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)
Yes! This is a very engaging story, right from the beginning. The narrator is very easy to listen to and you always know which character is speaking. I love the fact that this book is about women in WWII, though sometimes it makes the men look like bumbling idiots. That part I didn't like. But I found myself rooting for our heroine in her struggles against the mighty brotherhood of men. I loved it mostly because it entertained me.
Since this is a book about women, she helps round out that perspective.
I absolutely loved listening to this narrator read this book. It was wonderfully written and read. Wanda McCaddon excellently switched from character to character without over doing any of it. Her accents were perfect, her male voices believable.
Susan MacNeal wrote a wonderful story, truly making me feel like I was in London during WWII. Her descriptions were full but not flowery nor tedious. She made me feel like I was friends with Maggie and David.
I cannot wait to read more by MacNeal and would listen to anything read by McCaddon.
Such a nice combination of spy thriller and actual history. Totally enjoyable for anyone who likes suspense combined with history of WW II in England. And very well read. Wish there was more like it!
I wanted to like this book but the overly simplistic plotting and writing were a disappointment. It seems like I was reading a book aimed at a Jr High audience.
Entertaining, interesting, a mystery and captures the feeling of London during the blitz. Four stars only because, for some reason, they Americanized the story and refer to dollars, Marines protecting the PM. Otherwise a very entertaining and engrossing story.
I love stories that take place in this historical period.
I choose this book as it was listed as a Maise Dobbs genre. It is that with more suspense but not quite the attachment to the characters. Never the less, I really enjoyed the story and would recommend it.
In the top grouping.
Maggie HopeI enjoyed how she fit her intelligence into solving the puzzles and confounding the men.
I had never listened to one of her performances before. She does a wonderful job.
From typist to protector of the Crown...
A wonderful book. I found it a little hard to follow in the beginning, but the story soon absorbed me and I couldn't wait to see how it ended. The reader has a wonderful voice and makes listening a pleasure.
No, I didn't like the reader at all.
Most of the time, especially in the second half of the book.
The same one as the last book (Duerden) or Caroline Lee.
McCaddon did a good job on the voices and narrative. Without her strong performance, I would have given a lower overall rating.
I have read a lot of history on Churchill and Britain before and during WWII. I love the time period and the resolve of the people. The story does give one an appreciation for the complexities and dangers of that era for the British people.
Too many long periods of 'dull' in the book.
Mixed media artist, drummer, and Audible listener - 863 titles and counting!
Yes, if they like stories about a spunky femme proviing herself in adverse circumstances
A conversation between the Churchills.
Maybe a TV series. That sexy redhead cop from The Mentalist would be perfect.
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