Women with power may be a threat to some but Susan Elia MacNeal uses this timely theme in her latest Maggie Hope murder mystery – The Queen’s Accomplice. With the same British flavor as her other five books in the series, MacNeal features the young British secret service agent with a flair for logic in the search for a Jack the Ripper clone who has been killing women agents. Since first meeting Maggie Hope in MacNeal’s Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, I’ve enjoyed her feisty attitude and mathematical acumen. Her forays into romance with fellow agents help too.
The Queen in this book is not the newly popular Victoria nor the young Elizabeth of the new Netflix series “The Crown,” but Elizabeth’s mother, who stood by her husband, King George, during the war. Although she only has a minor role in the plot, MacNeal confirms the Queen’s influence and wartime support. As a modern woman of the nineteen forties, Maggie Hope has many of the same issues as women today, and has the support of other women, including the Queen.
MacNeal cleverly connects Maggie’s service in the war to ongoing problems women face in their personal lives and in the workplace. Although the book is a mystery with a killer to be found, the story offers confirmation of women’s rights in making their own decisions, and in being valuable for their contributions to society.
The book ends with a new adventure about to start, as Maggie waves goodbye to the Queen and boards a plane to Paris. The Paris Spy will be published this summer – I can’t wait.