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)
Maggie - she's bright, clever and stubborn and resourceful
She has a great range of voices, but sometimes she did appear to select the wrong accent from her repertoire
Yes - but it's too long for that
Loved all the books in print, now thoroughly enjoying the audio versions
The story was a bit childish with superficial characters and there were historical glitches such as commenting on fights on Calais and Dunkirk when the novelist just said that the Germans were invading Belgium and they were no in France yet, and talking about the non existence of the British Empire in 1940. Despite this it was enjoyable enough to finish and when I feel undemanding I will probably will listen to the other books
"almost very good"
I really enjoyed the concept & the clever plot, with good characters and good twists & turns in the plot.I would've given it 5 stars but for the irritating 'americanisms' which replaced the english eg windshield & hood; fall instead of autumn, alluminum instead of alluminium etc etc. if it was an english story set in London, then that irritation spoiled it for me. I also didnt enjoy the narration - whilst I enjoy some accent characterisation, I felt it went a bit all over the place at times, getting accents mixed up in the wrong places and following the accent through after the dialogue was over &this distracted rather than added to the enjoyment. Having said that, i'm going to give the sequel a go!
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