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)
Poorly written, weakly narrated, (can't tell the characters apart), and just rather dull. It should be an exciting time in history, but the story never gets going, and never seems to go anywhere. Don't waste your credits, try Hornet Flight by Follett if you want excellent WW2 fiction.
I love audio books because I can hear them while I drive endlessly or sew. They cannot take the place of reading but they supplement books in a wonderful way. So no, it is not better than the printed version just different. Having said that, however, I found Wanda McCaddon's reading irritating in the extreme. She has an unfortunate habit of ending each sentence with a strange intonation and lost her accents at times. So I think that I would have preferred to read this particular novel.
This is not an edge of your seat kind of book. But it certainly kept my attention. By the end of both the books in the series I was sad to say goodbye to new friends.
Irritating, inconsistent and distracting.
No exteme reaction - just a comfortable familiarity. The plot is not riveting.
This book is a good read for a light afternoon. Not too deep, not too obvious.
easy to listen to.
interesting story, with a good twist. some slightly jarring notes when modern social issues are over represented, but overall can move past those episodes.
66 year old art/filmmaker.
The author doesn't really have a feeling for the characters.
Performance was OK. Material was not.
Yes if they liked historical spy mysteries
When Maggie finds out her fiance is MIA and presumed dead
Donata Peters is a better narrator than the one who does Princess Elizabeth's Spy the next book. I want another book!!!!
Portrait painter of Dogs, people, & other pets in Oil, Pastel, Watercolour, egg tempera, & sketches. Always listening while I create.
Probably not, got it first time
Well I rarely sit, usually standing at easel or walkin dogs while listening - but it held my attention
Yes, how can one avoid her narration-in this book it suited the story
I have enough mental stress naming my paintings to adequately do justice to this story of brilliant orphaned girl raised by brilliant American lesbian aunt after her brilliant British parents die in accident or do they? How she gives up MIT to become a code breaking heroine secretary for WSC.
It's light historical thriller-fiction, fun to read/listen to in between volumes of The Last Lion. After reading the fictional "Mr. Churchill Secretary" I would suggest reading/listening to the non-fictional "Long Sunset: Memoirs of Winston Churchill's Last Private Secretary " it is excellent, story & narration.
In the top 10 for sure.
Maggie, loved her spunk.
She did a great job with all characters.
A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!
Maggie is a wonderful heroine - smart, resourceful, and determined to "do her bit" in fighting the war. The historical detail makes this story come alive, and descriptions of the blitz show the pluck of the British throughout. There are several story arcs, and they all come to a satisfying conclusion. Maggie is a feminist, but not a feminist. She wants to use her skills to the fullest, but she is still a woman, not a faux man. My only slight criticism is that several times I thought the story had come to a satisfying conclusion, then to find that, wait! There's more! That's OK - I wanted more! A more serious criticism is that the narrator slipped in her voices a few times. That is more a criticism of editing - should have caught that! Not enough to destroy my pleasure in a good story. Looking forward to downloading the next in the series.
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