Friday, May 3, 2013

Mission: Disappointing (but only a little)

His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
Genre: historical fiction
Review: As you can see from my reviews of Winston Churchill's Secretary and Princess Elizabeth's Spy, I predicted that the second Maggie Hope mystery would be better than the first, and I was duly rewarded.  I therefore had high hopes for this third installment, but unfortunately, Maggie's mission to Berlin didn't exactly live up to its promise.  

Now with the elite Special Operations Executive, Maggie continues her somewhat maverick approach to acts of derring-do on behalf of His Majesty with a two-pronged mission in Berlin. Unfortunately, most of the people she encounters during her exploits there fail to come alive on the page.  Add to that less-than-convincing mission details and some entirely-too-coincidental meet-ups, and this adventure just doesn't measure up.  But MacNeal has already proven that she has what it takes in this genre, so I'll continue to hope for good things in future Maggie Hope adventures.

Two additional notes: First, this book shouldn't really be called a mystery, since there is no mystery to be solved.  Second, MacNeal shouldn't feel the need to rip off scenes from tv shows, although I'm sure it was entirely an unconscious thing on her part.  She chose one of my favorite scenes from an excellent show (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but I was still very disappointed.  Her writing is strong enough without resorting to copying, even from the greats.

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

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