The Queen’s Accomplice: A Maggie Hope Mystery

Susan Elia MacNeal. Bantam, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-8041-7872-3
Echoes of classic crime meet international espionage in MacNeal’s accomplished sixth WWII mystery (after 2015’s Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante). In bombed- and blacked-out 1942 London, a young woman’s horrifically butchered body is discovered in Regent’s Park near graffiti proclaiming that “Jack Is Back.” With the discovery of a second, similarly brutalized corpse, a pattern emerges: the murders explicitly mimic Jack the Ripper’s, and both women have been tapped for the Special Operations Executive, a top-secret unit that sends women spies behind enemy lines. American expat Maggie Hope, an experienced SOE operative, joins the investigation jointly conducted by Scotland Yard and MI5. The stakes rise when a young woman trained by Maggie disappears, possibly abducted by the killer that the press dubs the Blackout Beast. Though the titular queen—the current monarch’s mother—plays only a minor role, MacNeal’s engaging characters, vivid scene-setting, moments of romance, and rich historical detail offer plenty to enjoy. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-8041-7873-0
Paperback - 978-1-4104-9235-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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