Book Review – Princess Elizabeth’s Spy
What I’ve recently finished:
OK I read this book in June because I received an “Advanced Reader’s Copy.” Words cannot express how excited I was!
I’m not someone who is usually picked for something special but I received an ARC of the book and I was just so excited!!
What is it about?
Last time we left Maggie, she was training to be part of MI5 after spending some time being a secretary to Mr. Churchill. Unfortunately, while Ms. Hope is amazingly bright, she ran into some issues with physical training. Anyone who spends more time with her nose in a book as opposed to running must know that that can be a…humbling experience
She thinks her first mission is going to be on the front line of the war but unfortunately she is sent to be a tutor to young Princess Elizabeth in Windsor Castle.
She is asked to be an “‘undercover sponge.’” This does does not sit well with Ms. Hope. There was a particular time when she stands up to her handlers who are simply trying to give her her assignment and not allow her any context:
I’m through allowing myself to be confined to so-called ‘women’s work.’ I’m also through with patronizing men giving me half-truths and withholding information. This will end here and now.” [page 43]
One might think that this is a fluff assignment but they’re quickly proved wrong when they read of the murder of one of the ladies in waiting at court. The murder at court puts everyone one edge and Maggie realizes that not only is she to be a tutor to the Princesses but she’s instructed to be a body guard of sorts as well.
Why did I read this?
Simple: I read book one a few months ago and I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!
What impressed me about this book?
The suspense. Like I’ve said, I haven’t read many suspense books but these stories continue to have a complex enough plot that it was intriguing but not too complex that it was a 900 page book you have to invest two months in.
Like always it was refreshing to see string females on both good and bad sides. That is always a plus in my book!
I also appreciated the upstairs/downstairs dynamic in this book. It’s the Downton Abbey fan in me coming out… Again… but it was interesting reading about the background of the British royalty during a war literally occurring in their back yard.
What disappointed me about this book?
Would you believe me if I say that I can’t think of anything? It was a wonderful ride! I remember having difficulty keeping people straight in the first book but it wasn’t much of an issue with this book.
Oh I’ve got a disappointment! There wasn’t a preview of book three at the end of the book because I was reading an ARC.
Marion Crawford was the Princess’ nanny wrote a book entitled The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen’s Childhood by her Nanny, Marion Crawford. This book has sparked my interest because there has been so much written about the Queen’s reign as monarch that I can’t help but wonder about her childhood. Did she hate broccoli? Did she really need things she was working on while studying to be in a certain order like MacNeil alludes to in the book? This has sparked my curiosity!
What reading challenge(s) did this book apply to?
- My ordinary Goodreads challenge – 19th out of my goal of thirty books to read in 2012
- Historical Tapestry – 12th out of 20 Historical Fiction books to read in 2012
I’ve recently started a series after more than a dozen books have already been published. Unfortunately with Maggie Hope, this is not the case. So this is a good representation of my thoughts right now: