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It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a f It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained to pilot planes from factories to military airfields all over Britain. Poppy could not be more excited to spend time with these amazing ladies, but she never expects to see one of the best pilots die in what is being labeled an accident. When another Attagirl meets a similar fate, Poppy and her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, Griff, believe foul play may be at work. They soon realize that a murderer with a desire for revenge is dead set on grounding the Attagirls for good. . . .


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It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a f It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained to pilot planes from factories to military airfields all over Britain. Poppy could not be more excited to spend time with these amazing ladies, but she never expects to see one of the best pilots die in what is being labeled an accident. When another Attagirl meets a similar fate, Poppy and her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, Griff, believe foul play may be at work. They soon realize that a murderer with a desire for revenge is dead set on grounding the Attagirls for good. . . .

30 review for Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second book in the “A Woman of World War II” mystery series by Tessa Arlen. Although it is the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. It is 1942 and Poppy, employed by the London Crown Film Unit as a scriptwriter during the war, is sent to work on location at an airfield. The film she is working on is about the Air Transport Auxiliary pilots, or “Attagirls.” This amazing group of female pilots flew many different types of planes and transpor Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second book in the “A Woman of World War II” mystery series by Tessa Arlen. Although it is the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. It is 1942 and Poppy, employed by the London Crown Film Unit as a scriptwriter during the war, is sent to work on location at an airfield. The film she is working on is about the Air Transport Auxiliary pilots, or “Attagirls.” This amazing group of female pilots flew many different types of planes and transported them to airfields all over Britain during World War II. Sometimes these transports occurred during severe weather conditions. Poppy begins to work on the film and starts to get to know this intriguing group of talented and professional female pilots. When two “Attagirls” are killed in accidents during seemingly routine flights, Poppy and her boyfriend Griff begin to investigate. This was such an interesting read, especially since I had never heard of the “Attagirls.” The history of these brave women is fascinating, and the author provides more facts about them in a historical note at the end of the book. The murder mystery is well done, with many twists, turns, and red herrings. The villain is not easy to figure out, so the reader is surprised at the end. The characters are compelling and well developed. Our heroine, Poppy, proves to be a witty and clever sleuth. Her relationship with her boyfriend Griff is complicated at times, but that just makes it more interesting. This is a great combination of World War II historical fiction and cozy mystery. I would recommend this book to fans of both genres. The first book in the series is Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders. I received a free copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via Netgalley for Historical Novels Review. My review is voluntary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deb✨

    I decided to go into this story blindly not knowing what to expect and I was delighted and happy to listen to such a fun and engaging WW II suspense mystery. It was based on the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as "Attagirls" which were actually a group of young lady civilians who were trained during World War II to fly manufactured airplanes from factories to military airfields all over Britain. (This was actually a true fact, these ladies actually existed and did this.) But from this, Tessa Alle I decided to go into this story blindly not knowing what to expect and I was delighted and happy to listen to such a fun and engaging WW II suspense mystery. It was based on the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as "Attagirls" which were actually a group of young lady civilians who were trained during World War II to fly manufactured airplanes from factories to military airfields all over Britain. (This was actually a true fact, these ladies actually existed and did this.) But from this, Tessa Allen, was able to write a wonderful fictional suspense mystery where a couple of the girls end up dying under somewhat suspicious circumstances. Poppy Redfern and her boyfriend Griff decide they want to secretly try to solve this mystery case. Poppy is actually a scriptwriter, in a new job at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime, and is on her first solo project. She is there to do a 15-minute film about and starring the Attagirls, with actual footage of them flying so they can promote the job and try to recruit more of them to their squad. All the girls had interesting personalities to add to the storyline. What a upbeat fun person Miss Poppy Redfern turned out to be! I had a lot of fun listening to this audiobook. It was an engaging mystery that kept me guessing all the way to the end. Also Poppy and her boyfriend Griff made a great team along with her cute little Corgi dog, Bess. The narrator did a superb job with the audiobook and I enjoyed her upbeat nature.This was such a fun read and I gave it 5 stars. There are more Poppy Redfern books to read as well, if you loved this one! I would like to thank #NetGalley and the publisher #DreamScapeMedia, for an audioARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    A certain intrepid WWII-era woman is back and has a new mystery to solve. Is it murder among the Attagirls? After appreciating the first book with an engaging mystery set against the home front of England at War, I was eager to follow Poppy to London and see her spread her wings outside her village setting. Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second book in a series. A reader might dive in and do all right, but Poppy, Griff, and their situations are all introduced in the first book and I fo A certain intrepid WWII-era woman is back and has a new mystery to solve. Is it murder among the Attagirls? After appreciating the first book with an engaging mystery set against the home front of England at War, I was eager to follow Poppy to London and see her spread her wings outside her village setting. Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second book in a series. A reader might dive in and do all right, but Poppy, Griff, and their situations are all introduced in the first book and I found it was better having read the first one. In book one, Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders, Poppy is chafing to get out and do something meaningful for the war effort, but had been stuck in her backwater village. Then she paired up with American flyer, Griff, to solve a series of murders and made a name for herself. But, ironically, she’s now languishing as nearly an office girl and longing to get into the action which happens when she gets assigned to help with a propaganda film involving the Air Transport Auxiliary, an amazing group of civilian women pilots who step up to ferry planes about to free up the male pilots for combat. Incidentally, I’ve read other stories about these heroic flyers who moved planes and it was a hair-raising job much of the time. Anyway, Poppy ends up working a piece about the Attagirls and soon spots foulplay. Like the first book, she is plucky, but also an amateur so she suspects some wild exotic poison and dives into her sleuthing with fervor. I could have wished she had handled her way of catching her villain differently, it turned out to be a more complicated end than I saw coming. Part of that was because Griff was working his own line of the mystery and dug up even more. Speaking of Griff, I was glad he was back and they are in the boyfriend-girlfriend status even if Poppy was giving him the stiff Brit routine much of the time. On one side, I was annoyed with her, but on the other, I get it- there’s a war on and she’s still pretty young and just getting her feet wet out there in the big wide world. They were working separate lines of investigation and had separate responsibilities for work so it was mostly time inside Poppy’s head about their relationship more than actual relationship time. I have a feeling things will settle down over the course of the series. It did have lag in the middle. The lush war-time setting and situations were painted well and I found that more fascinating than Poppy or the mystery at times as she checked out people and their stories. It was neat being in the Attagirl world. I can’t say I was thoroughly satisfied with that finish of the mystery either, but it did make sense when looking back on what came before. All in all, I enjoyed this latest Poppy mystery and definitely want more. The author puts the time in to draw the setting and people well. The mysteries can draw out, but do get there. Historical mystery fans who like a young, intrepid heroine in war-time should give these a try. My thanks to Penguin via Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Freeman

    This is the second book in the Poppy Redfern series but it's the first one I read and it can definitely stand alone. Set during WWII in England's home front, the first thing that struck me is its authenticity. The historical detail woven into the story really brings the era to life. Even the title has a 1940s feel to it. The story is definitely mystery, but it also feels like an adventure and I loved learning about the ATTA girls. The combination made it a pleasure to read. This is the second book in the Poppy Redfern series but it's the first one I read and it can definitely stand alone. Set during WWII in England's home front, the first thing that struck me is its authenticity. The historical detail woven into the story really brings the era to life. Even the title has a 1940s feel to it. The story is definitely mystery, but it also feels like an adventure and I loved learning about the ATTA girls. The combination made it a pleasure to read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    It’s been a while since I have read anything by Tessa Arlen but I have loved her Lady Montford mystery series and I was excited to start her latest series featuring new heroine, Poppy Redfern. I started reading the first book when it first came out but then something happened to my copy and I couldn’t locate it for months. I have a feeling mom or sister took it off my nightstand but I have yet to discover incriminating evidence. Sadly I picked up something else and got distracted and never went ba It’s been a while since I have read anything by Tessa Arlen but I have loved her Lady Montford mystery series and I was excited to start her latest series featuring new heroine, Poppy Redfern. I started reading the first book when it first came out but then something happened to my copy and I couldn’t locate it for months. I have a feeling mom or sister took it off my nightstand but I have yet to discover incriminating evidence. Sadly I picked up something else and got distracted and never went back to Poppy Redfern but with this one coming out, I was really excited to dive back into one of Arlen’s exciting mystery novels and get acquainted with this new heroine even if I hadn’t read the first book yet. First of all, I want to comment how wonderful these covers are. They are eye catching, interesting, and capture the feel of the era and are meant to lure readers of WWII novels in immediate. Full disclosure, the cover got me before I even read the story. Being a fan of historical mysteries in this period, the cover spoke to me and my reader heart. So big kudos to the cover design team because you guys nailed it! Having not read the first book in the series, I felt at a slight disadvantage. I do think I need to unearth my copy or order a new one so I can go back and read the first book all the way through so I can get a better understanding of Poppy as well as her romantic interest, Griff. Part of my felt like Poppy was a little to indifferent to Griff and I wondered how they got together in the first place so I think going back and reading more about them and Poppy herself would have made me enjoy that aspect of the story a little more. In this book there was a lot of commentary and orientation regarding the ATA girls flyers. At first I found it interesting and was excited to learn more about them, but then at some point it became a little overwhelming and I wanted to get back to the main mystery. But I didn’t think it was horribly distracting, just a personal preference. I did enjoy Poppy’s character. She has wonderful pluck and sass that I would expect from a period mystery novel like this. I am really looking forward to the direction of this series and seeing how Poppy evolves throughout the books to come. I am also going to go back and read the first book in the series so I can fully appreciate Poppy and Griff. I personally favor the Lady Montford mysteries but I think this series could easily grow on me and I am excited to see what’s coming up! See my full review here

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sharlene

    It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained t It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained to pilot planes from factories to military airfields all over Britain. Poppy could not be more excited to spend time with these amazing ladies, but she never expects to see one of the best pilots die in what is being labeled an accident. When another Attagirl meets a similar fate, Poppy and her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, Griff, believe foul play may be at work. They soon realize that a murderer with a desire for revenge is dead set on grounding the Attagirls for good. . . . I loved book 1 in the Poppy Redfern series so was very excited to read book 2 and it did not disappoint. I am thoroughly hooked on Poppy, Griff and Bess as favorite characters and can't wait to learn more about their adventures. As they try to navigate their developing relationship and solve the mystery of two accidents, I was kept on the edge of my seat and quickly turning page after page. Highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a great escape mystery and definitely if one grew up loving the Nancy Drew mystery books or current fans of the Maisie Dobbs, Lady Sherlock or Royal Spyness series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    This is the second book in Tessa Arlen's A Woman of World War II mystery series and was just as intriguing as the first book. I was caught up in Poppy's story from the first chapter. Poppy is a combination of strong determination, curiosity about others, a soft heart and naivete of the world around her. I'm enjoying her flirtation with Grif as it gives me more insight into Poppy character. Ms. Arlen's research of the ATA women shows through as you meet these characters and get to know them. I en This is the second book in Tessa Arlen's A Woman of World War II mystery series and was just as intriguing as the first book. I was caught up in Poppy's story from the first chapter. Poppy is a combination of strong determination, curiosity about others, a soft heart and naivete of the world around her. I'm enjoying her flirtation with Grif as it gives me more insight into Poppy character. Ms. Arlen's research of the ATA women shows through as you meet these characters and get to know them. I enjoyed every minute reading this one and look forward to the next one in the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Mystery / Historical Fiction *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second installment in author Tessa Arlen's A Woman of WWII Mystery series. This story picks up 4 weeks after the ending of Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders. As the story opens, Poppy has taken the job of assistant scriptwriter for the London Crown Film Unit. The Crown Film Unit produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in warti *Source* Publisher *Genre* Mystery / Historical Fiction *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second installment in author Tessa Arlen's A Woman of WWII Mystery series. This story picks up 4 weeks after the ending of Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders. As the story opens, Poppy has taken the job of assistant scriptwriter for the London Crown Film Unit. The Crown Film Unit produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime to keep up the morale of the country which has been at war for 3 long years. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: A Woman of WW II Mystery #2 Publication Date: 12/1/20 Number of Pages: 320 This series is a delightful find! I have read other books by Tessa Arlen, but I missed out on the first of the Poppy Redfern books – and I’m so sorry about that! The writing is excellent, the mystery is well-formed and well-executed so you don’t guess who the villain is until the very end. There are lots of red herrings to keep you guessing. This book was so entertaining that I’ll now have to go back and read the fir Series: A Woman of WW II Mystery #2 Publication Date: 12/1/20 Number of Pages: 320 This series is a delightful find! I have read other books by Tessa Arlen, but I missed out on the first of the Poppy Redfern books – and I’m so sorry about that! The writing is excellent, the mystery is well-formed and well-executed so you don’t guess who the villain is until the very end. There are lots of red herrings to keep you guessing. This book was so entertaining that I’ll now have to go back and read the first book in the series. Speaking of it being a series, this book can totally be read as a standalone – but I can promise you, you’ll want to go back and read the first book. I listened to an ARC of the audiobook and I enjoyed the listen. The narrator, Madeleine Leslay, performed the narration with a tempo and voice that made me feel as if Poppy is a happy person who enjoys her life. She sounded very upbeat. I didn’t totally lose myself in the story because I did have a hard time differentiating among the speakers. They all sounded pretty much the same – every once in a while, the Scot would sound like a Scot, but the American never, ever, sounded like an American. So, I had to really concentrate to determine who was speaking. I’ll also mention that the American, who is also the masculine lead, was performed so that he sounded so prissy that I would have thought the part was female had the word ‘he’ not been used to describe him. In late autumn of 1942, Poppy Redfern is settling into her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films about valorous deeds performed by ordinary British citizens in wartime. She’s really excited to receive her first assignment, writing the script for a fifteen-minute film on a group of female pilots known as the Attagirls. These intrepid ladies fly every sort of aircraft to bases all over England. These ladies would much rather actually fly as part of the Royal Air Force, but England doesn’t allow female combat pilots – they barely allow these ladies to fly the planes around England. They perform a vital service – getting new planes from the manufacturer to the bases who need them as well as ferrying newly repaired planes back to their bases. Poppy cannot wait to meet these ladies. Poppy’s gentleman friend, Griff, has seven days of leave and decides to go along with Poppy for a few days. Both Griff and Poppy quickly come to like and admire these brave ladies who fly in all sorts of adverse conditions without any of the basic safety devices regular combat pilots have. Their bravery and patriotism come through loud and clear. The six ladies they meet were the first recruited by the Air Transport Auxiliary and all of them are highly skilled and rated for most types of aircraft. Poppy, Huntley (the producer), Keith (the cameraman), and Griff, all head for the ferry depot from which the Attagirls work. Poppy and Griff arrive first and Poppy sets about getting to know the ladies in order to begin the scriptwriting. She likes them very much and is excited to tell their tales. That excitement turns to horror when, one of the best pilots crashes and dies during a filming session. Everyone is immediately saying it was an accident and/or pilot error. Griff, who is a pilot, and Poppy don’t believe it to be an accident. They investigate more and more – they become more and more sure it wasn’t an accident. Without any proof, they cannot say anything – and when a second crash and death occur, they are sure both are related. When the powers-that-be decide that the crashes are ‘accidents’, and the filming session is drawing to a close, they know they have to quickly get some answers. I absolutely adored Poppy and Griff – not to mention Bess, Poppy’s sweet little Corgi. Since I didn’t read the first book, I have no idea where Poppy and Griff left their relationship in that book. However, in this book, it is quite evident they care for each other. I’ll be so very happy to read the next book in order to see what mystery they get to solve and to see where their relationship goes next. I voluntarily listened to and reviewed an Advance Audio Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I enjoyed this mostly because I knew nothing about the ATA and the role of women pilots on the British homefront during WWII. The mystery was good, too; I just would have liked to see Poppy and Griff's relationship develop a bit more. I enjoyed this mostly because I knew nothing about the ATA and the role of women pilots on the British homefront during WWII. The mystery was good, too; I just would have liked to see Poppy and Griff's relationship develop a bit more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Closer to a 3.5 for me. Enjoyable entertainment, but I wasn't drawn into the mystery. I listened to the audiobook, which could have been part of the issue. Closer to a 3.5 for me. Enjoyable entertainment, but I wasn't drawn into the mystery. I listened to the audiobook, which could have been part of the issue.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Full review can be found here: https://www.criminalelement.com/book-... Full review can be found here: https://www.criminalelement.com/book-...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bibliothekerin

    This novel was much better than the first in the series, in several aspects: the mystery was more interesting, characters were better developed, pacing was better, and there was just more detail, more content. I enjoyed learning a bit about the various planes, and especially about the “Attagirls” (the Yanks’ nickname for the female pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary, or ATA). Such amazing, talented, and brave women, some of whom were better trained and had more experience than the male RAF pi This novel was much better than the first in the series, in several aspects: the mystery was more interesting, characters were better developed, pacing was better, and there was just more detail, more content. I enjoyed learning a bit about the various planes, and especially about the “Attagirls” (the Yanks’ nickname for the female pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary, or ATA). Such amazing, talented, and brave women, some of whom were better trained and had more experience than the male RAF pilots (according to the author)—yet the RAF didn’t allow women to be pilots after the war. Commercial airlines would not hire them, either. Typical. The romance between Poppy and Griff is picking up, too; it was slow to get off the ground (no pun intended, in a book about planes ;), but hopefully it will pick up even more in book 3. The side story about black market activity reminded me of a “Foyles’s War” episode, the one about thieves siphoning off petrol. It was interesting to read about all the foreign pilots who went to England to join the RAF; I knew that the Poles helped England (reminding me of another British series, “Home Fires”), but not that they were involved in the Battle of Britain. Reading about the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing at the Bedford Corn Exchange gave me a jolt. That will probably mean nothing to most readers, but it triggered a jolt of recognition, because I lived in Bedford for 3 years in the mid-‘80s. Hardly the 1940s, so I knew nothing of Glenn Miller concerts at the Corn Exchange, but I was familiar with the music thanks to my dad. (I have fond memories of dancing with him to those tunes. ;) I had been aware before that many young English women married Yanks in during the war, but I had no idea that the number was over 100,000. I have a childhood friend, though, whose mum came from England, who met her dad when he was based there during WW2. Memories....

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    Having really enjoyed the first book in this series, Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders, I couldn't wait to read this one. I wasn't disappointed. Author Tessa Arlen put me right in the middle of not only a film crew but also an amazing group of women who flew for the Air Transport Auxiliary. I've read about them, and I am so pleased that a great deal of World War II women's history is finally coming to light. These women flew planes in all sorts of conditions-- new, repaired, damaged-- in al Having really enjoyed the first book in this series, Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders, I couldn't wait to read this one. I wasn't disappointed. Author Tessa Arlen put me right in the middle of not only a film crew but also an amazing group of women who flew for the Air Transport Auxiliary. I've read about them, and I am so pleased that a great deal of World War II women's history is finally coming to light. These women flew planes in all sorts of conditions-- new, repaired, damaged-- in all sorts of weather to all parts of Britain as well as France and Belgium. The planes they flew had no weapons so they couldn't defend themselves, and they were not allowed to use the radios. (Heaven forbid. They're women and might start chattering away. The Royal Air Force was really a dinosaur in its attitudes.) Many of these women had far broader flying experience than their male counterparts in the RAF, but when they landed their planes at RAF fields most of the time they were allotted no sleeping, bathing, or toilet facilities. However, they weren't in it for the perks; they loved what they did. (Read Arlen's notes at the back of the book.) Poppy's job as scriptwriter gives her carte blanche to interview the Attagirls multiple times which really helps in her investigation. My liking for Poppy continues to grow. She's brave, intelligent, and resourceful, and her behavior around her American fighter pilot boyfriend can make me smile. The mystery is a good one, too. In fact, I am happy to report that I was only partially correct about the solution, and-- due to the number of mysteries I read-- I always like when that happens. Anyone who is even remotely familiar with Agatha Christie's work will do a double-take just like I did when they come across a certain sentence. (Don't worry, I'm going to let you find it for yourselves.) Poppy's job in the Crown Film Unit has the potential to take her to all sorts of places, and I certainly look forward to joining her in all of her adventures. Now comes the wait for book number three. (Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    A highly enjoyable story. Poppy is a plucky heroine who wants to do her best for her country during WWII by creating scripts for propaganda films. During her first assignment she encounters two suspicious fatal airplane crashes which she suspects may be something other than accidental. With the help of her perhaps boyfriend, American flyer, Griff, investigates the top women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary to determine what is happening before Great Britain loses another precious pilot and A highly enjoyable story. Poppy is a plucky heroine who wants to do her best for her country during WWII by creating scripts for propaganda films. During her first assignment she encounters two suspicious fatal airplane crashes which she suspects may be something other than accidental. With the help of her perhaps boyfriend, American flyer, Griff, investigates the top women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary to determine what is happening before Great Britain loses another precious pilot and vital aircraft in their desperate battle for survival. Arlen is very deft at using a group that performed important work for the war effort but perhaps a lot of people know little or nothing of and creating a good story and mystery. She has created interesting characters and I adore, Poppy, her dog and Griff. The narrator I thought was perfect for the voice of Poppy, good with some of the secondary characters, and could have had more differentiation on some of the minor characters. Though this is the second in the series it is not necessary to have read the first to understand this one but I would recommend reading it because it is another good read. Cheers to a hopefully long lived series! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Traylor

    Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is an interesting look at the ups and downs of the life of British female pilots in WWII. I enjoyed following Poppy through her adventures of the making of a British morale video and exploring the airfield and all those who work there. Tessa Arlen had many twists in the story that I never expected, all the way to the end. I appreciate her intensive research into the historical facts about these women and what their life would have been like. It made the story f Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is an interesting look at the ups and downs of the life of British female pilots in WWII. I enjoyed following Poppy through her adventures of the making of a British morale video and exploring the airfield and all those who work there. Tessa Arlen had many twists in the story that I never expected, all the way to the end. I appreciate her intensive research into the historical facts about these women and what their life would have been like. It made the story feel so realistic. She made what could be a boring repetitive job each day seem interesting and always new. This was a new author for me but I fell in love with her writing and will absolutely read more of her books. I listened to this on audio and would like to also compliment the narrator for a job well done. Her voices and inflections made it easy to listen to and follow the story. A fun read/listen that kept my interest and never felt heavy and forced.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I enjoyed this as much as the first. Poppy is so independent and has found what is practically her dream job while helping the war effort as well. The Crown Film Unit is sending her to the Didcote Airfleld to help make a film about the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), female pilots who ferry fighter planes to various air fields for the RAF, etc. There she meets some of the original women to start up the unit, all with big personalities to go with their fearless love of flying. A crash becomes susp I enjoyed this as much as the first. Poppy is so independent and has found what is practically her dream job while helping the war effort as well. The Crown Film Unit is sending her to the Didcote Airfleld to help make a film about the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), female pilots who ferry fighter planes to various air fields for the RAF, etc. There she meets some of the original women to start up the unit, all with big personalities to go with their fearless love of flying. A crash becomes suspect almost right away and with a little help from American pilot Griff, Poppy tries to figure it all out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meredith C

    I am liking this mystery series! Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers features one of my new favorite crime-solving-while-falling-in-love-while-sharing-some-WWII-history in an interesting enigma. Poppy is writing script for a recruiting movie about the Air Transport Auxiliary Flyers, and the pilots keep dying. Poppy and Griff try to fly "under the radar" and figure out who is behind these deaths before another pilot is murdered. If you like an historical mystery series, this charming novel is defi I am liking this mystery series! Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers features one of my new favorite crime-solving-while-falling-in-love-while-sharing-some-WWII-history in an interesting enigma. Poppy is writing script for a recruiting movie about the Air Transport Auxiliary Flyers, and the pilots keep dying. Poppy and Griff try to fly "under the radar" and figure out who is behind these deaths before another pilot is murdered. If you like an historical mystery series, this charming novel is definitely one to add to your TBR stack.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Was it really pilot error that killed the skilled woman performing aerials for the camera? Poppy, the script writer and more, really doubts it. Surprisingly, her American airman friend (and more) isn't too sure either. These women pilots are part of an elite squadron who ferry planes from one location to another and are highly skilled. Poppy has spent days getting to know them and more. I know it's repetitious, but want to avoid details and possible spoilers. The sleuthing begins and so do the r Was it really pilot error that killed the skilled woman performing aerials for the camera? Poppy, the script writer and more, really doubts it. Surprisingly, her American airman friend (and more) isn't too sure either. These women pilots are part of an elite squadron who ferry planes from one location to another and are highly skilled. Poppy has spent days getting to know them and more. I know it's repetitious, but want to avoid details and possible spoilers. The sleuthing begins and so do the red herrings and misdirections, but it is all very well done in this historical cosy. These events are fiction, but the service was real and meticulously researched to show readers that not all women stayed in place. Madeleine Leslay has a remarkable talent for mimicry and delineates the characters very well. I requested and received a free audio copy from Dreamscape Media/Berkley via NetGalley. Thank you!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I really enjoyed Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers, the second book in what I hope will be a series starring Poppy Redfern. The books are set in England during the Second World War. They are a blend of interesting historical novel mixed with an English village mystery. They are based on real events and give a good feel for life during those trying times.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth C

    This is such a marvellous, suspenseful book! I was still guessing at the end and loved every moment. Thank you for another great adventure, Tessa Arlen!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    As much as I liked the first book, this one disappointed me. The mystery is well crafted. An ace female pilot crashes her plane doing a simple maneuver. Then another ace female pilot on the same squad crashes. Poppy investigates whether they were poisoned. Poppy was rather callous in this book. The way she treats her boyfriend, Griff, was indifferent even though she liked to dismiss her treatment as being British. I don't like reading about these type of unhealthy relationships in romances theref As much as I liked the first book, this one disappointed me. The mystery is well crafted. An ace female pilot crashes her plane doing a simple maneuver. Then another ace female pilot on the same squad crashes. Poppy investigates whether they were poisoned. Poppy was rather callous in this book. The way she treats her boyfriend, Griff, was indifferent even though she liked to dismiss her treatment as being British. I don't like reading about these type of unhealthy relationships in romances therefore I don't like them in my mysteries. Regarding her detecting, she was very assured of her own safety as though she knew that she was a spunky heroine in a novel. This is based on an advanced copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/p... Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers A Woman of WWII Mystery, Book #2 By Tessa Arlen ISBN#9781984805829 Author Website: tessaarlen.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis: Poppy Redfern is back on the case when two female fighter pilots take a fatal dive in an all-new Woman of World War II Mystery by Tessa Arlen. It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crow https://openbooksociety.com/article/p... Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers A Woman of WWII Mystery, Book #2 By Tessa Arlen ISBN#9781984805829 Author Website: tessaarlen.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis: Poppy Redfern is back on the case when two female fighter pilots take a fatal dive in an all-new Woman of World War II Mystery by Tessa Arlen. It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained to pilot planes from factories to military airfields all over Britain. Poppy could not be more excited to spend time with these amazing ladies, but she never expects to see one of the best pilots die in what is being labeled an accident. When another Attagirl meets a similar fate, Poppy and her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, Griff, believe foul play may be at work. They soon realize that a murderer with a desire for revenge is dead set on grounding the Attagirls for good. (Goodreads) Review: Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers, the second Woman of WWII mystery, is a well written, suspenseful yarn full of murder and wartime experiences. Everything about this book is related to the war, and it is a character driven puzzle worth figuring out. It is autumn of 1942, and Poppy Redfern has left her village and position as air raid warden behind for London and a new job as a scriptwriter for the London Crown Film Unit. Her first assignment is to highlight six female civilian pilots responsible for ferrying any and every kind of aircraft to military airfields in need. When two of the pilots die in crashes, Poppy cannot help but believe that they were not both accidents and wonders if they are connected. With the help of her almost-boyfriend, American pilot Griff, the pair investigates to get to the truth. I really like this Woman of World War II series and its characters. Poppy is clever, intelligent, and resourceful. Her job as a scriptwriter gives her an acceptable reason to investigate, and it does not feel forced or contrived when people open up to her. Griff is charming and likable with just the right amount of war related secrecy to be intriguing. I only wish there was not so much tip-toeing around their feelings. If Arlen’s goal is to create sexual tension, it is not coming across as such. I am a certified Pembroke Welsh Corgi fanatic so it is no surprise that I love Poppy’s canine sidekick Bess and appreciate how much she is featured in the story. Some of the other characters are a bit stereotypical but well executed. The Attagirl flyers are individual enough to provide lots of variety. The story of these underrated women flyers is quite interesting, and I had not read much about them prior to reading this book. It feels quite timely to bring their stories, though fictional here, into focus. Arlan’s writing is descriptive without being too flowery and succeeds in setting a historically accurate tone without it being dry or too melodramatic. The backstories of each of the flyers are crucial to the story, and they all feel real to me, as does their camaraderie. It is difficult for me to feel sorry about the first victim Edwina’s death since I find her so unlikable and unsavory. However, readers do see another side of her with her neighbors’ reminiscence and gain some understanding of why she is the way she is. The second death is much harder to justify, and I felt the same shock and sadness as the flyers. There are several suspects for Poppy to interrogate and plenty of red herrings and clues for readers, and Poppy, to work through. The pace of the story is steady while providing enough suspense to propel the story along. I did not have it all figured out by the climactic reveal, and everything is satisfactorily and neatly tied up in the end. Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is a rewarding read and can be read as part of the series or as a standalone mystery. I look forward to more of Poppy’s adventures, hopefully for a very long time to come. Recommended to all historical mystery fans.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second installment of Tess Arlen's A Woman of WWII mystery series. I have the audiobook of the first one, Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders, but have not yet had the opportunity to listen to it. I was happy to learn this one stood alone and I didn't get confused by a few references to the former story. This book was narrated by Madeleine Leslay. Poppy Redfern is a young Englishwoman who is newly working as a scriptwriter in the autumn of 1942. She wo Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second installment of Tess Arlen's A Woman of WWII mystery series. I have the audiobook of the first one, Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders, but have not yet had the opportunity to listen to it. I was happy to learn this one stood alone and I didn't get confused by a few references to the former story. This book was narrated by Madeleine Leslay. Poppy Redfern is a young Englishwoman who is newly working as a scriptwriter in the autumn of 1942. She works for the London Crown Film Unit, which makes propaganda films for the war effort. Her first solo effort at writing a script shines the spotlight on the Air Transport Auxiliary, also known as the Attagirls, women pilots who ferry aircraft from factories to military airfields throughout Great Britain. Poppy is thrilled with this assignment, until a very talented pilot dies in an accident. This was tragic enough, but when another Attagirl dies in a crash, Poppy begins to suspect murder. She and Griff, her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, begin to investigate. Who, and why, is someone murdering these brave female pilots? This was a fun - and occasionally irritating - book to listen to. Poppy is a budding writer with a quick mind, doing what she can to help the war effort and get more practice at her craft. She is a brave young woman and a good writer who, unfortunately, has the habit of listening in her head to "Illona", a fictional character about whom she writes. She admired the pilots who died and wanted justice for them. Griff, her sorta-boyfriend, helps her investigate, but apparently he has secret investigations of his own. Poppy was a bit standoffish with him at times; I hope their relationship deepens in future books. I loved adorable Bess, Poppy's little dog. The mystery was entertaining, though it became a bit convoluted at the end. The main stars of the story, however, were the brave Attagirls. Ms. Arlen apparently did her historical homework concerning these women pilots and brought them to life for me. Madeleine Leslay did a fine job with narration, except for Griff, but I loved her voice for Poppy. I would definitely like to listen to the next book in the series and follow Poppy's growth. I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Robertson Moutis

    Things I liked about this book: 1. The setting. Second World War England is the jam on my toast. Add in some murder mystery mayhem and I'm enjoying a complete breakfast special! To give author Tessa Arlen props, the attention to detail of life in wartime England meant that there weren't any jarring anachronisms that stood out for me. 2. The history lessons. The Air Transport Auxiliary and its female pilots are the focus of Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers, and I loved the depth of research by Ar Things I liked about this book: 1. The setting. Second World War England is the jam on my toast. Add in some murder mystery mayhem and I'm enjoying a complete breakfast special! To give author Tessa Arlen props, the attention to detail of life in wartime England meant that there weren't any jarring anachronisms that stood out for me. 2. The history lessons. The Air Transport Auxiliary and its female pilots are the focus of Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers, and I loved the depth of research by Arlen that went into portraying the lifestyles of these women. You really got a sense of the highs (no pun intended) and lows of flying new and refurbished planes around Great Britain to various airfields so that the RAF had enough equipment to keep flying. Arlen gives each of her female pilots a unique reason for becoming an Attagirl (as they were called), as well a set of circumstances and skill level that provides a fascinating overview of the kind of real-life women that would have been the inspiration for the characters here. 3. The progression of Poppy's relationship with Griff. To be honest, I don't recall liking the first book in this series as much as I liked this one, so I'm happy the author seems to be hitting her stride. Both Poppy and Griff seemed more "real" in this instalment, with the result that I was invested in their relationship more than I was in Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders. Things I didn't like so much: 1. Ilona Linthwaite. Poppy has written a book with the character of Ilona as the heroine and Ilona's voice breaks into Poppy's mind to offer pithy, peppy words of encouragement when Poppy gets nervous. In my opinion, I find Ilona jarring and unnecessary. Everyone gives themselves mental pep talks — I'm not sure why Poppy needs a sort of alter ego, as it were. I think the story would work just as well without attributing said pep talks to an imaginary friend. 2. The repetition of the idea of "the modern brash Americans" versus "the traditional stiff-upper-lip British." This concept seems to be the reason for every difference of opinion Poppy and Griff have, as well as the description of choice for any interplay between Griff and other characters in the book. It's just too much, and makes Griff — and Poppy — seem more caricature and less real person. Yes, Poppy is introverted and Griff is outgoing, but let's not put that all down to cultural differences between countries. 3. The jump to poison as a murder weapon. In terms of plot, I thought landing on poison as the weapon of choice seemed to come out of nowhere. (view spoiler)[I mean, it ended up being true, but Poppy's Aha! moment consisted of a conversation with a cook about Poppy's dog eating dead rats. From that moment on, poison seemed to be top of mind, but I think it was a bit of a leap with no real evidence to point that way. (hide spoiler)] I'm looking forward to the next in the Poppy Redfern series and seeing what the author has in store.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Deborah E Kehoe

    Poppy Redfern is sent out on her first solo assignment with the London Crown Film Unit to produce a short film about the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) and the heroic Attagirls who flew those missions. When one of the pilots dies in a training exercise while her crew is filming and then the next day another girl dies, Poppy and her American Fighter- Pilot boyfriend Griff realize there may be a killer loose and they set out to investigate. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Poppy Redfern fe Poppy Redfern is sent out on her first solo assignment with the London Crown Film Unit to produce a short film about the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) and the heroic Attagirls who flew those missions. When one of the pilots dies in a training exercise while her crew is filming and then the next day another girl dies, Poppy and her American Fighter- Pilot boyfriend Griff realize there may be a killer loose and they set out to investigate. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Poppy Redfern feels like an old fashioned, black and white, who dunnit, and I couldn’t help but cast Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart in the leading roles. On old fashioned mystery was just what I needed to transport me to a time when DNA, CSI, and high tech equipment didn’t exist. Poppy reminded me of a girl Friday, but one who could smell deceit as well as a good story. I really enjoyed the naive qualities Poppy portrayed, a tribute to the time she lived in as well as her own morals. Her dogged resilience in the face of the man’s world she lived in made me like her pluck. I also enjoyed Griff’s good ole American portrayal of WWII pilot and found their relationship to be sweet and fitting to a book of this style. The historical elements of this novel while not too detailed did ring true. The author gives a nice salute to the Attagirls, young women whom I didn’t even know existed. This era of women doing the job’s that required doing during this time of war is fascinating. It makes me want to spend an hour or two on my laptop researching the facts that supported this story. Tessa Arlen did a good job painting a picture without getting mired in the dry facts, romanticizing these women and weaving the mystery of two of their deaths. I really enjoyed this novel. Yes, it was simple, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t smart. It just had an air of innocence that reminded me a bit of an old episode of Superman before the onset of special effects. If you love an old fashioned novel, then the Poppy Redfern series should be on your TBR. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue F

    I had previously read and really enjoyed the first book in this short two-book series, so I was happy to receive an advance reading copy of the second book from the publisher to review. First off, this was just a straight-out fun read. The characters are engaging and I liked watching Poppy in her new career with the London Crown Film Unit. I also enjoyed Poppy’s budding relationship with Griff, and I hope author Tessa Arlen writes more books in the series so we can see that continue to develop. I had previously read and really enjoyed the first book in this short two-book series, so I was happy to receive an advance reading copy of the second book from the publisher to review. First off, this was just a straight-out fun read. The characters are engaging and I liked watching Poppy in her new career with the London Crown Film Unit. I also enjoyed Poppy’s budding relationship with Griff, and I hope author Tessa Arlen writes more books in the series so we can see that continue to develop. The story just pulled me along, and I ended up reading this late into the night – and yawning at work the next day! I’d give the book four and a half stars just for how fun it was. On a slightly more serious note, I have some familiarity with England during the Blitz/WWII due to a high-school history report I had to do many many years ago. The background of Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers dovetails quite nicely into what I already knew, which is always nice for a historical mystery. But it also taught me quite a bit about the female pilots, the Air Transport Auxiliary corps, who ferried planes around during the war, so that the male pilots could go off and fight. But the teaching was subtle and fun, so it didn’t feel like writing my report (!), and didn’t make the book slow or boring – far from it. And although there’s a bit of skullduggery going on (there sort of has to be, for this to be a murder mystery!), the sense of the women as a team, aware that they were capable of doing more than just ferrying planes, but still doing their part for the war effort, was one of the highlights of the book for me. And that tipped it over into five stars, which is sort of a rare rating for me. Finally, my thanks to Berkley/Penguin and Edelweiss for the review copy!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    This story is a mystery set in October 1942 in England. This is the second book in the series. You don't need to read the previous novel to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil whodunit from the previous book. The mystery was clue-based. Poppy immediately suspected poison and kept looking for some exotic poison, never considering some very simple alternatives. At least Griff had some sensible alternative suggestions (and a secret investigation of his own). However, it seemed like most This story is a mystery set in October 1942 in England. This is the second book in the series. You don't need to read the previous novel to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil whodunit from the previous book. The mystery was clue-based. Poppy immediately suspected poison and kept looking for some exotic poison, never considering some very simple alternatives. At least Griff had some sensible alternative suggestions (and a secret investigation of his own). However, it seemed like most of the story was learning the various backgrounds of the Attagirls and learning about what they did. Which fit as part of the investigation and filming project, but it meant that there weren't that many clues to the actual mystery. It wasn't difficult to solve once Poppy remembered a certain clue, but there was no proof. I enjoyed the story until the end, when Poppy set up a person they think will be the next target so she's in a situation where she might be murdered, but they give her no warning nor do they try to protect her. It's not even clear why they think this will flush out the murderer. Then a simple whodunit suddenly got complex as she and Griff accused multiple people of multiple crimes, some of which happened years in the past and sometimes with little proof. It didn't leave me feeling very satisfied. There was a fair amount of bad language. There was no sex. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kidlitter

    A DRC was provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair if lukewarm review. The first Poppy Redfern novel was utterly charming with the adventures of Air Warden Poppy navigating bombs and a killer in her own little hamlet of Little Buffenden while nursing dreams of becoming a writer and finding flirtations with a dashing American flyboy. This sequel lacks much of the dash and elan of the first book, though Poppy, now a girl reporter still manages to come across an intriguing mystery she must solve A DRC was provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair if lukewarm review. The first Poppy Redfern novel was utterly charming with the adventures of Air Warden Poppy navigating bombs and a killer in her own little hamlet of Little Buffenden while nursing dreams of becoming a writer and finding flirtations with a dashing American flyboy. This sequel lacks much of the dash and elan of the first book, though Poppy, now a girl reporter still manages to come across an intriguing mystery she must solve, though I'd rather have had more of her little terrier Bess helping her than now boyfriend Griff, who has lost some of his glamour and is reduced to hanging about on the sidelines, emerging to throw a punch or subdue a villain. There is some good stuff about female aviators and the challanges they faced in the All Boys Club of the WWII Air Force but the women spend a distressing amount of time and energy gossping, backstabbing and wittering about the murderer in their midst. None of them emerge as sympathetic enough to care about should one get bumped off. Poppy is appealing as ever, so I hope Arlen gets her mojo back for #3 after this wobbly sequel. In the meantime, I recommend reading Elizabeth Wein's incredible works on women aviators of World War Two which truly does justice to these amazing womens' courage and self-sacrifice.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Homerun2

    3.75 stars The second entry in this World War II era British series was a great read. Former Air Warden Poppy Redfern has left her small town to work for the war information folks writing scripts. Their current assignment is to highlight ATA pilots -- women who ferry planes around in an effort to free up the RAF boys for more critical war-time duties. Poppy is an interesting character. She is competent, level-headed and even-tempered. Her sort of boyfriend, American pilot Griff is also in the vici 3.75 stars The second entry in this World War II era British series was a great read. Former Air Warden Poppy Redfern has left her small town to work for the war information folks writing scripts. Their current assignment is to highlight ATA pilots -- women who ferry planes around in an effort to free up the RAF boys for more critical war-time duties. Poppy is an interesting character. She is competent, level-headed and even-tempered. Her sort of boyfriend, American pilot Griff is also in the vicinity, working on an investigation that he can't talk about. He and Poppy are very different people. She is British, reserved, quiet and low-key. He is more American -- charming, outgoing, and confident. Poppy's first day on the new film ends in tragedy when one of the female flyers crashes and dies. When a second pilot also is killed, she and Griff can't believe it's just accidental or pilot error. We watch Poppy getting to know the other pilots and asking questions to try and figure out the mystery. The war-time setting is well-done and captivating. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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