Move over Maisie Dobbs and Bess Crawford. Maggie Hope is here! As many of you know, I'm a great fan of Jacqueline Winspear's "Maisie Dobbs" mysteries, and Charles Todd's "Bess Crawford" series. They both begin in World War I, and segue into the years between the First and Second World Wars.
This new series is set firmly in World War II London with a smart, sassy, gutsy protagonist Maggie Hope. Although she was raised in America, she is British by birth and so is eligible to serve England during the war in a very sensitive and secret undertaking. A graduate of Wellesley, with a degree in advanced mathematics, she abandons her chance to get a Ph.D. in math at MIT in favor of working for the Brits. She presumes her consummate math and code breaking skills will land her a job in that department with ease.
Instead, she finds herself consigned to a seemingly menial job taking dictation and typing for Winston Churchill. The adventures in which she becomes involved are James Bondish in their plausibility, but believable enough to make for a ripping good read.
I have the second book in this series as an ARC from the publisher, but since my sister graciously gifted me with her copy of this one, I decided to read them in order. Look for a review of #2 before the end of the year. They're well done, and there's enough meat here for at least 2 or 3 more books in a great new series.
Title: Mr. Churchill's Secretary
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Copyright/Year of publication: 2012
Subject: espionage, code breaking
Setting: London during World War II
Series: Maggie Hope
Number of pages: 384
Source: my own shelves (gift from my sister)