The Secret Agent by Elisabeth Hobbes

The Secret Agent by Elisabeth Hobbes was a disappointment. I’ve read many (maybe all) of her books and I had high expectations about this one. Well, it was not great at all. Hobbes usually writes historical fiction in the medieval period and those worked nicely. This one though is a story of a SOE agent deployed in France during WWII, in 1944. I will avoid spoilers, but I will talk about some of the things that annoyed me in the book.

The Secret Agent by Elisabeth Hobbes

Sylvie Duchene is the secret agent, a dancer, whose real name is Sylvia Crichton. She is trained in UK before arriving in France to work as a dancer at a nightclub called Mirabelle. In the blurb of the book is mentioned: “enigmatic piano player Felix… a part of the resistance or a collaborator?” Well, that is sorted out very quickly, so I don’t see why it is part of the blurb when it is such an insignificant part of the story.

Also, horrors are mentioned in the blurb, but I didn’t see many of those, the story is very clean. It made me think of a young adult book, which is a bit of a shame. In the first 200 pages my favourite character was the Nazi… this says a lot about how annoying she was; because a strong woman is one that is unpleasant too, for some reason. The love story is shallow and I can’t say that I was impressed by how the characters developed during the book.

I had some problems with the historical bits too. For example the Nazi I mentioned was 27 and despite being able, he was not in the military. In 1944?! That is quite unlikely, as by the end of the war even teenagers and men in their late 40s were called to arms.

I would recommend the book as a light read, no real drama besides the “ohh, I love you… ohh, I don’t love you”. If you are looking for a book that looks into the real difficult choices that people faced during the war this is not the book for you. So, depending on your expectations you might enjoy it more than I did. If I wanted a light read, then this would have been really good.

The Secret Agent by Elisabeth Hobbes

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 3/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes-ish/no-ish
Published by: One More Chapter
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Historical fiction
Pages: 432

About the author: Elisabeth grew up in York, where she developed her love for history and the past. She read History and Art History at university, before becoming a teacher. She now lives in Cheshire with her family.
In 2013 Elisabeth entered her first novel into a Harlequin contest and finished in third place. Thus, she was offered a two book contract.
Books by her: A Wager for the Widow, Falling for Her Captor, Uncovering The Merchant’s Secret, stand-alone novels.
The Danby Brothers series: The Blacksmith’s Wife; Redeeming the Rogue Knight; A midsummer knight’s kiss.
The Conquest of England series: The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge, Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight
Book in a series with other authors: A Runaway Bride for the Highlander.
Website & Social Media Links: –

5 thoughts on “The Secret Agent by Elisabeth Hobbes”

  • Considering there are plenty of other historical fiction books set in this timeframe that I’ve read positive reviews for, I think I’ll pass on this one. I’ll have to check out some of her medieval titles.
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  • I’m really sorry that this one didn’t work for you! It only goes to highlight the remarks I made in answer to your last comment on my blog. Reading really is so personal and reviewing so subjective, as I would probably quite enjoy this one, because I wouldn’t necessarily be looking for too much detail in the storyline, although in this case I wonder if the premise really does make it sound a bit more exciting than perhaps it actually is.

    I hope that you have another book lined up and that you enjoy that one more!
    Have a great weekend 🙂 xx

    • You are right, it’s about expectations. I was hoping for a darker story, but instead it is a light read with some questionable historical points. It would be a nice novel for someone wanting a cute, romantic story though.

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