My reading quest for this year was to discover new mystery authors whose series I could add to my must-read list. My first discovery was the Chet and Bernie Mystery Series written by Spencer Quinn (see blog post July 22, 2012). Next, I picked up a novel by a new writer, and by the end of page two of her first book, she was added to the list also.
I love a mystery that takes me back in time and teaches me about major historic events. Several years ago, I read myriad novels written about WWII. The more I read, the more I wanted to know about this time in history that preceded me by a decade. I purchased a biography on Winston Churchill, but had a difficult time getting through the first chapter. When I began reading Susan Elia MacNeal's novel, Mr. Churchill's Secretary, the interested was peaked again. The book is the first in MacNeal's Maggie Hope Series. After the writer visited the Cabinet War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum in London, the story of a young American woman who worked as a secretary for Winston Churchill during the war began to unfold in the writer's mind.
It's London, 1940; Churchill has just taken over as prime minster. Soon Maggie Hope's intelligence and mathematical ability results in her breaking German codes that threaten to destroy England. Her superiors begin to see Maggie in a new light, but as her involvement becomes more entangled in government intelligence, she becomes suspicious of her colleagues as well as her close friends.
The story moves along at breakneck speed, and just when you think the tale in nearing conclusion, the plot takes a new turn.
MacNeal has given her readers an insight into Churchill, not only as a political mastermind and intriguing statesman, but a husband and father figure to those who worked under him. Thanks to MacNeal's thrilling account of what took place in the War Rooms in 1940, I've taken that biography off the shelf and will give it another try.
Mr. Churchill's Secretary was released in April of 2012. Princess Elizabeth's Spy came out in October and book number three, His Majesty's Hope was published in May 2013.
Labels: #mystery #suspense #WorldWarII #novels #spies #London #Churchill