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10 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable but.....
While I enjoyed this novel and admired the obvious research that had been done by the author I do have some concerns.

I do wish that American authors who set their books in Britain and who have British people as characters would also have their work proof-read by British proof-readers
There are some glaring Americanisms put in to the mouths of very...
Published on 31 Oct 2012 by Chrissie

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Arrant rubbish
Thhis book should have a disclaimer, on the title page preferably:"This book is in no way based on any facts whatsoever except for the names of historical figures either living or dead."
Even the most cursory of research would have shown glaring errors, e.g the correct age of Princess Margaret. Only an American author relying on gossip column material could possibly...
Published 13 months ago by gerryr


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Arrant rubbish, 7 Oct 2013
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Thhis book should have a disclaimer, on the title page preferably:"This book is in no way based on any facts whatsoever except for the names of historical figures either living or dead."
Even the most cursory of research would have shown glaring errors, e.g the correct age of Princess Margaret. Only an American author relying on gossip column material could possibly have produced such a travesty - albeit as fiction. I had hoped for a good read, as with the author's previous book, and will now cancel my order for the next one due to be published
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3.0 out of 5 stars So much that is good... and so much that is so very bad!, 25 Aug 2014
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Mr (YELVERTON, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is a really difficult book to review as there is so much that is good and yet so much that is bad. Once again, as for Chruchill's Secretary, Susan MacNeal shows she has an absolute minimal knowledge or understanding of Britain or the British in the period she sets her books; nor the technology and sequence of WW2. While some detailed descriptions have been clearly researched specifically (eg Windsor Castle) she drops in some real clangers inadvertently: British aristocracy hunting foxes on horseback with dogs and firearms? Some stretching of historical aspects to suit the plot is fine, I can accept that, but many seem to be totally unnecessary - the Admiralty having full knowledge of a U-Boats position? A submerged U-Boat transiting from 10 miles off Grimsby to France in 20 minutes? A Spitfire shot down over Berlin (it didn't have the rage to operate there) and then a later reference to its pilot having dropped bombs (it's a fighter not a bomber). None of this helps the plot, it is just sheer carelessness. Equally irritating is the extremely poor quality editing - for example Gregory twice empties his one flask and throws it overboard. How could this possibly be missed by an editor unless they didn't actually read the book? That said, the conundrum of reading this series is that Susan MacNeal actually writes in a very entertaining style and her characterisation is good. I really enjoy reading Maggie's story between the teeth gratingly awful historical errors. If Sue MacNeal took the time to research the period properly (or have her books edited by someone who knows their stuff) this could be an excellent series. As it is she fails to deliver on her side of the author/reader contract by including glaring errors, especially after advertising the books as 'well researched'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good yarn with annoying errors., 21 Nov 2012
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Mrs Curzon Tussaud (London, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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I share Chrissie's concerns about careless editing or proofreading. Lord Wigram, Governor of the Castle, was referred to in several different guises such as Lord Clive or Sir Clive. The correct form of address is Lord Wigram. I don't think duvets were in common useage in England in the war years. Early on in the book a remark is made about the Royal Family having one egg each per week, yet later on a maid puts down "another" platter of scrambled eggs on the breakfast table. There really wasn't a great deal of food around during the war years, yet these characters seem to eat very well.

It was a good story, well told, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable but....., 31 Oct 2012
While I enjoyed this novel and admired the obvious research that had been done by the author I do have some concerns.

I do wish that American authors who set their books in Britain and who have British people as characters would also have their work proof-read by British proof-readers
There are some glaring Americanisms put in to the mouths of very British people. I could cite them all but perhaps the worst example is that the author has Queen Elizabeth , (the Queen Mother as she became) saying that she would have to "call" someone. In the 1940s, and even today, most British people say "phone" and in the 1940s it would have been "I must telephone" from someone like the Queen.As a British reader I do find solecisms like this a little irritating.
That said the novel is well plotted with many clues scattered throughout, though perhaps one,very early on, is a little too obvious.
The conclusion , while exciting, is perhaps a little unlikely, though, without giving too much away, having watched a recent certain Royal Olympic performance,anything might be possible from this character !!
I look forward to this next in this series.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Once again, very poor reseach fails this book., 29 Aug 2013
By 
Renaud Olgiati (Asuncion, Paraguay) - See all my reviews
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I read Princess Elizabeth's Spy out of curiosity, to see whether it was better than the first book of the serie.

Alas, it is not, and teeth-jarring mistakes abound.

Early on, I was brought to a sudden stop by a mention of the "Saint James Bible"...

Later I was surprised to read about the presence in the North Sea of the German submarine U246: not only was this ship launched only in 1943, but even the first ship of her class only entered service in 1941; so she could not have been around at the time of the Blitz. The repeated reference to the "sail" of the U-Boot also jars: the term "conning tower" was used during the war, and even now only North-Americans use "sail"; in British Navy usage ships have "fins".

Then, maybe in deference to the eponymous storms that punish the coasts of New England, we see the sailor's oilskin hat called a "nor'easter" instead of a "south'wester".

But the hardest to take was her description of the New Year hunt: not only does Mrs MacNeal refer to the hunting pinks worn by the huntsmen as "red coats", but she seems to think one carries and discharges some fire-arm when riding to the hounds (What next ? Shooting foxes ?)

So once again, both the person who did her research, and her editor, should be summarily dismissed, for they did a very poor job.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book, 30 Jun 2013
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Absolutely recommend this for an enjoyable read with likeable characters. Susan Elia McNeal does push the boundaries of history well into fiction, but does so in a knowledgeable and well crafted way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Second Maggie Hope Mystery, 8 April 2013
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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It's been a couple of months since Maggie first found herself caught up in World War II intrigue in London, and she is being sent out on her second assignment. This time, she is going to be a maths tutor for Princess Elizabeth. But it is much more dangerous than it sounds since Maggie's new boss at MI-5 thinks there is reason to believe someone is going to try to harm the heir to the throne.

Maggie hasn't even settled in when there is a grisly murder. But did the target die or was the princess the true target? As Maggie gets to know the rest of the people staying at the castle, will she be able to figure out what is happening?

Since I enjoyed the first in this series, I wasn't surprised to enjoy the second as well. Maggie continues to be a strong character who is fairly quick at figuring things out. The new cast of characters are charming. And the period feel is absolutely perfect. The plot is better paced this go around, too.

However, it does have some flaws. There are some serious timing issues early in the book, and there were two obvious errors that should have been fixed. One part of the plot is rather abruptly dealt with, although I think I've got it all worked out. And I figured out part of Maggie's personal life very early as well, although that was a sub-plot so I didn't mind too much.

Those looking for a great mystery set in World War II will enjoy this book. It's as engrossing as the first, which is a very good thing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 25 Nov 2012
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Joyce Holmes "bookhound" (Lincoln.UK) - See all my reviews
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I was hoping to find a new author setting books in the WW2 period but, while the idea of a story set in the rarified air of the War Rooms and Windsor was interesting I could not suspend belief enough to enjoy it. It is well written but unfortunately not for me.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read perfect for a long flight keep you occupied, 26 Feb 2013
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wonderful and very entertaining, a little bit of history and a lot of imagination. Cant wait till the next one comes out.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I like this, 26 Dec 2012
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I like this courageous period mystery with its slightly swashbuckling Girl's Own feeling. Of course the famous name adventure part of it was rather far fetched and contrived, but these are fun books and I look forward to the next one.
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Princess Elizabeth's Spy (Maggie Hope)
Princess Elizabeth's Spy (Maggie Hope) by Susan Elia MacNeal (Paperback - 5 Feb 2015)
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