cover image The Last Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery

The Last Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery

Susan Elia MacNeal. Bantam, $29 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-15698-8

In the gripping swan song for the bestselling Maggie Hope series (following The Hollywood Spy), MacNeal weaves fascinating bits of real-life espionage into her intrepid British spy’s final mission. In January 1944, Maggie receives an assignment from Kim Philby, the head of the Iberian Section of MI6. Her mission is to go to Spain, where German physicist Werner Heisenberg, winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize, will be lecturing at the University of Madrid. Based on the contents of that lecture, Maggie is to determine how close the Nazis are to developing an atomic bomb, and to assassinate Heisenberg if necessary. That’s not her only mission: at the same time, Coco Chanel, who saved Maggie’s life during a 1941 mission in Paris, wants the British spy to serve as a go-between for herself and Winston Churchill. First, however, Maggie must suss out where exactly the fashion designer’s loyalties lie. MacNeal avoids playing too fast and loose with the historical record, proving that truth—including Chanel’s ties to both the Nazis and the British royal family—really is stranger than fiction. It all makes for a marvelously high-stakes adventure that sends off the series in style. Readers who’ve been with Maggie for the long haul won’t be disappointed. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (May)