A Maggie Hope Mystery #2
Susan Elia MacNeal
October 2012 / ISBN-10: 0553593625
by Cheryl Green
just know you are going to love a book before you read a single
word. Princess Elizabeth’s Spy had me at the title. Imaging
all kind of scenarios made me giddy. And the plot that Susan Elia
MacNeal has picked for her second book is spot on.
is training to be a spy – an actual MI5 agent. While she excels
in all the mental areas, including cryptography, Maggie does not
do so well in the physical aspects - the obstacle course in particular.
So when she is given an assignment that will take her to Windsor
Castle and not into war-torn Europe she is very disappointed. Maggie’s
new assignment is to guard Princess Elizabeth, since she is next
in line to the throne if something happens to her father, King George
VI. Maggie is slightly placated since she is going in under cover
as a math tutor.
one of the ladies in waiting at Windsor Castle, is killed while
riding with Princess Elizabeth, Maggie must ferret out the killer
before Princess Elizabeth is hurt. She has figured out a link between
Lily’s death and the death in Claridges Hotel of a Bletchley
Things to ponder:
Was Lily the real target of the decapitation, or was it by chance
that she rode ahead of Princess Elizabeth? Who is behind the secret
papers being sent to Germany?
part of the book is when the two princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret,
take Maggie through the castle to a room with a big trunk to see
and hold the crown jewels, which have been moved there for the duration
of the war.
MacNeal has written a wonderfully researched mystery that takes
you right into 1940’s England. As an anglophile, I can appreciate
the meticulous attention to detail she has put in the book. You
get to find out what the people were wearing, what they were eating
and how they coped during the frequent air raids. We still have
upstairs-downstairs during the war, and it was fun to see how Maggie
coped with all the servants. It was refreshing to get a different
take on Queen Elizabeth as a young girl of 14. A lot of insight
was provided, and I now understand a little more how she became
the woman she is today. There are many twists and turns, and I didn’t
have it solved until the very end. If you like your mysteries British
style, then this book is for you. While the next book in the series,
His Majesty’s Hope, won’t be out until spring
2013, I have the first book, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary,
on my kindle ready to read now. I also have it on good authority
that Ms. MacNeal is hard at work on the fourth Maggie Hope Mystery.