This week’s series post was an easy choice because the third Emmy Lake Book came out in the UK yesterday (it’s not out in the US until August) and I’ve read it and it’s good. It’s also a long time since I’ve written about a historical series that’s *not* a murder mystery one so it’s also a nice dash of variety for you all!
When we meet Emmy Lake at the start of the series, it is 1940 and she is applying for a job at the London Evening Chronicle and dreaming of being a Lady War Reporter. But what she actually gets is a job working for a women’s magazine, as secretary to their Agony Aunt. Mrs Bird doesn’t want any “Unpleasantness” included in the column, But as Emmy reads the letters coming in, she realises that some people need actual help with real problems, and takes matters into her own hands. The sequel, Yours Cheerfully, was a BotW when it came out back in 2021, and now we have a third. I’ve puzzled about how much of the plots of each of the sequels to talk about – because obviously there are spoilers a plenty here. I said you didn’t need to have read Dear Mrs Bird to enjoy Yours Cheerfully, and the same is true of Mrs Porter Calling, but as this is a Series I Love post, I’m encouraging you to read all of them and I don’t want to give too much away.
What I’ve decided that I can say is that the first book shows Emmy finding her feet in the world of magazines, the second shows her getting involved in the war effort, and the third has a threat to the future of the magazine that she loves. And then there is Emmy’s private life, which runs through all three books – her best friend Bunty, some romance, and then obviously living in London during the Second World War. Emmy has a can-do attitude and is very cheerful, which makes her a fun character to follow around – at the start of the series she’s quite sheltered – or at least not very worldly, but obviously that’s evolved as she’s seen more of life. As you know, I’m a Girl’s Own reader – and I’d say she’s a bit like one of the school girls from those series grown up and let lose on the world. It is a book set in the war, so it is inevitable that sad and bad things happen in this – but if you’ve read a few books set in London in the Second World War you can see what’s going to happen in the first book coming* so you’re slightly forewarned.
By the end of the new book, we’ve reached the start of 1944 so I’m hoping that means we have another book to come, because there are still some questions unanswered, but as it’s taken at least two years between books so far, I’m resigning myself to not getting any answers until 2025 at the earliest! My copy of Mrs Porter Calling came from NetGalley, but I think you should be able to find it fairly easily in the bookstores – I’ve seen Yours Cheerfully on the shelves in the last few weeks ahead of this one coming out too – and of course they’re all also in Kindle and Kobo. And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, the first book is in KU at the moment as well.
Have a great weekend everyone!
*Slight spoilers: This book may have been the origin of my unofficial Cafe de Paris rule. If you know, you know. I’ve tried to write a post about it the idea, but it would be full of spoilers. So full of spoilers…