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Mr. Churchill's secretary : a Maggie Hope…
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Mr. Churchill's secretary : a Maggie Hope novel (original 2012; edition 2011)

by Susan Elia MacNeal

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5428718,513 (3.52)108
Member:bell7
Title:Mr. Churchill's secretary : a Maggie Hope novel
Authors:Susan Elia MacNeal
Info:New York : Bantam Books Trade Paperback, c2011.
Collections:Early Reviewers, Previously owned, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:adult, historical fiction, WW2, England

Work details

Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book set during World War II. If Bruce Willis was female and about 20 years younger I could see him in the role of Maggie Hope. The story is certainly action-packed.

Maggie Hope was raised in the US but she is a British citizen so she could be hired as a typist at No. 10 Downing Street. She came back to London to sell her grandmother's house but the rambling house needed lots of repairs and then war broke out. So Maggie is staying in London and helping out with the war effort despite her aunt's urgings to return to safety in the USA. Maggie is a brilliant mathematician but as a woman it is her skills with a typewriter and a stenographic pad that are in demand. In addition to the Germans bombing England the IRA is also planting bombs. There is some mystery about Maggie's background but Maggie knows nothing about it but she seems to be linked to the IRA somehow. As she pieces clues together she come closer to danger. However she is also a young, beautiful woman and she manages to go out drinking and dancing often.

I can hardly wait to read the next Maggie Hope adventure. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 28, 2014 |
Took forever to get to the story, about a young girl in London, who goes to work for Churchill. Lots of fluff about young people in London during the early days of the war. Some question about her father being dead, and an aunt back in the US, unwilling to provide her with much background on what really happened. Mixing in the war, Bletchley, and Churchill felt really forced. Doubt I'll read another in this series. ( )
  Pmaurer | Jun 24, 2014 |
If you love your history with a bit of fiction, and your fiction with a bit of history, you will enjoy this book.
  MarianneGalati | May 8, 2014 |
Totally sucked me into the series! ( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
The next book in this series is now released. (Princess Elizabeth's Spy)
Saw it in the library and will be picking it up soon.
Easy reading, spy story, female lead, and the addition of some interesting historical background. ( )
  CasaBooks | Mar 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (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)
 
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:35 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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