Mr. Churchill's Secretary

A Novel

MacNeal, Susan Elia

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Mr. Churchill's Secretary
After German Luftwaffe bomb London, Maggie Hope--trained in math and code breaking, but only able to find a job as Winston Churchill's secretary--uses the access her position demands to try to unravel an assassinate plot.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Bantam Books Trade Paperback, c2012
ISBN: 0553593617
Branch Call Number: FICTION MACNEAL 2012
Characteristics: 373 p. ;,21 cm


From Library Staff

England during World War II: air raids, code breaking, IRA bombings, hope and glory. This is rich with period details involving a young woman with a brilliant mind serving as secretary to Mr. Churchill. A very tidy mystery.

From the critics

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Nov 11, 2014
  • col2862 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Disappointing with very many small historical errors, including easy Trans-Atlantic phone calls!
Overall poorly done

Mar 10, 2014
  • Shelley51 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great first book in a series. Loved the history and the characters.

Jul 13, 2013
  • readsalot80 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I liked this first Maggie Hope book. The story is interesting and though fiction takes place during WWII with true settings. Its an enjoyable read with surpises that I didn't see coming.

May 22, 2013
  • BPLNextBestAdults rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is an exciting, well researched blend of fact and fiction during WW11. Hope, in wartime London during the blackouts, raids and bombings was exactly what Churchill needed in order to outwit the Nazi's. The murder of Churchill's secretary opened the door for Maggie Hope, a British citizen who was raised in America and eager to help the war effort. She was hired to type TOP SECRET files for Mr. Churchill. Her degree in advanced mathematics, and fluency in both French and German helped her become an essential part of Churchill's team. In spite of what the elite male Oxford/Cambridge private assistants thought of her "atrocious American accent", Maggie dealt with double agents, espionage, German codes and assassination plots. She encountered grave personal danger but her courage attracted the attentions of the prestigious MI-5. As Churchill said to Maggie, KPO-Keep Plodding On. Susan Elia MacNeal has created a heroine who will do just that. Reviewed by ML

Apr 24, 2013
  • branch_reviews rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A debut novel set in 1940’s London, introducing Maggie Hope, an American-raised young woman who is a math whiz and wants to help her birth country by utilizing her math skills in code breaking but can only find work as a secretary in Winston Churchill’s office. However, Maggie gets to help solve a murder case and foil an assassination plot setting the stage for more novels with the character, Maggie Hope. Lots of atmosphere created with WWII facts of war-torn London including the Blitz, rationing, social lives of young women and shocking surprises about her parents thrown in. It is fast paced and an enjoyable mix of mystery, thriller and romance. This novel has been nominated for many awards including the Mystery Writers of America’s 2013 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Princess Elizabeth’s Spy is the second novel in the series and His Majesty’s Hope is set to be published shortly with a fourth slated for 2014. Reviewed by SFB.

Jan 02, 2013
  • chickie2 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

enjoyable. Starts out with seemingly simplistic naive characters, but develops nicely.

Nov 09, 2012

A British mystery set during WW11. A lightweight story and feel good characters. I enjoyed it but it felt like a guilty pleasure because everyone feels surreally wholesome and the plot and setting lacking a visceral feeling as if it's removed rom anything real.

Oct 29, 2012
  • tmb_net rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I really had high hopes for this book,
historical fiction with an intelligent protagonist but the author just didn't make Maggie come alive. All the characters felt stiff and unreal. The story is told from several different viewpoints but the portions told from Maggie's 1st person view just didn't work for me. Much better were the short segments told in 3rd person omniscient.....
I might read the next in the series just because it is a time period I'm interested in..I'm also currently reading a bio of Wallis Simpson which I find very interesting.

Jul 20, 2012
  • Carlitos rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

England during World War II: air raids, code breaking, IRA bombings, hope and glory. This is an enjoyable and richly detailed mystery involving a young woman with a brilliant mind serving as secretary to Mr. Churchill.

Jun 23, 2012
  • booklady413 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book takes place, obviously, by the title during WWII. Maggie becomes Winston Churchill's secretary. The plot also involves the Irish Republican Army. An interesting historical mystery that lovers of this time period will enjoy.

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