For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Laurie R. King, and Anne Perry, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary captures the drama of an era of unprecedented challenge - and the greatness that rose to meet it.
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.
In this daring debut, Susan Elia MacNeal blends meticulous research on the era, psychological insight into Winston Churchill, and the creation of a riveting main character, Maggie Hope, into a spectacularly crafted novel.
©2012 Susan Elia Macneal (P)2012 Random House Audio
“This wonderful debut is intelligent, richly detailed, and filled with suspense.” (Stefanie Pintoff)
“A terrific read.... Chock full of fascinating period details and real people including Winston Churchill, MacNeal’s fast-paced thriller gives a glimpse of the struggles, tensions, and dangers of life on the home front during World War II.” (Rhys Bowen, author of Royal Blood and winner of the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards)
“Think early Ken Follett, amp it up with a whip-smart young American not averse to red lipstick and vintage cocktails, season it with espionage during the London Blitz, and you’ve got a heart-pounding, atmospheric debut. I loved it.” (Cara Black, author of Murder in Passy)
This delightful book slowly and carefully brings one into England during the beginning of World War II with interesting characters: The world before women were accepted into the upper echelons of politics; the world of Winston Churchill's office. And suddenly, it becomes a mystery to unwind and evolves into a full-fledged spy novel with just a touch of romance. This was most enjoyable and I will make it a point to follow this series.
Can't give that away. It is, after all, a spy novel.
This was new to me.
I like this book better than most of the other books I have listened to.
It is similar to "Her Royal Spyness". It is set in a similar era, british, female heronie.
The book starts off slow, and it's a little jumpy shirting perspectives. It does address some thought provoking ideologies regarding war that I found interesting.
I do not know.
Maggie. Focused, brave, intelligent, non-selfconcious beauty.
I have not.
None really. Meeting her father is the most moving, but then not very much.
Good plot. Good listen (great reader). Not as crude or violent as other novels of the same genre.Historical references to London at the onset of the war, were interesting.
The three words I would use would be, wonderful. engaging, and thrilling.
This book is fabulous I wouldn't want to compare it to anything. I can't wait for the next book, I love the different view of history.
I loved Maggie Hope. This book made me root for her.
This story has so much potential to be a fantastic book but just really fell flat. Everything in the story, from character development to historical events to code breaking and espionage, was just spoon-fed to the reader by the narrator when it should have been "shown" to the reader through the story. I would love for this book to be rewritten with the same storyline because I believe it could be great.
The story is interesting but the telling is poorly structured and the scenes shift too smoothly. Frequently, I thought I was listening to dialogue between one set of characters when, in fact, the scene and locale had changed and other characters were on stage. I found it hard to keep the characters straight for at least the first half of the book.
I enjoyed this book, and would have been happy to liten to the sequels. However, the second narrator was quite a disagreeable experience, so, unfortunately, no further listens.
I knew it wouldn't be long before writers began to take up WWII as entertainment. Nevertheless MacNeal does entertain and I did learn more about the circumstances surrounding the war, particularly among the civilian population.
The painless often enjoyable learning opportunity offered by books whose main objective IS entertainment; but are nevertheless well written.
I am sorry to say I agree with the many readers that find the narration a decided distraction. However, I tend to chalk this up to the directors carelessness. The narrator's voice has exceptionally strong potential as pleasing and expressive. SHE NEEDS COACHING to eliminate the habits that distract from the performance, such as ending many sentence on the high note of a .question.
I found the story interesting if fairly predictable. A gentle spy thriller and i enjoyed the characters very much. Narration was particularly good.
Unfortunately the Narrator changed for subsequent books in the series and i did not enjoy her performance at all
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