The Physicists’ Daughter


It’s 1944, and Justine Byrne is thrilled by the opportunity to step away from her mind-numbing war-time assembly line job and use her welding skills to repair breaks in the factory’s lateral guides. She’s puzzled by the metal failures but not alarmed until the moment she discovers the tale-tell gouges and scratches along the welds: Sabotage.


When a coworker is killed after a crane mysteriously crashes onto the factory floor, Justine knows at least one German spy is working alongside her. But what did they want at an operation in the remote area of New Orleans? Was their mission to slow down the factory’s production of boats for the navy, thereby hampering the war effort? Or did it have something to do with what she and the other women were working on inside the secretive carbon unit?


War levies many costs, first among them trust. As a 21-year-old female line worker, who would take her suspicions seriously? But more importantly, who could she trust? Not her sleazy boss, the two charming men vying for her attention, the women she worked shoulder-to-shoulder with, or even her new best friend.

The Physicists’ Daughter is a fascinating stroll through the era as seen through the eyes of a young woman with huge dreams and little prospects. Justine is just the sort of determined heroine young women need to meet.

Justine knows she must have proof. But until she can determine what she works on every day in the secretive carbon unit, she can’t be sure what the spies are after. She returns to the comfort of the unconventional world her late parents had built, where evening talks were about physics, encryptions, and problem-solving. So, Justine spends her evenings pouring over her late father’s science books while wrestling with food rations and sleep deprivation.


But Justine is being watched. And the closer she gets to the answers, the more her threat—and value—to those watching soars. She’ll have to think quickly and act faster to save herself, her coworkers, and perhaps even her country.


The Physicists’ Daughter is a fascinating stroll through the era as seen through the eyes of a young woman with huge dreams and little prospects. Justine is just the sort of determined heroine young women need to meet. Although she is socially awkward and slow to make friends, she’s comfortable with who she is and isn’t prepared to change for anyone—not even the handsome men pursuing her. The Physicists’ Daughter is available June 7.


Author Mary Anna Evans holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics and a Master of Science in chemical engineering. She is a licensed professional engineer, which explains why the scientific language in the novel sounds and feels like natural dialog. Evans is also the author of the multi-award-winning Faye Longchamp Archaeological Mysteries. She is the co-editor of Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie, slated for release in late 2022.


To learn more about the author go to www.maryannaevans.com and on Instagram @maryannaevans