Mr. Churchill's Secretary : Maggie Hope

  • by Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Narrated by Wanda McCaddon
  • Series: Maggie Hope
  • 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

“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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lovely

I didn't actually like the Jacqueline Winspear books, although I wanted to, but I did like this one. I've started the second in this series and it's even better. In this first book, I think the writing was a bit 'loose', if that makes sense. I mean that sometimes people seemed to talk too long about a topic, but overall I liked it very much. It really is, as someone said, a cozy spy book, which I think is a new genre. There was a lot more plot than I expected, with some real surprises and the heroine is definitely the 'heroine', meaning a bit larger than life. It's many decades since I read Nancy Drew, but I remember admiring her as a young girl and this heroine is worth looking up to as well, as she solves problems that don't tend to happen in everyday life.

One always associates the "Keep Calm and Carry On" motto to the British and the 'stiff upper lip", but I had never really connected it to wartime, Winston Churchill, and that resolute attitude he helped the Brits maintain, before it was known that Hitler was not going to be able to steamroll over Britain as well. I find it a more inspiring quote now, plus we learned a variation: KPO for Keep Plodding On and another variation in Book 2. Good for some days at work! Also, helps one to remember every day to be grateful for NOT being in a war zone.
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- Katherine

Enjoyed This New Author For Me.

What did you love best about Mr. Churchill's Secretary?

I had no particular problem with any of the book. All women know the predjudice involved in evaluating our skills. I always enjoy a book about a woman who has interests, as an adult, that uses intellectual skills with being dehumanized. Maggie is smart, analytical, but very empathetic too. She doesn't try to be one of the guys except to try to excel at the things she does best.

The blending of history and fiction is very masterfully done. I am a Churchill fan and have read his biography. What a character.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Maggie because she is bright, grows with each experience and is very plucky.


Which scene was your favorite?

When Maggie was being pursued and was hiding in the Anderson shelter. It taxed one to think a out how she could escape. Kept your attention.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What History Didn't Tell Us.


Any additional comments?

Immediately listened to the second book and am looking forward to the next. My dad was a WWII vet and I have read extensively about that era. It is fun to see the authors skill in using fact and fiction.

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- Electic Chef

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-03-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio