[Note: I just found this review in drafts. Even though I read this in December 2012, I never got around to publishing this review. I’ve since read Maggie Hope #2 and Maggie Hope #3, and Mr. Churchill’s Secretary remains my favorite]
My Thoughts: The Unabridged Chick read this and recommended it. I’m so glad she did; I adored it. Maggie Hope is a young British citizen raised in Massachusetts academia by her aunt. She returns to London to sell her grandmother’s house, ends up staying, and is hired as a secretary for Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Maggie is a mathematician and has a spot at MIT waiting for her. She really wants to be one of Churchill’s Private Secretaries, which would be a better use of her skills, but is denied because she is a woman. Maggie is not to be deterred, and what follows is a rollicking good historical fiction spy mystery, complete with codes, spies, terrorists, secret identities, friendship, love, and some feminism.
My one complaint is that after the denouement, the story continued, and continued. And continued. This wasn’t a bad thing, in fact there was still story to tell, though the departure from traditional mystery pacing momentarily distracted me. Now that I’m familiar with MacNeal’s writing, I will be prepared for the future Maggie Hope mysteries.
Finally, I am concerned that since we meet Maggie in 1940, there are only another 5 years of World War II. However, the Cold War lasted several decades, so hopefully Maggie Hope will be with us for several more adventures.