Well, the best laid plans do not always work out as planned. While I did finish this book in a week, moving and finishing school has prevented me from writing about it until now… such is life.
In a contrast to The Paris Wife, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary was a much lighter form of historical fiction, with a heavy emphasis on the fiction. While the first book kept true to the historical events of 1920’s Paris and the lives of Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary used 1940’s London as the backdrop for a fictionalized fast-paced mystery, complete with espionage, false identities, and a plot to kill the prime minister. The events were not necessarily historically accurate, but issues of the day were well-represented (such as threats from the IRA and the bombing of London by the Nazis).
Like The Paris Wife, this book had a strong female protagonist who was at the center of all of the action. Maggie Hope is an intelligent, American (though English-born) woman who gets a job as a secretary for Winston Churchill, working in the underground war rooms. Though previously she was denied a more substantial job that would use her intellect, she takes the job as the typist and is quickly thrown into the world of espionage, intrigue, and national security. The book takes many twists and turns as many potential villains, and love interests, are introduced, and it is captivating throughout. I love classic whodunits, and this was a fun read set in a time period I find fascinating. Mr. Churchill’s Secretary is the first in a series of Maggie Hope novels by Susan Elia MacNeil, and I’m very excited to read the rest!