Lakeland, United States Minor Outlying Islands | Member Since 2012
Born in 1939,a month after WWII was declared,I grew up on war stories and experiences from my British grandparents and uncles who had served "over There"."Mr Churchill's Secretary" by Susan Elia MacNeal enthralled me as it fleshed out many of the ideas and impressions which I had absorbed in my early years.
Maggie Hope is an engaging heroine,born English but raised American, who has returned to England in 1939 to dispose of her grandmother's house in London according to the terms of her will.When war breaks out she takes a position as a typist at 10 Downing St and so begins her "great adventure".
Susan Elia MacNeal has obviously done a tremendous amount of historical research to write this novel and she weaves this almost seamlessly into her riveting plot.
The few anachromisms present eg.Maggie's occasional rants about sexual and personal equality,seem out of place in a woman of this time and background,however,the absorbing plot and likeable characters make up for any minor flaws.
As a long-time follower of authors such as Anne Perry, Laurie R.King and Jacqueline Winspear et al, I find that "Mr Churchill's Secretary"shows great promise as a first novel and hopefully will become a series I cannot miss(especially if Wanda McCaddon continues as narrator).
Never again will I read a negative review before listening to the book involved!I have been chronologically reading the Maisie Dobbs series and after a negative review of "An Incomplete Revenge" skipped it and went on the the next novel .
However,I decided to rectify my omission and Thoroughly enjoyed the novel from the plot to the characterization to the narrator...I sincerely believe that "...the willing suspension of disbelief" should be the credo of an intelligent reader who has enjoyed previously enjoyed works by the same author.Keep on Ms Winspear.......please
As usual Alexander McCall Smith never fails to fascinate and engage his readers with his soothing,laidback style.In "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive" the solid,dependable Mr J.L.B.Matekoni,husband of Precious Ramotswe,decides to help out in the First Ladies Detective Agency and does so with surprising results.Mma Makusi makes a drastic decision and lives to regret it.Mma Ramotswe solves a few interesting problems and bad luck continues to follow MrJ.L.B.Matekoni's troublesome apprentice.
In "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive" our favourite characters continue to appeal with their quirky traits and commonplace lives in Mma Ramotswe"s beloved Botswana.Long write Alexander McCall Smith!
____"Divided In Death" continues J.D.Robb's fascinating series with even one more exciting well-crafted tale.In #18 the usual Robb characterization continues to be an integral element making the reader relate,on a personal level,with Eve,Roarke,Peabody and the others who are part of the "In Death" series ensemble that the readers have learned to follow with extreme interest.The plot,this time,involves the daughter of Roarke's personal assistant,thus affording another insight into Roarke and his relationships.However.the narration by Susan Eriksen,is to me,the single most important facet of all Robb's books,including"Divided In Death".Despite excellent characterization and intriguing plot lines,"Divided In Death" would not be the superior read/listen that is without Ms Eriksen's superlative narration.
Each novel in the In Death series builds upon the last and continues to fascinate and intrigue the reader. Midnight In Death is another tantalizing taste of Eve and Roarke's electric relationship
the plot keeps you on edge by slowly revealing little pieces of information that taken together lead to a satisfying resolution.
I have listened to all the "In Death" series to this point and I cannot imagine any other narrator for this series as Susan Ericksen manages to make each character individual and instantly recognizable.I especially like her interpretation of Delia Peabody.
The build up of suspense in Midnight in Death is masterful!I found it very difficult to take a break from listening.
The "In Death" series is a fabulous series for audio books.Would it be possible to all the this series , including anthologies etc, available in audio book form.I've looked for other JD Robb titles but was unable to find the audio format
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