Mr. Churchill's Secretary

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Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:46 pm

I just finished listening to Mr. Churchill's Secretary, by Susan Ella MacNeal (read by Donata Peters). It is book 1 in the "Maggie Hope" series. It is about Maggie Hope, a woman with sharp mind and high skills in mathematics, who takes a job as Mr. Churchill's secretary. While doing this job, through her code-breaking skills, she discovers a plot to assissinate a British leader and bomb one of London's biggest landmarks.

I found this a good listen: code-breaking, spies, family secrets, and even something called the "Saturday Club" (Nazi sympathizers; much like the 'Friday Club' in FW).

There is a second Maggie Hope book out: "Princess Elizabeth's Spy", and a third one: "His Majesty's Hope."

Just thought I'd share.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby amiga » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:57 pm

I read the first two and enjoyed them very much. The last one should be in from the library next week. I'm looking forward to it.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby bubbe » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:44 am

I read all three. They were engaging and well-written. What I call a light read. The last one was my favorite but they should be read in order so that you know the characters and their past experiences. Be well everybody.
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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:41 pm

Some Spoilers:


I listened to both the second and third books in this series: Princess Elizabeth's Spy and His Majesty's Hope. I really liked them both. I liked the reader of these books (but I did not like how she did Winston Churchill's voice). Also noticed some similarities between Princess Elizabeth's Spy and FW's The German Woman:

-A German woman gets beheaded by piano wire strung across a bridle path.
-A German woman sends chess moves to her friend in Germany (much like the husband did in The German Woman.
-A German woman in a British detainment camp dies of a heart attack.
-Also, related to all the FW eps, there is a DCS in this story.

There is a fourth Maggie Hope coming out in July: The Prime Minister's Secret Agent.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby amiga » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:14 pm

I read these books and really liked all of them. I'll see if the library also has them on audio books. Looking forward to the new one in July.

Thanks.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:40 pm

The latest in the series, The Prime Minister's Secret Agent, is due out on July 1, 2014. I think I'll pre-order it off of Audible (since I've listened to all the others).

Looking forward to it. I may save it for the first week in August--a trip to Maine (Acadia National Park area)..

:thumbsup: Samfan
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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:43 pm

Just finished listening to The Prime Minister's Secret Agent.

Related to Foyle's War:
-Anthrax
-Spy schools for SOE secret agents

Also coming into play:
-The bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the events leading up to it

I liked it. It ended on a cliff hanger of sorts, so there is probably a 5th book coming out sometime.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby amiga » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:05 am

I'm looking forward to it. I'm next on the hold list at the library!

Thanks.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:10 am

Just a note for those interested in the books: you really do have to go through them in numerical order, because various 'sub-plots" build on each other (Maggie Hope's family, various other characters' lives, and the progress of the war) (as Bubbe reminded us earlier).

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby amiga » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:13 am

Samfan wrote:Just a note for those interested in the books: you really do have to go through them in numerical order, because various 'sub-plots" build on each other (Maggie Hope's family, various other characters' lives, and the progress of the war) (as Bubbe reminded us earlier).

Samfan


I agree, best to read them in order. Great series

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:27 am

amiga wrote:
Samfan wrote:Just a note for those interested in the books: you really do have to go through them in numerical order, because various 'sub-plots" build on each other (Maggie Hope's family, various other characters' lives, and the progress of the war) (as Bubbe reminded us earlier).

Samfan


I agree, best to read them in order. Great series

Amiga


In fact, listening to this most recent book, I got confused in some parts, because I couldn't remember the exact information from the last book. I almost wish I had listened to the last book again before starting this new book. Lots of characters, lives, and plots to keep straight.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Englishfan » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:37 am

Can't wait to read these. I'm thinking that they are available on DVDs, so I'll look for those, too.

thanks. I get some of my best reads from the forum.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Rhonllor » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:51 am

I'm rereading this series, currently on the second, Princess Elizabeth's Spy, which apparently I read before discovering Foyle's War because the similarities are really hard to miss. Samfan lists them above. There's a DCS character with Foyle's history, almost exactly (WWI vet, widower, son in the Royal Navy not the RAF...) It made me laugh and of course I had to see who else noticed. Leave it to my fellow QE'ers to be on top of it!

Googling brought me to the author's blog from 2009 where she talks about being obsessed with Foyle's War. Apparently so! It's an homage I guess! Or is that a homage? :lol:

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Lynette » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:00 am

I read the first two of those and found them to be teetering perilously close to plagiarism.

This author ripped off Horowitz's ideas from Foyle's War wholesale and put them into a book. So she stole from television and used his plots and plot devices in a different medium -- that's still plagiarism in my book Frankly I think Horowitz should have sued.
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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:37 pm

Well, I picked up the next book in the series, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante, which takes place in the U.S. soon after Pearl Harbor. I just happened to see the book in the New Books shelves at my local library. I'll keep my eye out for and take note of any FW similarities.

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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:19 pm

Samfan wrote:Well, I picked up the next book in the series, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante, which takes place in the U.S. soon after Pearl Harbor. I just happened to see the book in the New Books shelves at my local library. I'll keep my eye out for and take note of any FW similarities.

Samfan :sherlock:


I finally finished reading this today. There were no glaring "FW eps/scenes" parts. The USS Reuben James was mentioned, and there was a subplot about discovering the V2-rockets through the use of 3-D photography. There was a huge plot about saving the life of an African-American sharecropper set to be executed for killing a white landowner (real name of sharecropper was Odell Waller; named Wendell Cotton in the book). Susan MacNeal had historical notes at the end, discussing where she looked to find her information (mostly books--actually, the first thing she mentioned was some Ken Burns documentaries).

Since I read the book instead of listening to it, I got to read the prologue to her next Maggie Hope book, "The Queen's Accomplice." One of the first things that came to my mind when reading that was the FW ep "Eagle Day": "During the blackout, anonymous deaths were not infrequent. For the first part of the war, Nazi bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe could take out anyone, at any time. After the bombs fell each night, fires raged, claiming even more victims. And there were accidents--despite the white-painted curbs, people could easily take a wrong step and be killed by a passing car or truck, its headlights shrouded in regulatory covers. And there was also a sharp upsurge in people disappearing. Were they killed by the Blitz, did they run away to start a new life, or were they murdered?" These sentences just started me thinking about "Eagle Day." Maybe I was reading too much into it because I was sort of looking for a FW connection. The prologue goes on to talk about an Air Raid Warden finding a dead body in the street (March 1942).

I think I liked listening to the book better than reading it. I missed the different voices and accents.

Samfan
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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby Samfan » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:56 pm

The next book in the series, The Queen's Accomplice, is due to be released on October 4.
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Re: Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Postby HarrietVane » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:21 pm

For US users of Amazon Kindle, The Queen's Accomplice is just $1.99 today.
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