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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mrs. Roosevelt Confidante: Susan Elia MacNeal

By Kelly Bridgewater


December 1941. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C., along with special agent Maggie Hope. Posing as his typist, she is accompanying the prime minister as he meets with President Roosevelt to negotiate the United States’ entry into World War II. When one of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered, Maggie is quickly drawn into Mrs. Roosevelt’s inner circle—as ER herself is implicated in the crime. Maggie knows she must keep the investigation quiet, so she employs her unparalleled skills at code breaking and espionage to figure out who would target Mrs. Roosevelt, and why. What Maggie uncovers is a shocking conspiracy that could jeopardize American support for the war and leave the fate of the world hanging dangerously in the balance.

From Amazon
My Thoughts:

I am a huge World War II junkie. I love everything about the period. The clothes. The music. The external and internal conflicts. By reading Sarah Sundin, Liz Tolsma, and Kristy Cambron, it has sparked my renewed interests in the period. I wanted to find something to do with mystery during the same era, so I found Susan Elia MacNeal’s  Maggie Hope’s mysteries. Her books have everything you would want in a World War II historical mystery. A recurring character. An interesting setting. Unique perspective.

One of MacNeal’s greatest strengths in my humble opinion is her ability to bring characters to life who I have met in history books. For instance in Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, I got to meet and hang out with Eleanor Roosevelt for a while. In the history books, I have learned about her accomplishments as she stood behind her husband President FDR, but MacNeal brings her to life. In her previous books in this series, I got to hang out with Prime Minister Winston Churchill. She does a good job at making these historical characters real.

I really enjoyed her descriptive setting. MacNeal captures London and America during the World War II conflict. I could see the burned out buildings in London and see the Christmas lights shining in America, even though Pearl Harbor just occurred a couple of weeks ago. MacNeal really understands how the setting makes the story.

The conflict is unique, yet powerful. For someone like me, suspense in any time period makes the story more riveting, grabbing me from the first page, and MacNeal does that. There is a dead woman lying in a bathtub with slit wrists, so MacNeal drags Mrs. Roosevelt and Maggie through the pages of the story as they try to figure out who murdered her.

For the members of the CBA market, there is a word of warning. MaNeal does mention homosexuality like it is nothing, so be prepared to read moments where she describes a couple of key characters in this type of relationship. It made me flip through those pages pretty quickly, but it doesn’t ruin the story.

In true historical significance Susan Elia MacNeal’s latest mystery in her Maggie Hope series continues with a familiar character and allows me to return to World War II and solve the mystery.  If you are a World War II buff and a mystery lover, than this book is for you!

I received a complimentary copy of Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante from Random House through Netgalley and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Have you ever tried anything from Susan Elia MacNeal? What aspect of her historical World War II suspense series captures your attention?

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