Thursday, October 18, 2012

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy GIVEAWAY and Blog Tour!

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: October 16th
Source: Publisher
Rating: I really liked it
As World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5. Spirited, strong-willed, and possessing one of the sharpest minds in government for mathematics and code-breaking, she fully expects to be sent abroad to gather intelligence for the British front. Instead, to her great disappointment, she is dispatched to go undercover at Windsor Castle, where she will tutor the young Princess Elizabeth in math. Yet castle life quickly proves more dangerous—and deadly—than Maggie ever expected. The upstairs-downstairs world at Windsor is thrown into disarray by a shocking murder, which draws Maggie into a vast conspiracy that places the entire royal family in peril. And as she races to save England from a most disturbing fate, Maggie realizes that a quick wit is her best defense, and that the smallest clues can unravel the biggest secrets, even within her own family.

The Skinny: A thrilling mystery that keeps readers guessing. Or, James Bond for girls.

When I read the first book in this series, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, I knew that I found an entertaining story and hoped that many more books would be published. In the last book, Maggie is Winston Churchill’s secretary and finds herself entwined in a complex spy plot. In Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, Maggie continues her adventure in a new role and has many more adventures.

The characters are complex, funny, and realistic. I loved Maggie and admire her intelligence and bravery. She is such a smart character and constantly surprised me with her maturity and passion. In a time when women were expected to do as they were told, Maggie fights for her desires and is so confident in her abilities that those around her also come to value her grit. We see some familiar faces from the first book and new people are introduced that add to the story and make it memorable.

Susan is such a great storyteller. I was still recovering from the whiplash that I sustained from reading Mr. Churchill’s Secretary as a result of all of the unexpected twists, and I do not think that I shall ever recover after reading Princess Elizabeth’s Spy. Susan really knows how to lead readers down a certain path, lay the groundwork for an idea, and then push them down a hidden hole just before retrieving them and throwing them in the opposite direction. I am a very observant reader and can usually figure out the twists and turns, but I was shocked at many developments and did not see any of them.

Another point that I would like to discuss is the historical nature of the book. I really had a sense of what it was like to live during World War II. To be a woman at this time and deal with the beliefs that dominated business and government must have been trying, and Susan did a wonderful job portraying this phenomenon. Furthermore, the uncertainty and fear that people experienced during this time also comes across well, and I often felt a little paranoid that my classmates were spies after finishing a chapter in between classes.

Overall, I really liked Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, and I highly suggest it. Even if you are not a huge historical fiction fan, this one is worth reading. It is more of a thrilling mystery that is set during an important time than a typical historical fiction. If you enjoy well-written mysteries that will truly throw the unexpected your way, then Princess Elizabeth’s Spy is the perfect book for you. I want the next book so desperately!

Bantam is graciously giving 1 copy of Princess Elizabeth’s Spy to a US/CAN reader! Leave a comment on this review to enter. Please leave a way for me to contact you (twitter, blog, etc.). 
Good luck! I really hope you win!

Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of the Maggie Hope mystery series, including her debut novel, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, and the upcoming Hitler’s Nightingale. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and child. For more information about Susan and her work, visit her website at Check out Princess Elizabeth’s Spy on Amazon!


  1. I loved this book a lot too-so good and perfectly satisfying my craving for a WWII story. Can't wait for the third!

  2. This book sounds great. I love strong heroines and Maggie Hope sounds perfect!

  3. I love a book that keeps me guessing. Sounds like this could fit the bill. Also love this era. Thanks for the giveaway.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com

  4. Nice cover. This sounds interesting.


  5. "I really had a sense of what it was like to live during World War II." - I would read this book for that alone!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  6. I liked the book also ( and the covers are great, aren't they?

    I wouldn't classify it under historical fiction though, but that just me I guess.