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February 2016: World War II > Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal ~ 3 stars

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message 1: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 2 comments A mystery set in 1940's London, this novel is the first in the Maggie Hope series. Maggie is a highly intelligent young woman, gifted in mathematics and coding, who finds herself living in London in her deceased grandmother's home with a group of friends. After a secretary of Mr. Churchill's is murdered, Maggie finds herself taking the job. This opens up a mystery involving spies, betrayal, and deep family secrets which Maggie becomes determined to uncover.

Though slow at times, I did enjoy this book. Putting myself in Maggie's shoes while bomb sirens sounded was eye-opening. Imagine having to stop what you are doing to take cover in the nearest shelter, sometimes for hours on end, then emerging to absolute destruction of your neighborhood, not knowing if your loved ones are safe. There were a few of those scenes, well written and intense.

Early on, I figured out who the betrayer was in Maggie's life, so that annoyed me a bit. I like to be kept guessing longer. But overall, this was an enjoyable historical mystery.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Shannon wrote: "Putting myself in Maggie's shoes while bomb sirens sounded was eye-opening. Imagine having to stop what you are doing to take cover in the nearest shelter, sometimes for hours on end, then emerging to absolute destruction of your neighborhood"

It is so hard for me to imagine what war was like . . .sometimes I think the closest thing I will ever experience to it is when there is a hurricane or other severe weather event, and you try to prepare, but it is frightening, and you don't know if something will happen or if it won't. I imagine it was something like that maybe.

I certainly I hope I never find out.

But it is great that literature can transport us there even if it just gives us a taste.


message 3: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margarette) | 292 comments The third volume of the Call the Midwife memoirs has some riveting descriptions by a survivor of bombings, waiting them out in shelters, then coming out to find the destruction and going to work to find the dead and injured.


message 4: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margarette) | 292 comments I meant to also mention that I've had my eye on this for awhile, Shannon, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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