Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Mr. Churchill's Secretary

A Novel

Book - 2012
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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 assassination plot.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books Trade Paperback, ©2012
ISBN: 9780553593617
0553593617
Branch Call Number: FICTION MACNEAL 2012
Characteristics: 373 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

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. Maggie Hope graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, yet her gender qualifies her onl... Read More »

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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m
MWirthJohnson
Aug 10, 2018

Someone told me that I would like this book because I was enjoying the Maisie Dobbs series. I read about a third of this, and then stopped in disgust. I'd been hoping for historical accuracy plus a compelling story, and found neither. Instead I thought it was amateuish and shallow.

k
kimh454
Jun 29, 2018

Didn't like it. Someone posted about small historical errors in this novel. I agree, there are plenty. Transatlantic phone calls is one. I think the reason given why Neville Chamberlain stepped down is also inaccurate, but not sure. And the shifts between characters felt forced and clumsy.

m
Mary Donovan
Jun 04, 2018

Series of Maggie hope mysteries - this is the first

JessicaGma Mar 07, 2018

A fun romp with a heck of a lot of characters that gets a bit confusing at times, this is a solid historic murder mystery, or as I have heard it phrased, "a story set in wartime where people have romantical problems". Maggie Hope is a math genius who gets to work for Churchill, but ends up doing much more. If you like Masie Dobbs, or a Rhys Bowen mystery, you'll like this.

a
augsburgerin
Mar 26, 2016

A solid historical mystery set in London during WWII. The setting is believable and the plot is exciting enough to keep the reader engaged. A word of warning: any German used in the story must have come from Google Translate or something worse and makes no sense whatsoever.

c
col2862
Nov 11, 2014

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

s
Shelley51
Mar 10, 2014

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

r
readsalot80
Jul 13, 2013

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.

BPLNextBestAdults May 22, 2013

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

branch_reviews Apr 24, 2013

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.

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