Tuesday, April 16, 2013

His Majesty's Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery

by Susan Elia MacNeal, Bantam, May 2013

... a fun series

This is the third novel in this WWII mystery series.  Maggie Hope, a Brit who was raised in the US is the heroine.  The first novel in the series, Mr Churchill’s Secretary introduced Maggie as a feisty, independent woman with a head for breaking codes and a propensity for attracting danger.  In the second novel Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, Maggie has joined the SOE (Special Operations Executive) and protects the young princesses from intrigue as she learns more about her own convoluted family history.

This story finds Maggie fully trained and ready for an overseas assignment.  The year is 1941 and Maggie finds herself chosen by Churchill himself to conduct  a dangerous mission  that takes her right into Berlin. Lots of danger and suspense here and you are almost sure that things will not go well for Maggie. In addition to her mission she uncovers more info about her family that is very interesting.

The author does a great job with historical detail.  I also love the fact that she mixes real life characters with fictional ones.  You get a good picture of life in Berlin circa 1941. The characters are rich and well drawn.   This is a fun series so I almost hate to make any negative comments because I do enjoy it, but the author relies on an inordinate amount of coincidences to further the story line.  I think the story would be just as compelling with slightly less of these far fetched add ons. Having said that, if you like WWII mysteries with strong female heroines, this series is for you.  Can’t wait for the next story - The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent in 2014.

I read a copy of this book provided by the publisher.


Zibilee said...

I haven't read any of these yet, but you make a strong case for grabbing the first in the series and seeing how it goes for me. I do love that there is such action and intrigue, and I love strong female leads, so this one is sure to be a winner with me. I can appreciate the problems that you had with coincidences in the tale, but it sounds like you enjoyed it anyway. Very nice job with this review! I need to read these!

maryg said...

I read over the course of one day and really like it but I agree about the over use of coincidences.