HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia…
Loading...

Mr. Churchill's Secretary (2012)

by Susan Elia MacNeal

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
79310711,583 (3.53)131
  1. 20
    The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (yonitdm)
    yonitdm: They both feature brilliant, strong women as main characters, plus mystery, intrigue, and many, many cups of tea.
  2. 00
    The Whole Stunned World: Between Boston and Burma by Jenny Ruth Yasi (rxtheresa)
    rxtheresa: Also an historical novel by a first time author. It is about Burma, not Great Britain and struggles during time of war.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 131 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
London 1940. Margaret “Maggie” Hope wants to work for the British intelligence, but as she is a woman she ends up being a typist at No. 10 Downing Street. But she has a knack for code breaking and soon she does a lot more den typing for the prime minister.

This book was OK, not fantastic to read, but enjoyable since I love historical mystery books. Maggie Hope is a good character and there were a lot of likable characters around her. I can't say that I really liked her relationship with John. For some reasons, their relationship didn't click for me. The plot in this book was interesting, there is a plot to kill Winston Churchill and it doesn't take much brain work to figure at that one person around Maggie isn't who she is saying she is the question is who? There wasn't really any real twist to the story, no real aha moments. Everything unfurled nicely along the way and that was the problem, I wanted the story to be a bit more problematic, more nerve chilling, but alas, it was not to be. Still I will continue with the series. I liked the book enough to feel that I want to read more and I especially liked Winston Churchill in this book.

( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Susan Elia MacNeal set her Mr. Churchill’s Secretary in 1940 London. Maggie Hope is a young American woman, all set to attend prestigious MIT in Massachusetts when she is called to London to oversee the sale of her late grandmother’s home.

With the looming war, Maggie is unable to sell the house, so she stays in London and finds work as a secretary for Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Maggie had her sights set on working in British intelligence, using her education in math to help break German codes, but as a woman that avenue is closed to her.

There is a mystery to Maggie’s life. For some reason unknown to Maggie (or the reader), British intelligence is keeping tabs on Maggie. At the same time, she discovers something about her dead father that puts her in the middle of a dangerous situation.

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary is a fast-paced and well-researched novel. McNeal reveals in a Historical Note at the end of the book that she came upon the idea while touring the fascinating War Cabinet rooms in London, and researched the women who worked there. (Don’t skip this interesting section.)

Maggie is a wonderful character, and several times in the book, MacNeal had me audibly gasping as she put Maggie in some tight situations. If it was a movie, I would have spilled my popcorn many times.

MacNeal plunges the reader into wartime London, and you get a real sense of what it was like to live with the terror of bombs descending on the city where you live. MacNeal has six more more books in this terrific series, with a seventh due this August, and I can’t wait to read them all in succession. ( )
  bookchickdi | Mar 14, 2017 |
2012, Random House, Read by Wanda McCaddon

Publisher’s Summary: adapted from Audible.com
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 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.

My Review:
Maggie Hope is English by birth, but, having lost both parents (or so she believes) at a young age, she has been raised in the US by her aunt, Edith. When her grandmother dies and leaves her the family home, she must return to London to sell it. But it doesn’t sell – so Maggie takes in some roommates to help keep the old place afloat and settles in to make the best of things. I love that she is an exceptional mathematics student and heading to graduate school in 1940.

In London, it is, of course, a troubled and deadly time: frequent bombings set off air raid sirens, sending the multitudes underground. Once inside the prime minister’s office, Maggie has access to the War Rooms, where she is exposed to the machinations of war: battery, mobilization, spies, murder, and intrigue; and where she will decode the intent of a menacing faction planning to assassinating Churchill. MacNeal has obviously researched the era meticulously and provides wonderful insight into the character of Winston Churchill.

The Prime Minister’s Secretary has all the makings of a great story, but I think the plot line needed to stop short of Maggie’s hidden family secrets. For my part, this introduced unnecessary clutter into an already intriguing plot. The discovery that Maggie’s dead father is not dead, and his re-introduction into her life raises the questions of his motivation for disappearance, his decision to desert her, her capability to eventually forgive – and the story was strong enough without all of this complication.

The Maggie Hope series popped up on one of those Recommended for You bulletins while I was reading the Maisie Dobbs series, which I loved – so I wanted to explore. Based on this first installment, I don’t think I’ll like the series as well as Winspear’s, but I liked it well enough to listen to another. ( )
3 vote lit_chick | Jan 13, 2017 |
Although this book is well written, the author crammed too much into it and much of it was far too implausible. The character of Maggie Hope is interesting, though I often thought her rants were a bit childish for someone of her age and period in history. Despite the fact that the Bletchley Park material was interesting, having Maggie's missing father working there, especially in the manner he was interacting with his peers, seriously stretched credulity. The entire idea of the answer to the code Maggie breaks, that there were three very complex and dangerous simultaneous plots being carried out by the IRA and Abwehr in concert, was patently absurd. I may read a second in this series to see if Ms. MacNeal has learned to narrow her focus and make her plots more believable, the way that Jacqueline Winspear does. But then again, maybe not. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jan 12, 2017 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Dec 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
MacNeal’s first novel offers such a giddy premise and gathers so much impulse in its opening half that we root for her to close the deal in the second half. Alas, no such luck.

The setting is London during 1940’s Battle of Britain; the heroine is a plucky young American named Maggie Hope who wins a job as a secretary to Winston Churchill. Maggie soon finds herself up against German spies, traitorous English Nazis and IRA terrorists. She outwits all the villains with much aplomb until the story stumbles on its own preposterous plot twists.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Jun 30, 2012)
 
A plucky heroine isn’t enough to salvage a plot overly dependent on contrivances, as shown by MacNeal’s debut set in 1940 London, the kickoff to a series. The murder of Diana Snyder, a secretary in Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s office, creates a vacancy that American expat Maggie Hope agrees to fill, despite her umbrage at having been previously passed over for a more substantive position there. Maggie adjusts fairly quickly, even as the people of London strive to withstand both German bombs and IRA outrages. Since those behind Snyder’s fatal stabbing as well as their motive are identified early on, the suspense mainly lies in whether Maggie will be able to use her intellect to foil a plot aimed at decapitating the British government. On several occasions, disaster is averted purely by chance, undermining efforts to credit Maggie with saving the day.
added by VivienneR | editPublisher's Weekly (Feb 13, 2012)
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies. - Winston Churchill
I read about the guts of the pioneer woman and the woman of the dustbowl and the gingham goddess of the covered wagon. What about the woman of the covered typewriter?

What has she got, poor kid, when she leaves the office? - Christopher Morley, Kitty Foyle
Dedication
To Noel, who always believed
First words
Half an hour before Diana Snyder died, she tidied up her desk in the typists' office of the Cabinet War Rooms.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553593617, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:18 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After German Luftwaffe bomb London, Maggie Hope--trained in math and code breaking, but only able to find a job as Winston Churchill's secretary--uses the access her position demands to try to unravel an assassinate plot.

» see all 4 descriptions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Susan Elia MacNeal's book Mr. Churchill's Secretary was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

LibraryThing Author

Susan Elia MacNeal is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
32 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.53)
0.5 3
1 8
1.5
2 26
2.5 9
3 75
3.5 42
4 109
4.5 16
5 36

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,418,262 books! | Top bar: Always visible