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His Majesty's Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery Paperback – May 14, 2013

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His Majesty's Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery + The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (Maggie Hope) + Princess Elizabeth's Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In 1941, Maggie Hope, the first female agent to be dropped behind enemy lines, is sent to bug the home office of Clara Hess, the high-ranking Nazi operative who’s also Maggie’s estranged mother. But without her knowledge, Maggie also is intended to serve as bait to bring in Hess, whose recent operations in ­England—intended to kill Winston Churchill and to kidnap Princess Elizabeth—were foiled largely by Maggie. In Berlin, she also meets nurse Elise Hess, the half-sister she never knew she had, who has just been stunned by viewing Operation Compassionate Death, the mass killings of children with disabilities. When an opportunity to stay in Berlin beyond the completion of her mission presents itself, Maggie seizes the chance to gather additional intelligence, putting herself and her contact in the German Resistance at risk. Historical reality makes the third in this meticulously researched series darker in tone but just as compellingly readable as its predecessors (Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, both 2012); viewing WWII through Maggie’s exploits provides an intriguingly human perspective on the era. --Michele Leber


“You’ll be [Maggie Hope’s] loyal subject, ready to follow her wherever she goes.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

Praise for the Maggie Hope Mysteries

“With false starts, double agents, and red herrings . . . MacNeal provides a vivid view of life both above and below stairs at Windsor Castle.”—Publishers Weekly, on Princess Elizabeth’s Spy

“A captivating, post-feminist picture of England during its finest hour.”—The Denver Post, on Mr. Churchill’s Secretary

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Product Details

  • Series: Maggie Hope (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345536738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345536730
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Elia MacNeal
New York, New York

The Prime Minister's Secret Agent -- Top 10 New York Times bestseller and USA Today bestseller.

His Majesty's Hope -- New York Times- and USA Today-bestseller. Nominated for the ITW Thriller Award and Bruce Alexander Memorial History Award, one of Audiofile's Best of 2013, and one of Crimespree's Favorites of 2013.

Princess Elizabeth's Spy -- New York Times bestseller, Oprah's "Mystery of the Week." Nominated for the Sue Federer Historical Mystery Award.

Mr. Churchill's Secretary -- Winner of the Barry Award. Nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, and Dilys Awards.

Susan graduated cum laude from Wellesley College, with departmental honors in English Literature and credits from cross-registered classes at MIT. She attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University.

Her first job was as an intern at Random House for then-publisher Harold Evans, before moving her way up the editorial ladder at Viking/Penguin and McGraw-Hill, then becoming an associate editor at Dance Magazine.

Her writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Fodor's, Time Out New York, Time Out London, Publishers Weekly, Dance Magazine, and various publications of New York City Ballet. She's also the author of two non-fiction books and a professional editor.

Susan is married and lives with her husband, Noel MacNeal, a television performer, writer and director, and their son in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Follow on Twitter -- @susanmacneal

Follow on Facebook -- www.facebook.com/susaneliamacneal

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Susan Elia MacNeal introduced us to Maggie Hope in Mr. Churchill's Secretary, and I for one was captivated from the start. How could I NOT be? The heroine is an independent young woman, a brilliant mathematician, living through a dramatic time, and putting herself in harm's way for plausible reasons. As was evident from Princess Elizabeth's Spy, the character has her own arc, coming to terms with her family's history, and the author does not always give her easy choices. So the moment I saw the imminent release of His Majesty's Hope, I practically shouted, "That's for me!" Loud enough to disturb the cat, and to earn one of those grumbly, "You woke me up" cat glares.

In His Majesty's Hope, Maggie has finally earned the right (and the skill) to be dropped behind enemy lines, the first woman spy to do so. The job is supposedly a quick one, in-and-out in four days, until an irresistible opportunity presents itself to get her hands on more valuable data. We also hear what's happening from two additional viewpoints: David, Maggie's friend in London, whose parents are pressuring him to marry without realizing David is a closet homosexual; and Elise, a nurse in Berlin who learns terrible things about what the Nazis are doing to the children under her care.

It's a good setup for a story, and gives us plenty of opportunity to admire the author's character-drawing ability. Since we readers know the outcome of the war, there's even more drama ("No no don't get on that bus!").
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Young Maggie Hope is fresh from her training as an agent for Britain's Special Operations Executive and her mission is to be parachuted behind enemy lines to Germany, where she is to drop off some radio equipment for underground resistance forces and bug the offices of German spy Clara Hess. It's supposed to be a quick, four-day mission, but when Maggie is offered a job by a top Nazi, she can't resist staying so that she can possibly find out useful German war intelligence.

Meanwhile, there are side plots involving Clara Hess's daughter Elise, a nurse, who finds out about the Nazis' secret program to euthanize those with mental and developmental disorders, Elise's friend Frieda, who is married to a Jewish doctor about to be sent "to the east" and, back in London, Maggie's friend David's seemingly doomed gay love affair.

Maggie's spying brings her into contact with Elise and their plots mesh, culminating in a tension-filled attempt to escape Germany.

It's hard to know what to think of this story. MacNeal's strengths are that she writes well and knows how to keep a plot moving along at a good clip. But it doesn't move along fast enough to disguise the weaknesses, such as one-dimensional characters, and an absolutely ludicrous plot that reminded me very much of that pot-boiler movie from 1992, Shining Through, in which Melanie Griffith plays a spy in World War II Berlin and has some experiences remarkably like Maggie's.

I have to admit that I had fun reading the book at least half the time.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kristi VINE VOICE on March 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Maggie Hope mystery stories have been set in London during World War II. In the first book, Maggie is hired as one of the secretaries that serve Prime Minister Churchill. In the second, she is enlisted as a protective companion to the two young princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret. Maggie is a trained mathematician who chafes at being relegated to such feminine roles, but whose code-analysis skills serve admirably when it comes to figuring out what is really going on.

The third book starts with Maggie in training to become a spy. Her mission -- this is not a spoiler, as it is presented pretty immediately -- is to be dropped by parachute into Germany and plant a listening device in the home of a high-ranking Nazi party member.

Although I enjoy Maggie as a character and I feel the author did a fantastic job of providing just enough detail to make the situation seem realistic -- and extremely suspenseful -- I just couldn't get past the premise of the young former typist being spirited in behind enemy lines. For any who miss the reference in my title, "jumping the shark," came to identify points where the storylines of popular television shows became too far-fetched even for fans to embrace (taken from an episode of Happy Days in which a water-skiing Fonzi literally jumps over a shark).

The back-story in the books thus far, detailing a family history for Maggie that she is only just now learning, along with the reader, doesn't help. I think it is a good plot, but the problem is that it makes Maggie's own skills and abilities seem less likely; I mean, I can believe she's got family connections that make her an ideal political pawn, but that makes it harder to believe that she is also incredibly smart, athletic and quite pretty.

I hope that Maggie returns to less physical and more cerebral roles. They seem a much better fit.
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His Majesty's Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery
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