Customer Reviews for

Princess Elizabeth's Spy (Maggie Hope Series #2)

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Princess Elizabeth¿s Spy by Susan Elia Mac­Neal is the sec­ond b

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia Mac­Neal is the sec­ond book in the author’s fic­tional series about Mag­gie Hope. As in the first book, Mr. Churchill's Sec­re­tary, this book also takes place in Lon­don dur­ing World War II.

After sav­ing Eng­land while work­in...
Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia Mac­Neal is the sec­ond book in the author’s fic­tional series about Mag­gie Hope. As in the first book, Mr. Churchill's Sec­re­tary, this book also takes place in Lon­don dur­ing World War II.

After sav­ing Eng­land while work­ing as a typ­ist for Win­ston Churchill, Mag­gie Hope has her sights on becom­ing a spy. How­ever, MI5 doesn’t think she has what it takes and kicks her out of spy course. Maggie’s new assign­ment is to keep an eye over the teenaged Princess Eliz­a­beth under the guise of a math tutor.

Still emo­tion­ally recov­er­ing from dis­cov­er­ing her father is not dead as she thought all her life, Mag­gie now has to deal with roy­alty and worst… royalty’s entourage. As Mag­gie dis­cov­ers, this is not a cushy assign­ment, but one which involves intrigue, kid­nap­ping and murder.

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia Mac­Neal more per­son­able and enter­tain­ing than the first novel, maybe because the first was an “ori­gin story” with a series in mind while in this one the large cast of char­ac­ters has already been intro­duced. The pro­tag­o­nist, Mag­gie Hope, grows more in this book, still feisty and strong, but also sen­si­tive – fum­bling her way through the castle.

I liked the mys­tery and the story, but I think that the way Mag­gie Hope pro­gressed as a char­ac­ter is the true suc­cess of this book. Mag­gie is becom­ing a com­plex woman grow­ing up quickly in a very com­plex time doing an incred­i­bly com­plex job while try­ing to keep her per­sonal life from com­pletely being shred­ded apart.

While there are cer­tainly his­tor­i­cal fig­ures in the book I would not clas­sify this book as historical-fiction, but rather as a fic­tional story which is tak­ing place in the past. From the author’s note at the end of the book I under­stand that this is the way the author her­self also qual­i­fies the book. That being said, one can get a sense, or a glimpse, of what it was like to live in Eng­land dur­ing World War II, whether in a ham­let or a cas­tle, you were still very restricted but doing all you can to help King and country.

This is a charm­ing book with an enter­tain­ing premise, a light mys­tery and devel­op­ing recur­ring char­ac­ters. It is a fast, page turner with sev­eral inter­est­ing plot lines keep­ing you on the edge using humor and play­ful­ness to keep the story moving.

posted by Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com on November 10, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Princess Elizabeth's Spy (PES) is a major disappointment on the

Princess Elizabeth's Spy (PES) is a major disappointment on the heels of the eminently enjoyable Mr. Churchill's Secretary (MCS). While the latter was was well-researched, balanced and plausible, PES is weak and even silly, with 5th-grader's prose and -- perhaps even ...
Princess Elizabeth's Spy (PES) is a major disappointment on the heels of the eminently enjoyable Mr. Churchill's Secretary (MCS). While the latter was was well-researched, balanced and plausible, PES is weak and even silly, with 5th-grader's prose and -- perhaps even worse -- inexcusably bad editing by Bantam (for shame!).

For example, it is repeatedly stated that the approach path for the Luftwaffe during the Blitz of London was directly over Windsor Castle, which is actually to the west of London (just west of today's Heathrow Airport); simple research reveals that Luftwaffe pilots would follow the course of the Thames from the Channel inland, as the Thames was readily visible at night in otherwise blacked-out England. Or, on page 299, Gregory finishes and disposes of the same liquor flask, twice. Or, Maggie and friends (don't worry, I won't give away the plot) are able to exit a place unimpeded, which place would have been filled with opponents under any circumstances.

Even though I wanted to like Maggie and like the book, the overall plot in PES is so predictable as to be almost sophomoric. The construction of the story is splotchy, at times irrelevant, at others banal, and only rarely exciting. Period details are thrown in hither and yon, and seemingly just for the sake of authenticity. And yet, the author feels free to have Maggie interacting with the PM and the royals as if they were her old college mentors; the mere fact of such interactions would have been unheard of at that time, and if they occurred would have been most strictly limited and formal.

Maggie's history with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret was wholly unrealistic, but for this I'm willing to cut the author some slack as an allowable flight of fancy. Elizabeth's conduct as a 14 year old is way off, though; i would be giving away plot to cite details, but let us just say that Elizabeth is not accurately portrayed as a sheltered heir to the throne would, or should, be.

MCS was an excellent read. PES was not even close. The book feels as if the young author, under pressure to get out a sequel, had sat down and dictated a disjointed and minimally entertaining tale in the space of maybe three weeks. I am no longer looking forward to the further adventures of Maggie Hope, and will choose to spend my book dollars on works which were put together with deliberation, thought and care.

posted by 3574616 on April 18, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    Princess Elizabeth's Spy (PES) is a major disappointment on the

    Princess Elizabeth's Spy (PES) is a major disappointment on the heels of the eminently enjoyable Mr. Churchill's Secretary (MCS). While the latter was was well-researched, balanced and plausible, PES is weak and even silly, with 5th-grader's prose and -- perhaps even worse -- inexcusably bad editing by Bantam (for shame!).

    For example, it is repeatedly stated that the approach path for the Luftwaffe during the Blitz of London was directly over Windsor Castle, which is actually to the west of London (just west of today's Heathrow Airport); simple research reveals that Luftwaffe pilots would follow the course of the Thames from the Channel inland, as the Thames was readily visible at night in otherwise blacked-out England. Or, on page 299, Gregory finishes and disposes of the same liquor flask, twice. Or, Maggie and friends (don't worry, I won't give away the plot) are able to exit a place unimpeded, which place would have been filled with opponents under any circumstances.

    Even though I wanted to like Maggie and like the book, the overall plot in PES is so predictable as to be almost sophomoric. The construction of the story is splotchy, at times irrelevant, at others banal, and only rarely exciting. Period details are thrown in hither and yon, and seemingly just for the sake of authenticity. And yet, the author feels free to have Maggie interacting with the PM and the royals as if they were her old college mentors; the mere fact of such interactions would have been unheard of at that time, and if they occurred would have been most strictly limited and formal.

    Maggie's history with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret was wholly unrealistic, but for this I'm willing to cut the author some slack as an allowable flight of fancy. Elizabeth's conduct as a 14 year old is way off, though; i would be giving away plot to cite details, but let us just say that Elizabeth is not accurately portrayed as a sheltered heir to the throne would, or should, be.

    MCS was an excellent read. PES was not even close. The book feels as if the young author, under pressure to get out a sequel, had sat down and dictated a disjointed and minimally entertaining tale in the space of maybe three weeks. I am no longer looking forward to the further adventures of Maggie Hope, and will choose to spend my book dollars on works which were put together with deliberation, thought and care.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Great Fun to read.

    Enjoyed Maggie's belivable adventures, during WWII.
    Want very much to go on to more of The Maggie Hope Series.
    She is an independent, strong, intelligent young woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Really Enjoyed!!

    Best read in a while

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Susan Elia MacNeal in her new book, "Princess Elizabeth's S

    Susan Elia MacNeal in her new book, "Princess Elizabeth's Spy" Book Two in the Maggie Hope Mystery series published by Bantam Books takes us back into the life of Maggie Hope.

    From the back cover: Susan Elia MacNeal introduced the remarkable Maggie Hope in her acclaimed debut, Mr. Churchill's Secretary. Now Maggie returns to protect Britain's beloved royals against an international plot--one that could change the course of history.

    As World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5. Spirited, strong-willed, and possessing one of the sharpest minds in government for mathematics and code-breaking, she fully expects to be sent abroad to gather intelligence for the British front. Instead, to her great disappointment, she is dispatched to go undercover at Windsor Castle, where she will tutor the young Princess Elizabeth in math. Yet castle life quickly proves more dangerous--and deadly--than Maggie ever expected. The upstairs-downstairs world at Windsor is thrown into disarray by a shocking murder, which draws Maggie into a vast conspiracy that places the entire royal family in peril. And as she races to save England from a most disturbing fate, Maggie realizes that a quick wit is her best defense, and that the smallest clues can unravel the biggest secrets, even within her own family.

    I have not read anything else by Susan Elia MacNeal before bu rest assured I will make up for this oversight. Ms. MacNeal is a wonderful writer who uses very clever plots to absorb us in her writing. History, secret codes, World War II and Nazis all come together in a suspense plot that will keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next. Maggie Hope is working undercover at Windsor Castle and it is more than her life that is at stake, the lives of the royalty of England are at risk as well. Ms. MacNeal has written a nail-biting, page-turning thriller. She also knows how to write a good romance as well as Maggie's fiance is missing in action and presumed killed. Ms. MacNeal creates characters are so real that you care for all of them. "Princess Elizabeth's Spy" is great fun to read. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bantam Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Princess Elizabeth¿s Spy Maggie Hope Mystery Book Two By Susan E

    Princess Elizabeth’s Spy
    Maggie Hope Mystery Book Two
    By Susan Elia MacNeal




    In the midst of World War II, Maggie Hope is training to become a spy for MI-5. Her first assignment is to pose as a tutor to Princess Elizabeth in case the Germans decide to come after her since she is the heir to the throne. What she thinks will be a waste of her talents soon turns out to be more than she had bargained for. 




    Maggie Hope is not a hardened spy but a spy in training and through Maggie’s eyes the author brings to life World War II in a unique way as this novice inspector will do anything she can to do her part in the War. Even though Maggie Hope is the main character in this novel the author also brings to life an array of side characters each one bringing a new and interesting perspective on the War. From the young princess’ to the Nazis each character adds new dimension to the story itself making this a truly diversified read. If all of this is not enough for you, there is still an amazing mystery full of plot twists and intrigue. Then just for good measure the author throws in one heck of a twist at the end to guarantee you will come back for more. I was sent a free copy of this book for an honest review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 3, 2012

    Really good

    I like English history usually before 1800 but these 2 books were good.
    The history was well researched but a good story line. I think Il iked the first book a little better but this one was good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2012

    Loving Maggie Hope!

    Fun, exciting, sit by the fire on a Sunday afternoon read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2012

    Recommend

    I look forward to the next book in this series. A great way to get the feeling of England during those World War II years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Princess Elizabeth¿s Spy by Susan Elia Mac­Neal is the sec­ond b

    Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia Mac­Neal is the sec­ond book in the author’s fic­tional series about Mag­gie Hope. As in the first book, Mr. Churchill's Sec­re­tary, this book also takes place in Lon­don dur­ing World War II.

    After sav­ing Eng­land while work­ing as a typ­ist for Win­ston Churchill, Mag­gie Hope has her sights on becom­ing a spy. How­ever, MI5 doesn’t think she has what it takes and kicks her out of spy course. Maggie’s new assign­ment is to keep an eye over the teenaged Princess Eliz­a­beth under the guise of a math tutor.

    Still emo­tion­ally recov­er­ing from dis­cov­er­ing her father is not dead as she thought all her life, Mag­gie now has to deal with roy­alty and worst… royalty’s entourage. As Mag­gie dis­cov­ers, this is not a cushy assign­ment, but one which involves intrigue, kid­nap­ping and murder.

    Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia Mac­Neal more per­son­able and enter­tain­ing than the first novel, maybe because the first was an “ori­gin story” with a series in mind while in this one the large cast of char­ac­ters has already been intro­duced. The pro­tag­o­nist, Mag­gie Hope, grows more in this book, still feisty and strong, but also sen­si­tive – fum­bling her way through the castle.

    I liked the mys­tery and the story, but I think that the way Mag­gie Hope pro­gressed as a char­ac­ter is the true suc­cess of this book. Mag­gie is becom­ing a com­plex woman grow­ing up quickly in a very com­plex time doing an incred­i­bly com­plex job while try­ing to keep her per­sonal life from com­pletely being shred­ded apart.

    While there are cer­tainly his­tor­i­cal fig­ures in the book I would not clas­sify this book as historical-fiction, but rather as a fic­tional story which is tak­ing place in the past. From the author’s note at the end of the book I under­stand that this is the way the author her­self also qual­i­fies the book. That being said, one can get a sense, or a glimpse, of what it was like to live in Eng­land dur­ing World War II, whether in a ham­let or a cas­tle, you were still very restricted but doing all you can to help King and country.

    This is a charm­ing book with an enter­tain­ing premise, a light mys­tery and devel­op­ing recur­ring char­ac­ters. It is a fast, page turner with sev­eral inter­est­ing plot lines keep­ing you on the edge using humor and play­ful­ness to keep the story moving.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 31, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoyed this Maggie Hope mystery.  MacNeal took me

    I thoroughly enjoyed this Maggie Hope mystery.  MacNeal took me on a wild ride that I couldn’t stop thinking about.  I kept trying to guess and figure things out, only for a new twist to appear in the plotline.  It was fantastic.  This was also a very well put together and thought out novel.  

    I also absolutely loved the narrator.  She made the story come alive for me.  Between her narration and MacNeal’s development of her characters I was enchanted by the individuals that we got to meet.  The way in which they struggled against world issues as well as personal ones was quite enlightening and added to the story as a whole.

    This is definitely a novel that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys a mystery with a bit of a twist.  I couldn’t get enough of this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 3, 2014

    I find this series a wonderfully written look into WWII. Knowing

    I find this series a wonderfully written look into WWII.
    Knowing it is "historical fiction" (not necessarily based on actual events), I am none the less drawn in to the reality that she creates.
    The characters are appealing and believable. I can imagine Princess Elizabeth acting in these ways.
    Not having lived through this war, I find my appreciation for just how extreme it was is clarified by books such as this.
    And, as reprehensible as the choice was, one can see how people might have been beguiled by the idea that Germany was going to win anyway and any help that would shorten the time involved would save lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2014

    not my type of reading

    a nice who done it, but started to drag on after a while. lost page turner 3/4 way through

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2014

    A great read

    I'm on my third book of this series.I like the historical settings. I was a small child during ww2 and enjoy all the history of it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2014

    I totally enjoyed it because it was so different from most myste

    I totally enjoyed it because it was so different from most mysteries I read.
    She made all the settings so real.



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Great

    Wonderfully researched, tightly written. Great read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Enoyable

    I really enjoyed the first book and although this was not quite as good as the first, it still kept me going to the end and I am looking forward to the next in the series, which I have already purchased. I do love mysteries, especially ones that have a little history added into them. In addition, these books are not full of blood and gore, another plus.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2013

    I read "Mr. Churchhill's Secretary" and look forward t

    I read "Mr. Churchhill's Secretary" and look forward to reading this book, too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    Is this a book for adults, or for juvenile readers? That is a cl

    Is this a book for adults, or for juvenile readers? That is a clue about quality of this book. The story reads like a Nancy Drew mystery, which I thoroughly enjoyed with I was ten or so. It throws in a tiny amount of sexual innuendo to titillate. I have watched Downton Abbey and The King's Speech, which makes me better versed in English society than this book. Too many things just didn't add up. There were typos - one minute the date in question is 1915, then it is 1917. This happened twice. The cyphering discussion was quite elementary. The author kept referring to Princess Elizabeth as a little girl - but also acknowledged she was 14 years old and writing to Prince Albert. A fourteen year old girl is fully grown and certainly would act a lot more mature than that portrayed in the book. The heroine was insubordinate to her superiors in an unbelievable manner, failed to follow orders, which could have been a good story line except that her actions could have exposed a fellow spy and endangered an ongoing operation. Spoiler alert but not really since the book is spoiled already - what happened to the second bad guy and the sailors? How could they start a fire with bedsheets when anyone knows they just don't burn that well? How could a crummy fire from bedsheets, that goes out when the sprinkler come on, completely disable an entire submarine, including the crews' ability to operate weapons? How come the captain of the sub just didn't dive?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    The book is mildly entertaining, but the errors really distract

    The book is mildly entertaining, but the errors really distract from the overall story. The CIA is mentioned, although there was no CIA during WWII; a character empties the flask he's already thrown overboard, etc.
    I do like Maggie, however, and will try one more book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Good read

    I love the character and the storytelling is done well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3