Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante

Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante
By Susan Elia MacNeal
Published: October 27, 2015

In this latest riveting mystery from Susan Elia MacNeal, England’s most daring spy, Maggie Hope, travels across the pond to America, where a looming scandal poses a grave threat to the White House and the Allied cause.

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.

My review:

Just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill visited the United States to meet with President Roosevelt about America entering the war. Using this historic event, Susan Elia MacNeal also examines race in the United States at that time and Eleanor Roosevelt's involvement with civil rights, a view which does not make her popular with some Americans. When her secretary dies of what initially appears as a suicide and a note is found that portrays Mrs. Roosevelt in a negative light, Maggie steps in to help. Who killed the secretary and plans to destroy Mrs. Roosevelt's reputation? Is it someone who want to hamper the war effort or is it related to civil rights? 

Maggie has now recovered from her time in the field in Germany. Now she is trying to rebuild her relationship with John Sterling which is stilted and complicated by their busy schedules. She also has to deal with some emotional issues over her missing half-sister and her mother, who is involved in some intrigue herself. Maggie shows that she is still resourceful but this investigation is not as thrilling as in previous mysteries. Readers find out who the killer is towards the beginning of the novel which really diminishes the suspense.

Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante is an interesting look at a fascinating historical figure and the events of that time. I think the author does a good job of portraying not only Winston Churchill but also Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. The setting and historical details add to the story.  While I would have liked more suspense in the plot, I overall enjoyed this Christmas-set mystery. Maggie is an intelligent and brave heroine and I look forward to reading more of her adventures.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. I love the time period of this novel, so I will have to check it out. Is this a new series? Thanks for putting it on my radar.

    1. The first book in the series is Mr. Churchill's Secretary. This is the fifth book. I love this time period too and I enjoy how the author incorporates real historical figures and events into the mysteries. If you decide to give it a try I hope you enjoy it!

  2. I loved the incorporation of racial issues into this book-an unexpected but welcome surprise!

  3. You have a nice list going for yourself. You can see mine here:

    I'm also a new follower on GFC, bloglovin', Twitter and Goddreads.


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