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The Traitor Among Us: An Elena Standish Novel


The Traitor Among Us: An Elena Standish Novel

When Anne Perry passed away earlier this year, I was devastated. I had been reading her books since the very beginning of her career and have reviewed them for the better part of the last two decades. I simply cannot imagine a holiday season without her annual Christmas novels (although we will get one more this year when A CHRISTMAS VANISHING releases in November).

So I was thrilled to learn that a new Elena Standish story was in the hopper. This is a relatively new series by Perry’s standards, but a very enjoyable one featuring a young MI6 agent engaged in various adventures. THE TRAITOR AMONG US is a fine addition; it’s an impeccably researched historical novel and an outstanding mystery, with a serious moral dilemma at its core.

"THE TRAITOR AMONG US impeccably researched historical novel and an outstanding mystery, with a serious moral dilemma at its core."

Elena’s grandfather Lucas, the man responsible for her start at MI6, receives word that one of his oldest and most loyal colleagues has died. John Repton was on a mission that had ties to a wealthy British family and the possibility of their supporting Hitler. Alas, no one will know what Repton might have learned as his life was cut short by a rifle shot. His body was roughly buried on the outskirts of the estate owned by the Wyndham family.

Lucas has no choice but to put Elena on the case. James Allenby, who reported the Repton tragedy to him, speaks highly of Elena’s abilities. And it just so happens that Elena’s older sister, Margot, currently resides at Wyndham Manor as she recently became engaged to Lady Wyndham’s brother, Geoffrey Baden. Margot herself spent a lot of time in Berlin during her youth, so if there is any truth to the Wyndhams’ alleged support of what was happening in Germany, it might make sense that she would be at the center of it.

Elena gets herself and James (who will play the role of her boyfriend) an invitation to spend some time with Margot and the Wyndhams and to meet her soon-to-be brother-in-law. It’s an especially dangerous and tricky mission due to the family connection, but Elena is a professional who is comfortable at any international location and will give it the expected first-rate treatment for which she is known.

Elena finds Margot to be her old self, often jealous of her younger sister and extremely strong-willed and driven when it comes to her own interests. She also gets to rub shoulders with Lady Wyndham herself and immediately identifies her as a force to be reckoned with who is not to be trusted. While she begins to butt heads with Margot, she finds time to get away with James and discovers Repton’s last location. There they come across his diary, and the information in it is extremely telling.

Elena is placed in a really bad position. Margot has been a long-suffering widow who finally has found happiness again. Yet the nefarious dealings of the Wyndham family will threaten to tear down everything. However, Elena knows better than anyone that her oath is to serve her country first, and the opportunity to snuff out a homeland connection to Hitler is not something she can let slip by.

Anne Perry dedicates THE TRAITOR AMONG US to “my readers, with thanks.” That is enough to choke up her loyal fans as they dive into another well-crafted mystery from the master.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on September 15, 2023

The Traitor Among Us: An Elena Standish Novel
by Anne Perry