Saturday, February 27, 2021

Review: Smoke Signal by Marie Benedict, Kate Quinn (audio)

Title: Smoke Signal
Author: Marie Benedict, Kate Quinn
Series: Audible Original Stories
Narrator: Nicola Barber, Saskia Maarleveld
Published: February 2021, Audible Originals
Length: 1 hour 10 minutes
Source: Personal copy

Best-selling authors Marie Benedict (The Mystery of Mrs. Christie) and Kate Quinn (The Rose Code) join forces to tell the captivating story of how history's most famous mystery writer crossed paths with one of Britain's top secret code breakers in the throes of World War II.

Recruited as a code breaker of enemy ciphers, ex-debutante Osla Kendall spends her days translating Axis military messages and her nights reading mystery novels. When Osla gets her hands on Agatha Christie's most recent work, N or M?, a mysterious signal within its pages catches her eye, and she and her eccentric book club get in touch with the famous but reclusive writer. Osla's outreach is a welcome distraction for Agatha, who feels restless and underestimated toiling away in a London pharmacy while men like her husband can contribute to the war effort from the front lines.

So begins the story of an unlikely friendship and the secrets that bind two brave women embroiled in war. Based on true events and told by two beloved authors and champions of history's heroines, Smoke Signal is a breathtaking novella of espionage and the unforgettable women who risked everything to serve their country.

To learn more about Osla Kendall and Agatha Christie, see Marie Benedict's The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, a novel of Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926, and Kate Quinn's forthcoming The Rose Code, a novel of the female code breakers of Bletchley Park.


My thoughts:  It's no secret that I love audiobooks and I have to say I am absolutely loving these Audible Originals...especially when I see ones created by some of my favorite authors. Now I knew this one was coming out so I was on the lookout for it, as I had heard Marie Benedict talking about it during an interview she did while on tour for her latest book, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. That book is already out, and I absolutely loved it, but I haven't read Kate Quinn's upcoming book, The Rose Code yet, but am now more eager to get to it.

I loved how this was set up - during the war and then seven years later. It really kept my attention and was quite clever. There are no spoilers for either book, so whether you have read them or not, this short story won't ruin anything. I loved seeing Agatha Christie again and am eager to meet Osla Kendall soon!

Audio thoughts: I could not have picked two better narrators for this. Both Nicola Barber and Saskia Maarleveld are two of my favorites and I thought they did a fantastic job with this narration. They really brought this audio to life, however short it was.


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