Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
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. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, 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.
Ensnared 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.
While perhaps not the most well-written book of all time, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary was a lot of fun. Maggie Hope was spunky and easy to relate to, and not too caught up in romance for a young woman. The plot was intriguing, moved quickly, and I often found I had a hard time putting the book down. However, I was often confused by the frequent point-of-view change, and the repeated period cliches in the dialogue were distracting. I was also distracted by the irrelevant references to British literature, as if Maggie somehow had to prove that she was living in War-Era Britain. But if you’re looking for a quick read and a little light entertainment, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary is perfect.