Reviews for The Prime Minister's secret agent : a Maggie Hope mystery

Publishers Weekly
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Set in 1941, MacNeal's fine fourth Maggie Hope mystery finds Maggie teaching at a training camp for spies in Scotland. Traumatized by her experiences in Berlin in 2013's His Majesty's Hope, she pushes the recruits hard, desperate for some peace of her own. Getting a close friend off a murder charge and helping to investigate the death of two ballet dancers bring her some respite. She also learns more about the war effort-and the difficulty of fighting a "clean" war-than she ever wanted to know. MacNeal focuses on the moral price of war, whose costs affect everyone from Maggie to Winston Churchill. She seamlessly mixes fact and fiction in the buildup to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The book's weakest link is Maggie's mother, the imprisoned German spy Clara Hess, who's scheduled for execution. With the emergence of multiple personalities, Clara comes across as a plot device, not a character. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Literary. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Back from a deadly undercover mission in Berlin in 1941 (His Majesty's Hope, 2013), agent Maggie Hope feels dead inside. Working as an instructor at the Scottish black-ops base where she herself was trained, Maggie is plagued with what Churchill calls the black dog of depression. But when she takes time off to see a friend's ballet performance in Edinburgh and becomes involved in a murder investigation, her senses are reawakened. At the same time, the U.S. and Japan are involved in a futile diplomatic dance, with Churchill desperately wanting further American participation in the war effort and December 7 fast approaching. Even with the outcome known, MacNeal builds up pre-Pearl Harbor suspense, as coded messages fly back and forth, sometimes being delayed or dismissed because of their messengers. In her fourth solidly researched Maggie Hope mystery, MacNeal details small slips that lead to great tragedies as she lays the groundwork for a post-Pearl mission for Maggie. A treat for WWII buffs and mystery lovers alike.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist