Wednesday, October 10, 2012

better and better

Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Genre: historical fiction
Review: In my review of Winston Churchill's Secretary, the first of the Maggie Hope books, I said that the series showed promise as MacNeal settled into her talents as a writer.  With this second installment, MacNeal is certainly starting to live up to that promise.  Although some of the language is still a bit clunky (and there are far too many mentions of birds), the story itself flows much more smoothly than it did in the first book and MacNeal takes fewer shortcuts to get her characters in and out of situations.

Newly installed with MI-5, Maggie Hope is placed at Windsor Castle at Christmas in 1940.  Posing as Princess Elizabeth's math tutor, she is really there to ferret out a possible plot against the future queen's life.  Descriptions of life at Windsor Castle during this period are well-done, and glimpses of historical personages are clearly well-researched.  Once again, MacNeal does an excellent job bringing to life a fascinating aspect of Britain during WWII, while at the same time allowing Maggie to grow as a character and as a spy.  I look forward to reading more!

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.

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