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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Enjoyable Read

Where does Mr. Churchill's Secretary rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I like this book better than most of the other books I have listened to.

What other book might you compare Mr. Churchill's Secretary to and why?

It is similar to "Her Royal Spyness". It is set in a similar era, british, female heronie.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brave Britons

It seems World War II never looses its appeal. Inspite of being hard to believe during some of the story this was entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jose
  • Chula Vista, CA, United States
  • 11-13-12

Entertaining, nice, soft, good historical images

Would you consider the audio edition of Mr. Churchill's Secretary to be better than the print version?

I do not know.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maggie. Focused, brave, intelligent, non-selfconcious beauty.

Have you listened to any of Wanda McCaddon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

None really. Meeting her father is the most moving, but then not very much.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Christina
  • Stanwood, WA, United States
  • 07-23-12

Wonderful!!!

If you could sum up Mr. Churchill's Secretary in three words, what would they be?

The three words I would use would be, wonderful. engaging, and thrilling.

What other book might you compare Mr. Churchill's Secretary to and why?

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.

Which character – as performed by Wanda McCaddon – was your favorite?

I loved Maggie Hope. This book made me root for her.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YES!

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Not my kind of heroine

Too passive and winey that is Maggie Hope. The story took way too long to get to anywhere exiting, and after a few interesting chapters, the end lasted forever. Not for me.

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really good book

learned a great deal about the history and politics of this small slice of our story.

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Outstanding Story

Loved the characters, setting, narrator and plot. I highly recommend this well written historical novel.

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1940, London, and a brilliant young woman in mathematics taking a typing position for Mr. Churchill at 10 Downing ...

Imagine all those lining up on a slot machine ... surely lighter than the reality would been unto shorting out an an assassination on the old man himself ... but it was a warm read in this lighter fictional mode. This young woman was through and through human and used her analytical side surprising men off the road left and right in her true valor ... her logic and code ... her new coworkers knew only of her typing. Foiling a Churchill assassination on her first week of work would have dropped on my heels to the carpet. I read much of Winston and this book tries to get in at least ten or so of his greatest quotes. I must say I wonder if people know exactly what he said and exactly where and to whom. But, none the less ‘Never Give In’ does nicely in almost any room in the house. I think Winston went yay on the extraterrestrial vote as he knew ... he was one.

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narrator (Donada Peters) problem.

I really enjoyed the story but the narrator frequently mixed up accents between American, English (and different regions) and Irish. Characters from Liverpool had a London accent, etc, also. Conversations between people from the two regions often were read in just one of the accents. When it was specified where one of the characters was from, she'd change it mid sentence. Narrators are supposed to read the book through first so that doesn't happen. Just sloppy and broke the flow of the story constantly, and the narrator has a fine voice and not THAT bad at accents when she actually tried, so it just seemed lazy and kept making me remember the narrator was there.
also the narrator was mislabelled as Wanda McCaddon. Hopefully she's better.

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Another excellent story of women and war

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love stories about the World Wars and especially, the role of women. This wove real history and fiction seamlessly. It had me guessing (wrongly) as to who the culprits were and just when I thought it was about to tie all the ends neatly, a knotty problem arose. The narration was fabulous. I have always enjoyed anything by this narrator and she once again delivered a strong, interesting performance without outlandish accents or intonations.