Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia McNeal
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

Genre: Historical Mystery, Spy Fiction
Format: Ebook and Trade Paperback
Series: #1 in the Maggie Hope series
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 354
Source: Purchased (ebook), Library (trade paperback)

The Book:
From the publisher:

London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined—and opportunities she will not let pass. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also exposes Maggie to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.

Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie must work quickly to balance her duty to King and Country with her chances for survival. And when she unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, she’ll discover that her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.

My Thoughts:
I first heard about this series several years ago but was in the middle of other books set in similar locations and time periods so I mentally tagged it for ‘later’. Four years later, “later” finally arrived and now I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Then I mentally pat myself on the back because I now have the next four in the series ready and waiting for me whenever I want and I’m not having to wait until October for the next book like all those people that are caught up with this series.

Maggie is a great character. I like her and some of her friends and co-workers. I enjoyed the scenes with her and Winston Churchill. There was a lot going on in this one and while not entirely plausible it was a fun read. It sets up for a sequel without ending in a cliffhanger (thank goodness). I’m looking forward to what’s next for Maggie.

I enjoy the setting and time period so I was a bit predisposed to like it. Plus, with a recommendation from Sassymonkey I knew it wouldn’t be too far off my preferences.

It’s a nice blend of historical fiction, mystery, and spy novel so if that’s something that appeals to you I encourage you to give this series a try.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5