Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

59%

12 Critic Reviews

A plucky heroine isn’t enough to salvage a plot overly dependent on contrivances. . .
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Susan Elia MacNeal

See more books from this Author
Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of the Maggie Hope mystery series, including her debut novel, Mr. Churchill's Secretary, Princess Elizabeth's Spy, and the upcoming Hitler's Nightingale. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and child.
 
Published April 3, 2012 by Bantam. 386 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Mr. Churchill's Secretary
All: 12 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
Feb 01 2012

Brave, clever Maggie’s debut is an enjoyable mix of mystery, thriller and romance that captures the harrowing experiences of life in war-torn London.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Feb 13 2012

A plucky heroine isn’t enough to salvage a plot overly dependent on contrivances. . .

Read Full Review of Mr. Churchill's Secretary | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Denver Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Tom Schantz on May 06 2012

It's a captivating, post-feminist picture of England during its finest hour.

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NJ.com

Below average
Reviewed by Sheila Feeney on Apr 22 2012

Susan Elia MacNeal’s crazy pile-it-on ending (never has a book had more fake-fatal car accidents) undermines her excellent research, fine writing and clever genre-busting, gender-bending plot.

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Winnipeg Free Press

Below average
Reviewed by Douglas Johnston on Apr 14 2012

Her plot's not a bad idea, in outline. It's the execution that's lacking.

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Shelf Awareness

Below average
Reviewed by Kerry McHugh on Apr 13 2012

. . .each aspect of 1940s England is covered in detail; at times, however, these pieces don't always fit together neatly, making the story feel as though it has perhaps been forced to accommodate too much of its era.

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Curled Up

Good
Reviewed by Laura Hulka

A highly enjoyable story, with quick-witted characters and a true flavor of wartime London.

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Kittling: Books

Good
Reviewed by Cathy on Apr 05 2012

As the pieces are put into place, the reader is immersed in life in London during the Blitz, and by the time those pieces are all where they should be, the action takes off like a house afire. I haven't had this much enjoyment in reading a book for quite a while...

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Scandalous Women

Below average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Mahon on Apr 05 2012

I don't want to spoil the plot but there were a few too many cooincidences that any soap viewer would pick up on.

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Novel Chatter

Good

Susan Elia MacNeal's research is incredibly detailed and accurate as needed historically.

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Purple Sage and Scorpions

Good
Reviewed by Kay on Apr 23 2012

. . .this is a compelling read that certainly addresses the sacrifices and sheer horror experienced by people in Britain at that time.

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The Lit B***h

Good
Apr 08 2012

I loved the pace of the book.

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Reader Rating for Mr. Churchill's Secretary
75%

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Dorothy Braithwaite

Dorothy Braithwaite 5 Sep 2013

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