Title: Princess Elizabeth's Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery
Author: Susan Elia Macneal
Paperback; Bantam, published October 16, 2012
Genre: historical mystery
About the book: Maggie Hope has been promoted to MI-5 as a secret agent/spy during WWII but because she fails the physical tests, she is assigned to watch and protect the young Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, under the guise of being her math teacher. The deaths of two young women, one of them a lady in waiting at Windsor Castle, become linked to a master plot that threatens the royal family.
Maggie and her father, a cryptographer working for the government at Bletchley Park, are also involved in cracking enemy codes and rooting out spies against the royal family and the English during the war.
Comments: I learned a lot about England during the war - the relentless bombing of London and other cities, their efforts to find planted spies, decode messages from Hitler's Germany, and block German plans to have King George VI replaced by his older brother Edward, who had abdicated to marry an American divorcee. Fascinating, heady stuff, though I don't know how much of the details is based on fact and how much is fiction. I would have liked to see a more detailed disclaimer at the end of the book, though there is a list of books the author used for her research.
The plot is purely entertainment, outside of the historical facts. It has the Princess Elizabeth, a young, blue-eyed girl, taking part in an improbable plot of mystery and suspense. The author clearly admires how the British conducted themselves during WWII and has written about the present royal family's history and the princess in a somewhat sentimental way.
Princess Elizabeth's Spy ends with a question regarding Maggie's mother, which will lead this spy/sleuth into the heart of Berlin, in the follow up book. I am looking forward to it.
Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of the Maggie Hope mystery series, including her debut novel, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, and the upcoming Hitler’s Nightingale. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.
Visit her website at SusanEliaMacNeal.com.
For other reviews, visit the book's tour schedule. Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the author for a review ARC of this book.