The Queen's Accomplice
By Susan Elia MacNeal
Published: October 4, 2016
Spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope returns to war-weary London, where she is thrust into the dangerous hunt for a monster, as the" New York Times" bestselling mystery series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry continues.
England, 1942. The Nazis relentless Blitz may have paused, but London's nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper s crimes. What's more, he's targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill's spies and saboteurs abroad. The officers at MI-5 quickly realize they need the help of special agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed the Blackout Beast. A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate.
Maggie is back in London after traveling with Winston Churchill to the U.S. and helping Eleanor Roosevelt in the previous book (Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante). Now she is working for a chauvinistic new boss who thinks little of women in the workforce, even the highly trained and intelligent members of the Special Operations Executive. He orders Maggie around (mostly to pour tea) and won't listen to her concerns about benefits and pay for women in service or the safety of a female spy abroad whose latest transmissions have been odd. Maggie is frustrated so she jumps at the chance to help MI-5 on their latest case. It also has personal stakes as some of the women who have been killed are people Maggie knows.
For some reason I like serial killer mysteries so that aspect was appealing though I do not like gory descriptions. Thankfully this wasn't as bad as some of the books I've read. Maggie is pretty brave but it is also really hard for her to see what has been done to these women and when the killer starts to taunt her personally, things get worse.
In addition to trying to discover who the killer is and save his latest victim, Maggie also has to contend with worry over her half-sister Elise who is in Ravensbruck and issues in her friends' lives. Although the serial killer plot is resolved, there are some threads left loose in the other storylines to be continued in the next book which looks to take place in Occupied France.
This is the sixth book in the Maggie Hope mystery series and although I figured out who the killer was early on, I thought it was a good page turner. The story was fast paced and it was nice to see the return of some familiar characters as well as the introduction of DCI Durgin, a character I ended up really liking. Even though the next book will primarily take place in France I hope we get to see him too. I would have liked it if the killer wasn't so obvious to me but I still enjoyed the book because I like the characters and the suspenseful tone. I would suggest this series to fans of historical mystery and shows like Foyle's War.
Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss