because I'm a huge history nerd and it was based in World War I. I loved the premise of the novel, a woman spy just seemed like a must read. I appreciated that the author was very heavy on the historical dynamics, but I didn't expect that level of detail. I felt that at times the story drug on because we were bogged down with copious amounts of descriptions and details that slowed down the plot. Keep in mind this was my first spy novel so I was expecting a little more James Bond action packed.
Don't get me wrong this novel has some good action moments and is full of gambling, murder, espionage, double espionage, betrayal, danger and even a little romance. I just felt like sometimes things could've been faster paced. The last 20 percent or so of the book was like BAM! and I wanted more of that throughout. I loved that the main character was a female who had serious character growth. I was not a fan of the romance though as I felt it was unnecessary and took away from the story some. I think spy novel lovers and history buffs alike would enjoy this one though.