Customer Reviews for

Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Maggie Hope Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 82 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

I loved this book. Usually I rip through books so quickly and

I loved this book. Usually I rip through books so quickly and promptly forget about them. This one I savored and tried to draw out because I did not want it to end. I prefer historical fiction where the character is central and the action peripheral, with the idea ...
I loved this book. Usually I rip through books so quickly and promptly forget about them. This one I savored and tried to draw out because I did not want it to end. I prefer historical fiction where the character is central and the action peripheral, with the idea that the action helps inform the character but is not the only thing to a character's growth or development.

If your are looking for a whodunit book, you will be sadly disappointed. It is so much more about a great character, and that character is Maggie Hope, a British citizen raised in the US from the age of 3. She arrives in London as stipulated in her grandmother's will to sell her inheritance - grandmother's house; however, Maggie decides to stay and begin to explore her British self. Yet Maggie is quintessentially American. The voice of strong educated woman leading her own life and making her own choices is uniquely American for that time period. While few American women in the 40s would have had the opportunity to cultivate such a voice, even fewer British middle and upper class women would have had Maggie's moxie. And a graceful moxie is what Maggie has!

Woven throughout this wonderful character story is a plush historical tapestry for its setting. There were times when I felt like I was right there. Furthermore, the fact and fiction were so well blended that it is impossible to tell where one began and one ended. This is good writing - a rich, authentic voice.

it is also a subtle voice. Rarely am I surprised in a book, as modern foreshadowing is all but a hammer on the head. In this book the "aha" moment comes without any prior "I knew it!" experiences. The "romance" aspect is light and not central to the story; it is an integral part of who Maggie is becoming and what her life is. It is not the central or limiting story. The romance is both subtle, adding shading and complexity to the characters and story, and clumsy on the part of Maggie and her attraction, both realistic and as the author intended. After all how many of us are clumsy and flustered around a romantic interest? The author does this well.

You would not be wasting your money or time with this book. And you will be waiting for the next installment to arrive!

posted by Cybele727 on April 13, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Dreadful

Unfortunately, the author's style is poor and the plot tends to wander. For really good books of this genre, try Deborah Crombie or Jacqueline Winspear - both masters of the British mystery with memorable characters and vivid English settings.

posted by 14504300 on August 2, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 82 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 5
  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Read it, enjoy it, and definitely purchase the whole series.

    I loved it. I just finished reading Series #2, equally exceptional.
    Cannot wait to read Series #3.
    Being born in Coventry, it brings back a lot of my parents memories as they lived through it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    This is a great book.  I've read all of them.  If you like the P

    This is a great book.  I've read all of them.  If you like the PBS series "Foyle's War," Youll love this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2013

    Good read!!!!

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It sets up the series and introduces the characters. I had read the second book first. I will be keeping this series on my to read list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2015

    Highly recommend

    Fascinating combination of historical novel, mystery, and character development. As one who remembers much of WWII (as an adolescent) and has read much of the Enigma Project, I loved this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2015

    Not worth $12, would be okay at $5.

    The basic story is interesting, if unlikely. I did not find it absorbing...it had too much farfetched and improbable stuff in the plot, and the romance is too predictable. Maggie is a well-drawn character and the portrait of Churchill was good. The dialogue in general does not sound right for Brits or Americans of the period, but it moves well. There are other annoying anachronisms that a little more research would have avoided. One that isn't a spoiler is that Maggie's aunt could not have got a PhD from Cambridge. Not only were PhDs uncommon in Oxford and Cambridge back then but Cambridge did not grant women degrees until later than the aunt would have been in school. Stuff like this doesnt bother everyone, and if you just like a sperficial thriller, it might be fine.

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  • Posted October 3, 2014

    Great story wonderful heroine

    I am a sucker for good spy stories and this one is right up there with Alan Furst. The Ordinary people caught up in great events idea is really a great sub-genre.
    Bill

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  • Posted September 13, 2014

    This is an engaging story of an aspect of WWII. Having watched F

    This is an engaging story of an aspect of WWII.
    Having watched Foyle's War, I was struck by how much alike some of the scenes were.
    The research is extensive. Unlike another review, i did not find that a problem. On the contrary, it was quite fascinating to me.
    The main character is an interesting one. She is British, but spent most of her life in the US.
    The topics of women's rights (even just being treated as intelligent humans!) and homosexuality are dealt with well.
    I look forward to more of this author's work.

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  • Posted September 12, 2014

    Good Book

    I liked this book. Good introduction to the the character Maggie Hope. I expected more detail on her. I will read the next book in the series,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Poor

    Do not waste your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    A well researched book.

    This book gave you a good feeling of WWII London.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    Annie

    She kept going, in deeper, and all the way out until plunging in again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Am I missing something? I'm only on chapter 3 and struggling big

    Am I missing something? I'm only on chapter 3 and struggling big time. This reads like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. Have to at least skim it for book club meeting next week. Could someone tell me if it gets better? How about the Cliff Notes so I can participate in discussion?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Sophomoric. I wanted to like this book, and parts of it were oka

    Sophomoric.
    I wanted to like this book, and parts of it were okay. Having been to the Cabinet War Rooms in London, as well as to other WWII related London sights, made the story somewhat plausible. But the writing was amateurish and I had to force myself to finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Clever premise but plot so-so

    This series holds promise. The glimpses and quotes from Churchill add to the tensions inherent in this period and the characters were well drawn. Unfortunately I didn't think the plot was as good. I'll definitely check out the next book, but I think the Maisey Dobbs series (set in the post WWI period) is better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2013

    Great book!

    This was a great read. I learned a lot about what really went on in Churchill's offices...and things about him. The author did a great job on the facts and making a great story.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Highly Enjoyable!

    Very much liked this novel. MacNeal clearly has done a great deal of research about Britain during WWII, and her portrait of London under siege is memorable. The main character, Maggie Hope, is smart, brave, and hard-working, if just a tad too 21st century to ring exactly true.

    Am looking forward to reading the next two volumes in this series.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    okay

    an okay book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Fun read

    Diverting spy/espiomage thriller set in WWII England- Would be interested to read other books by this author- I also like the works of Michael Dobbs who covers this same period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Ok

    I thought it was awesose but i never read itbcbfuxuxhdbfhhndcjjfnf

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 82 Customer Reviews
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