Monday, October 31, 2022

A Spying Eye Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway

Book Title A Spying Eye: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel by Michelle Cox
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 256 pages
Genre Historical Mystery
Publisher She Writes Press
Release dates:   Oct 25, 2022
Content Rating: R:
 There are some swear words peppered throughout (not many) and 2 explicit sex scenes (tasteful, but more than a PG-13 scene)

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About the Book

In A Spying Eye, Clive and Henrietta return to Europe in an attempt to resurrect their failed honeymoon. While in London, they are approached by their old friend, Inspector John Hartle, who convinces them to search for the missing panel of the Ghent Altarpiece, a famous Renaissance painting, of which Hitler’s top men are also in pursuit.

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Oldrich Exley threatens to cut off financial support for the entire Von Harmon brood if Elsie continues with her plan to marry Gunther―a situation made worse by the sudden appearance of one Heinrich Meyer, who claims to be little Anna’s father and threatens to take her away. Desperate, Elsie seeks the help of Clive’s sister, Julia, who is herself the victim of domestic abuse and who has fallen under the spell of a handsome Texas millionaire bent on acquiring a rare painting from the Howard collection.

​Clive and Henrietta’s search takes them to Chateau du Freudeneck in Strasbourg, France―the ancient seat of the Von Harmons and home to three eccentric distant relatives. What begins as a wild goose chase turns decidedly more deadly when several Nazi officers also arrive at the chateau in search of a “valuable item.” When Henrietta and Clive attempt to flee after Henrietta uncovers a shocking truth, they are forced to trust themselves to a suspicious French servant who seems all-too willing to help . . .
My Review

A Spying Eye Transports Readers to Another Place and Time. A Spying Eye takes readers back in time to pre-WWII in Europe and in Chicago as Henrietta and Clive tackle a mystery in Europe on their second honeymoon, and the supporting characters at home in the states have some suspenseful events play out as well. The author puts a lot of effort into capturing the political and social aspects of the time to create historically realistically placed settings and plot twists. If you haven't read the earlier books in the series, the characters often face social class dilemmas within the novels' subplots--and this one is no exception. This novel is no exception, as the characters face challenges in the author's blend of fact and fiction.


A Spying Eye is stand-alone--but readers may want to start from the beginning. This novel is a stand-alone mystery--although readers of the series may appreciate the Chicago "side of the story" a bit more if they have read previous books. As always, the author does give some character and backstory recaps to help readers understand some of the connections. You won't feel lost or confused if you have yet to read the previous novels--but you may not feel as in tune with some of the characters' decisions and actions.   


A Spying Eye is impossible to put down.  This novel covers two stories on two continents--so readers have a lot happening as the stories progress. There are characters that I like--and characters that I don't like very much. Oddly, I am not a fan of Harriet most of the time, but even if I don't love her sometimes immature actions and personality, I find myself so invested in the story that I need to see the characters' roles out. The book isn't loaded with action and does slow down a bit through the middle--but the writing style keeps readers engaged as the scenes move between characters and storylines.


Would I recommend A Spying Eye by Michelle Cox?  This book is an excellent read for historical romance and historical mystery fans. The author does a beautiful job transporting readers to another time and place--but giving her characters and situations enough modern drama to keep the story interesting and relatable! I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to mystery/suspense fans as well as those with an interest in fictionalized, historical looks at social classes and life in a Pre-WWII world. I look forward to reading future books from the author.

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Meet the Author

Michelle Cox is the author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. Her books have won over 50 international awards and have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Foreword, Elle, Redbook, Brit&Co., POPSUGAR, Buzzfeed, and many others.

Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three children, and one naughty Goldendoodle and is hard at work on her latest novel. 

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A Spying Eye Book Tour Giveaway


  1. Michelle, A Spying Eye sounds like a historical mystery that will keep me glued to the pages! Thanks for sharing it with me!

    Thanks, Book Corner News and Reviews, for sharing your review!

    Have a fabulous day!

  2. Sounds like a great book!! Ty for sharing!

  3. Wow, Angela!!! Thank you so much!! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the book. You've made my day!