Now reading the next book in Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope mystery series – His Majesty’s Hope. Maggie has graduated from British spy school and is ready for her first assignment. MacNeal gently reminds readers of Maggie’s former assignments as Churchill’s secretary and Princess Elizabeth’s tutor – as well as her mathematical acumen and traitor mother who is a favorite of Hitler. This story is set in the middle of the war action, with Maggie parachuting into enemy territory as an undercover operative – complete with her cyanide pill hidden in her lipstick case. I had to stop at the horrific point when Nurse Elise discovers that disabled children are being killed by the Nazis. MacNeal gets inside the heads of the Nazis to document their atrocities
The action is exciting when Maggie is undercover in enemy territory but slows down at the end – setting up the scenario for the next book already in the works with the first chapter included as a teaser.
I miss reading about Maggie already; nice to know she’ll be back soon.
Reviews for MacNeal’s First Two Books:
Number Ten Downing Street, with Churchill as the P.M. and Germans bombing London, is the setting for Susan Elia MacNeal’s first book in the Maggie Hope spy mystery series – Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. With a mix of Bridget Jones panache and Ian Fleming espionage, MacNeal establishes a new sleuth with a mathematical brain and the charming mix of English parents and American upbringing.
Maggie Hope defers her acceptance into the Ph.D. program at M.I.T. to travel to London to sell the old Victorian house bequeathed to her by her British grandmother. When the war starts, she takes on roommates and, despite her qualifications, can only get a job as a typist.
Secret Messages in Fashion Drawings
Spies are everywhere, and Maggie soon uncovers a code hidden in an ad for women’s dresses. MacNeal supplies a reference in her historical note about Nazi agents in England embedding Morse code in drawings of models wearing the latest fashions. Maggie finds Morse code in the hem of a dress.
The secret of Maggie’s father’s disappearance as well as the murder of one of Churchill’s staff add to the suspense, and the action escalates with a plot to murder Churchill and bomb St. Paul’s Cathedral. Along with descriptions of the horrors of London during the Blitz, MacNeal includes excerpts of famous speeches and lovely poems you may want to memorize.
By the end, Maggie has saved the day and been offered a promotion. A fun, fast read with both history and adventure – and a possible romance brewing for the beautiful and brilliant red-head.
Thanks to Amy for introducing me to Maggie Hope. I can’t wait for the next book in the series – Princess Elizabeth’s Spy – to be published in October. In the meantime, as Churchill advises – KPO (Keep Plodding On).