Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Book Review: Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal

Princess Elizabeth's Spy
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Series: Maggie Hope (Book 2)
Publication: Bantam; First Edition edition (October 16, 2012)

Description: Susan Elia MacNeal introduced the remarkable Maggie Hope in her acclaimed debut, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. Now Maggie returns to protect Britain’s beloved royals against an international plot—one that could change the course of history. 

As World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5. Spirited, strong-willed, and possessing one of the sharpest minds in government for mathematics and code-breaking, she fully expects to be sent abroad to gather intelligence for the British front. Instead, to her great disappointment, she is dispatched to go undercover at Windsor Castle, where she will tutor the young Princess Elizabeth in math. Yet castle life quickly proves more dangerous—and deadly—than Maggie ever expected. The upstairs-downstairs world at Windsor is thrown into disarray by a shocking murder, which draws Maggie into a vast conspiracy that places the entire royal family in peril. And as she races to save England from a most disturbing fate, Maggie realizes that a quick wit is her best defense, and that the smallest clues can unravel the biggest secrets, even within her own family.

My Thoughts: Maggie Hope has washed out of the training that would let her spy in Europe because she lacks physical skills but that doesn't mean that her bosses at MI5 don't have a job in mind for her. Maggie is assigned as tutor to the young Princess Elizabeth to try to track down a German spy.

Maggie is grieving the loss of her almost-fiance John Sterling whose plane went down over Germany and this puzzle will help take her mind off him and his fate. As she settles into Windsor Castle, she meets many of the characters there including the soon-to-be-deceased Lady in Waiting Lily. Lily was beheaded by a wire strung between two trees when she was out riding with the young princesses. Maggie had just met her the night before and learned she was pregnant.

Wound into the investigation of her death is the mystery of missing coded messages from Bletchley Park which is tangled up with the mystery of her father. Maggie's handler in this case is Hugh Thompson who is a new romantic interest and who is also connected through his father to the events at the time of her mother's death.

The story was filled with great historical detail. I liked Maggie's take-charge attitude. I liked the setting and the interesting characters.

Favorite Quote:
"Yanks," the Admiral muttered. "Late to every war!"

"The Prime Minister is in constant contact with President Roosevelt, of course--"

"As much good as that's done. But as we all know too well from the last war, you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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