Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal is the second book in the Maggie Hope Mystery Series of books. In the follow up to Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, protagonist, Maggie, when the world is at a standstill due to World War II, is now training to become an MI-5 agent. Unfortunately for Maggie, she was not gifted with the physical talents necessary to become a full-fledged agent in the midst of the war. Therefore, she is soon sent back to London for a new assignment. She must work as Princess Elizabeth’s governess, while doing a bit of spying. Maggie is quite modern for a woman of her era, therefore, she is more than a little offended by her new assignment. She is a woman of high intellect and fully trusts her abilities; therefore, such an assignment appears demeaning. However, Maggie’s opinion of her new assignment soon changes after her arrival at Windsor Castle. A murder has happened on the grounds and she realizes that this may be her most challenging job yet.
Some old faces from Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, return in Princess Elizabeth’s Spy. From the loveable David to her enigmatic father, they are all relevant to the story, as well as Maggie’s progress as a character. We are also introduced to new characters, such as Hugh and Gregory, which are critical to the plotline. Also, Maggie’s character is a delight. She is a strong and modern, yet caring woman in intense times. Her character’s attributes are much needed and hard to come by in most novels, which is why MacNeal must be applauded for creating such a complete protagonist. The surrounding cast also adds needed depth, it was easy to find myself questioning the motives of certain characters and wondering if he/she could be trusted. Also, of note, the character of Princess Elizabeth is beautifully crafted. She is portrayed as an empathetic and wise 14 year old who realizes the importance of her position in life.
The novel’s pace moves well and is easy to follow, which is important when delving into a suspenseful read. Maggie also finds a potential new love in Hugh, which is a positive for her, after recently losing her first love, John. New twists and turns are also unveiled in this mystery, the most major one pertaining to her mother and father. I look forward to reading the follow up to Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope and gladly recommend that all lovers of mysteries read the Maggie Hope series of books.
*I received a copy of this book to review but was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my own observations while reading this novel.*