The debut novel for Susan Elia MacNeal is the perfect mix of meticulous research on one of the most important eras in our history, one of the most important men in London during this era, potential psychological insight into Winston Churchill, and the creation of a riveting main character, Maggie Hope, into a spectacularly crafted novel, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary.
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. Graduating at the top of her college class and possessing all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, her gender limits her to becoming the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her spirit and remarkable gifts for code-breaking, 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.
Trapped 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.
Well done Ms. MacNeal, well done.