Penny for your Secret is the third book in the Verity Kent mystery series, penned by Anna Lee Huber. I love historical fiction and I love a good mystery too – these genres combined are reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s novels. This series is set in the time during and slightly after World War I.
Reading this after the first book in the series. I have to say that though I got through it pretty quickly, but when I look back on the story, there really wasn’t anything particularly outstanding or memorable about the book. I read swiftly as I was just keen to find out who exactly the suspect was.
A major bummer for me was that !Spoiler! It was whoever they said it was at the beginning !End spoiler! So the characters literally went round in circles and I still didn’t really quite get why Lord Rockham was murdered.
- I know alot of people dislike Sidney, but I like him and like that his relationship with Verity reflects the real struggles of couples at that time. The awkwardness, the adjustment post-war, lack of trust, rebuilding their relationship and the PTSD he suffered returning from the war.
- Accurate descriptions of the social scene at that time – the clubs, jazz, dancing and more. It’s actually inspired me to go check out jazz music from the 1920s to the 1930s.
What didn’t work:
- The main mystery was really a let down. It went on for far too long, with so many additional plotlines and got quite confusing at some point. I actually had no idea why that additional subplot involving Esther Shaw’s death was included. And then her murdered was also murdered – errr okayyy. Also the way the mysteries were tied up at the end was very anti-climax and didn’t quite make sense
- I still can’t quite get a feel of most of the characters. Even the main character Verity. I felt that more could be done to explain abit of their backstory, motivations, thinking etc. I feel like I don’t know much of each character.
- Alot of repeated descriptions “emeraldine cushions”, some character’s long legs, someone glancing at someone, and there were so many characters arching their eyebrows. I mean, there are other ways to describe surprise. The writing can sometimes come across abit lazy and as a result it can be quite hard to visualise some of the scenes.
Brief Character Analysis
Verity Kent: I find Verity alright but I’m incredibly neutral about her after the second book with her. I haven’t yet…warmed up to her. I get that she’s pretty cool, level-headed and a strong, independent woman. But sometimes I wish there were more descriptions about her that would make me feel more strongly about her. As such, I feel like we are just told that she is a very cool and smart lady, but sometimes I’m just not feeling it.
Sidney Kent: Many people on Goodreads dislike Sidney, but I do like him and feel like he has alot of demons that he’s buried and that the war has brought out and compounded. I like that he’s finally willing to open up to Verity and work more on their marriage.
Ada/Lady Rockham: I’ve never liked her – frivolous, flirtatious and disrespectful. So I always wondered why Verity put up with her and her antics and why she still called her a friend. Wasn’t surprised she revealed her true self in the end.
Lord Ardmore: Incredibly sneaky and devious. Quite a Machiavellian and narcissistic type – enjoys pitting people against each other. I just want to know more of his backstory because I feel like he’s sort of a major character but I don’t know much about him.
Overall rating: 2.5/5 stars
All in all, I will still read the other 3 books available in the series and see how it all fares!