Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

Historical Mystery

 From Goodreads:

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.

I love historical mysteries so when I saw this one on Amazon Vine I could not pass it up.  This is a very well researched novel.  There is a great mix of real people and real events added to the fictional situations and characters.  Look for numerous red herrings and characters who are not what they seem.  Just when you think you know what is happening the story takes an unusual turn.  Included are quotes from the speeches Churchill’s gave as the war was beginning.  Some were familiar to me but others were new.   All of that was part of the world building.  The scene for the story had to be set and a lot of historical background was required for the world building in this first book.  There is a solution to the mystery in this book but there is also the set up for future books in the series.  Mr. Churchill’s Secretary is a great start to a new historical mystery series.

Bantam Books published Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal in 2012.


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