Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Death at Greenway by Lori Rader-Day

 Bridget Kelly is a nurse in training in London at the start of World War II.  She has made a grievous error that has resulted in the death of a young soldier.  Her matron has found her a new position as a nurse for ten children that are being evacuated from London because of the Blitz.  Bridget and the children will live in Greenway House, the holiday home of author Agatha Christie.  On the way, Bridget meets the other nurse that will be working with her, the beautiful, vivacious, and mysterious Gigi.  After inexplicable death in town, Bridget starts to unravel the strange mysteries in town and at Greenway itself.  Who exactly is Gigi?  Who killed the stranger and why?

 I enjoyed this book and it kept me up too late several nights.  I loved the World War II details and the evacuation of the children.  I loved it even more after reading the author’s note at the end.  Not only did ten children really stay at Greenway, but the author interviewed one of them.  Her narrative is sprinkled through the book as a child.  I was saddened by her narrative.  Especially at the end of the war when she thought her biological parents were adoptee parents as she didn’t know them.  It really made me think about it.  But on the other hand, there is also another mother who doesn’t let her child go and loses them in the Blitz.  It was a hard time to survive and to know if the decision you made was the best decision.

 The novel was told through various viewpoints, but the primary viewpoint was Bridget Kelly.  I liked how the various viewpoints were able to give us more to the story.  I loved learning about the different people who inhabited Agatha Christie’s estate.  The grand lady herself only made brief appearances.  It was kind of like Downtown Abby just from the servants’ point of view. 

 This was also a historical mystery.  I did guess the ending of this one, but it was a satisfactory ending to that mystery.  The one weakness in this novel is that it didn’t tie up all of the loose ends.  SPOILER ALERT. I never did figure out who was the murderer (just someone who maybe did it?) and why exactly Gigi and her friends were in town.  It seemed like there was much more of a story there.  I’m glad the mystery of her disappearance was solved.  I wish these items would have been explained.  SPOILER END.

 I also liked that this novel dealt with post traumatic stress in a nurse.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book from that point of view, and I thought it was interesting.  I also like how Bridget was sort of overlooked by everyone, the plain Jane to the beautiful Gigi.  But Bridget had the brains to solve her mystery and to make things work out in the end and the work ethic to take care of the children.  The book told the story of heroic women who made a difference in the war as well.

 Favorite Quotes:

“There’s truth in stories, and stories in truth.”

 “Any place with people has secrets kept.”

 “Women pay more attention, and they’re never asked what they think – and when they do share an opinion, they’re told in a hundred ways their thoughts don’t matter.    Women always know more than they let on, and the smarter they are, the less they’ll say.”

Overall, Death at Greenway was an excellent historical fiction mystery unique setting, characters and story. 

Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow.  Thank-you!


  1. Sounds an intriguing story with a good background to hold it up. However if the murderer is not named, does it leave too much hanging in the air as it were?

  2. The historical aspects of this one intrigue me.