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The Prime Minister's Secret Agent by Susan…
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The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (2014)

by Susan Elia MacNeal

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maggie Hope (4)

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2572565,884 (3.61)24

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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I was very intrigued by this series, and I enjoyed the earlier books, but after this one, I am not sure that I will continue reading, I love almost everything about this series: the detail, the historic research, the vividly drawn scenes and characters. I particularly enjoyed the tragicomedy leading up to Pearl Harbor, although that doesn't have too much to do with Maggie, per se.

However, even before this book, I was getting tired of the Hope-Hess family melodrama. I am very skeptical about the faked car-crash death, and the seemingly unlikely survival in this book. People in fires die mainly from smoke inhalation. Frankly, I have had entirely too much of Clara Hess, super-villainess. The psycho-babble in this book was almost unendurable, and I suspect that it is all a clever fraud. Her move from insane asylum to a new prison seems all too quick and convenient.

It is interesting reading this after reading Lynne Olson's non-fiction account Last Hope Island. According to Olson, although MI-5 had a great reputation, it was actually rather amateurish. The British apparently had a tendency to think that "the right sort of people" could do anything, no experience or knowledge needed. The Peter Frain / Clara Hess interaction in this book fits right in. After the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was founded, Olson tells us that the two organizations devoted themselves chiefly to battling one another for bureaucratic supremacy. I got the feeling that the war could have been somewhat shorter is they hadn't been so busy sabotaging one another. ( )
  juglicerr | Sep 4, 2018 |
Maggie (A British WWII Spy) is recovering and retraining in Scotland when 3 ballerinas fall deathly ill in Glasgow.... They have the same symptoms of a dead sheep that Maggie found washed up on the beach....

Interesting look at chemical warfare, spies, covert government operations...

The story was interesting and the characters realistic ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Apr 5, 2017 |
2014, Random House Audio, Read by Susan Duerden

Publisher’s Summary: adapted from Audible.com
WWII rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland, where she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp – and to heal following her undercover mission in Berlin. But Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue when three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow – including one of her dearest friends. Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it's the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war – and indelibly shape Maggie's fate.

My Review:
It took a while, but I’m now completely endeared to and engaged in this series. [The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent] was thoroughly enjoyable. I was intrigued by the mystery of biological warfare, evidence of which Maggie first discovers on a deep sheep by the seaside. The fight brewing in the Pacific is, of course, Pearl Harbor. I thought MacNeal did a superb job of presenting the events leading up to this disaster – of the decision on the part of the Japanese, the intelligence that suggested the imminence of such an attack, and of the global implications of the Americans’ decision to join WWII. I’ve been remiss in mentioning previously that Susan Duerden is a fine narrator, and a perfect fit for the Maggie Hope series. ( )
  lit_chick | Feb 3, 2017 |
I have read the three previous installments and really enjoyed them, so I was very much looking forward to reading this one.
It was a bit disappointing and I'm trying to pinpoint why that the case. Maybe it was a bit too dark? Maggie is feeling the stresses of war intensely in the first half of the story, and I found myself struggling to stay with it, but once she was had a mission to work on and she rose above her demons the story improved as well.

It's a great series and I look forward to #5! ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
Can't wait for number 4 ( )
  crazeedi73 | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Elia MacNealprimary authorall editionscalculated
Allen, VictoriaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blanchette, Dana LeighDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duerden, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiggins, MickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. -- Friedrich Nietzsche
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. - Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1
Dedication
For Kate Miciak and Victoria Skurnick, Maggie Hope's fairy godmothers, who sent her to the ball.
First words
There will always be an England!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345536746, Paperback)

For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is a gripping new mystery featuring intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope. And this time, the fallout of a deadly plot comes straight to her own front door.
 
World War II rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland. Home from an undercover mission in Berlin, she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp, and to heal from scars on both her body and heart. Yet instead of enjoying the quieter pace of life, Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue. When three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow—including one of Maggie’s dearest friends—Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it’s the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war—and indelibly shape Maggie’s fate.
 
Praise for Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope mysteries
 
“You’ll be [Maggie Hope’s] loyal subject, ready to follow her wherever she goes.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“A heart-pounding novel peopled with fully drawn real and fictional characters . . . provides the thrills that readers have come to expect from MacNeal.”Richmond Times-Dispatch, on His Majesty’s Hope
 
“With false starts, double agents, and red herrings . . . MacNeal provides a vivid view of life both above and below stairs at Windsor Castle.”Publishers Weekly, on Princess Elizabeth’s Spy

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:37 -0400)

"Maggie Hope has returned from her undercover mission in Berlin with scars not just on her body but on her soul. Instead of going on another Special Operations assignment in war-torn Europe, she returns to one of her old spy training camps in western Scotland, this time as a teacher. But instead of the tedium Maggie is expecting, she's drawn against her will into another web of danger, this time involving a terrifying biological weapon secretly developed and stockpiled by Churchill for the anticipated Nazi invasion. Maggie's failure to solve a series of deadly poisonings could endanger the lives of the entire British civilian population--but what will be the cost of success?"--… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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