Review: His Majesty’s Hope

His Majesty’s Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal
Fiction/Spy Thriller, 354 pages
ISBN: 9780345536730
Paperback released: May 14, 2013
A Bantam Books Trade Paperback

FTC Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program

 

Intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war – and of her own past.

For those of you who’ve read the other two books, you will love this third installment – at least from what I’ve seen across the blogosphere. Unfortunately, this was the first book I’ve read and I’m truly sorry that I haven’t read the other books. After reading this, I plan to.

His Majesty’s Hope can be read as a stand alone, but I don’t recommend it for those who hate spoilers. There are situations in the plot that assume you’ve been following Maggie from the beginning and it may ruin some of the surprises if you read them out of turn.

This is definitely a keeper. It’s a book I happily recommend. I’d hate to loan out, but I would if it means introducing this author to those who like a good historical fiction/mystery/spy-thriller with a likable female protagonist.

Some compare this series to Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs, but they’re different enough that I’d recommend both and advise against trying to find similarities. I’d just say that if you know someone who loves Maisie, they will soon feel the same about Maggie.

Oh, and this may be a bit shallow, but I LOVE the artwork on the covers. These are books I would seriously consider facing out on my shelves, or if I had a poster of them, they would definitely go up on the walls in my library.

For those who are historical fiction fans, this book is for you as well as those who like a good mystery – even though I felt this book was more of a spy thriller. There is some predictability, but it’s acceptable.

The author has done her research and doesn’t stray far from the historical record. In fact, it’s in this adherence where some readers may become uncomfortable. The horror of the holocaust, especially in the Nazi’s euthanasia program is reflected here but not so powerful as it could be. Just remember that this is a spy thriller not a dissertation on war crimes, so don’t ding the author for going as far (or not) as she did. Still, children are involved so reader beware.

Since there is a series involved, the book is finished nicely, but not completely. Of course there must be a set up for the next book, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent which comes out sometime 2014. If you’d like to catch up, the first two are: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Princess Elizabeth’s Spy

This is an excellent series for those who like a good mystery that reads well and is a pleasant way to relax at home or away. These are also great books to take on a trip or to that summer cabin.

To learn more about the author and her work, you can visit her website at www.susaneliamacneal.com.

JC

 

 

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