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Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this 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 Hop NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this 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.


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this 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 Hop NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this 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.

30 review for Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal is a 2015 Bantam publication. With America finally having no choice but to join in WW2, Maggie returns to the States, acting as the prime minister's typist, while he works with the president on a course of action. But, of course Maggie always manages to find intrigue- this time as a confidante to Mrs. Roosevelt. It seems that one of Eleanor’s assistants has failed to show up for work and she is quite concerned. In the process of trying to determi Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal is a 2015 Bantam publication. With America finally having no choice but to join in WW2, Maggie returns to the States, acting as the prime minister's typist, while he works with the president on a course of action. But, of course Maggie always manages to find intrigue- this time as a confidante to Mrs. Roosevelt. It seems that one of Eleanor’s assistants has failed to show up for work and she is quite concerned. In the process of trying to determine her whereabouts, they make a gruesome discovery. To top it off, it seems someone is trying to create a scandal and first lady’s reputation could be at risk. Maggie also becomes involved in one of Eleanor’s causes, in which a black man’s life hangs in the balance after he killed a white man in self -defense. If that weren’t enough, Maggie and John seem to be going in two different directions and a new tenseness developed between them and Maggie is waiting to hear word about her sister. And... We also check in with the infamous Clara Hess. As always, there is a lot, and I do mean A LOT, going on, which is one reason why these mysteries are so hard to put down. There is never a dull moment, it would seem. What is so interesting with this installment is the Roosevelt dynamic, which is endlessly fascinating and was so fun to read about in this context. Despite so much going on in Maggie’s life, not only as a special agent, but in her personal life, she has somehow managed to recover her spunky spirit and is more like the Maggie of old, but with a more mature nature. She was the perfect person for Eleanor Roosevelt to confide in and the two worked together nicely. Of course, it is imperative for Britain to strengthen their relationship with the US and begin building a united force in the war, which is a very important part of this story, as well. This was one of my favorites in this series thus far. The American setting, Eleanor Roosevelt, the social commentary, and the attention to details makes this one stand out. No matter what, Maggie always lands of her feet! I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for her in book six!! 4.5

  2. 5 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    The Maggie Hope books have steadily gotten more and more ridiculous. (Number 4 is less so, and is actually pretty moving as Maggie recovers from a preposterous spy adventure, but she's slipped again here.) I assume you've read the others if you're reading this, so I'll say that the father-who-really-wasn't-dead, the mother-who-really-wasn't-dead-and-was-an-undercover-Nazi-spy, and the discovered-half-sister-who's-now-a-political-prisoner would be more than enough. But then there's Maggie's Zelig l The Maggie Hope books have steadily gotten more and more ridiculous. (Number 4 is less so, and is actually pretty moving as Maggie recovers from a preposterous spy adventure, but she's slipped again here.) I assume you've read the others if you're reading this, so I'll say that the father-who-really-wasn't-dead, the mother-who-really-wasn't-dead-and-was-an-undercover-Nazi-spy, and the discovered-half-sister-who's-now-a-political-prisoner would be more than enough. But then there's Maggie's Zelig like acquaintance with everyone notable, the gay friend who comes out in a way more 2015 than 1941, and her boyfriends, all of whom seem interchangeable and never hang around. The plot becomes even more ridiculous here as Maggie heads back to the US, gets tangled up with Eleanor Roosevelt and a murder mystery, and we get a tour of wartime NY/DC, where historic atmosphere is so carefully packed into nearly every sentence that MacNeal could work for a Disney history land. I just watched Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts, and it has a section on Churchill's visit to the White House, as depicted in this book. MacNeal watched it, and clearly took notes about Winnie's drinking, so why did she leave out a lovely bit about FDR wheeling into the room just as the PM was getting out of the bathtub? All that said, as I've said with others in this series, this is lovely brain candy, and certainly entertaining. So you can do as I did, suspend your disbelief, and hang on for the ride. It's still only 1941, so there's plenty of space for MacNeal to write a lot more books, and I will be reading them, if only to see how much crazier the plots get.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    When Winston Churchill travelers to Washington D.C to negotiate with President Roosevelt the United States entry into World War II. Special agent Maggie Hope is by his side posing as his typist. But Maggie is soon drawn into the action as she together with the Eleanor Roosevelt discovers the body of an aide to the First Lady. It seems that someone is trying to implicate the First Lady and now Maggie must try to find out who is behind the killing. I read the first book in this series not so long a When Winston Churchill travelers to Washington D.C to negotiate with President Roosevelt the United States entry into World War II. Special agent Maggie Hope is by his side posing as his typist. But Maggie is soon drawn into the action as she together with the Eleanor Roosevelt discovers the body of an aide to the First Lady. It seems that someone is trying to implicate the First Lady and now Maggie must try to find out who is behind the killing. I read the first book in this series not so long ago and it was a good start of the series. I came to like Maggie Hope and her struggle to find her place as an American woman in Britain during the war. Well she was born in Britain, but she grew up in America so her roots may be British, but in Britain she is American. And now she is back home and she is thrilled to be back even though it's a devastating action that has brought them to America. The attack on Pearl Harbor has just occurred and now it seems that America will finally also join the war. Also, a young black man is accused of killing a white man and is sentenced to death and Eleanor Roosevelt is trying to persuade her husband to interfere with it, to persuade the governor to stop it. I found this part of the story both sad and horrifying as always when a man is not tried fairly by a jury. But this is the 40s America. Reading this book made me think of something I read or heard somewhere that on the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked Winston Churchill wrote in his diary “we have won”! Because now he knew that America would join the war. Anyway, I was thrilled to be approved for this book since I a) like this series and I'm planning on reading the two between this one and the first and b) I like FDR very much. Susan Elia MacNeal has done a tremendous good work in writing a novel about the meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. Also, I came to like Eleanor Roosevelt quite much in this book. There was a moment in the book, a very intense moment when I really was drawn into the story and I wasn't quite sure, but hopeful that it would end well and that was when Maggie traveled to the prison to the execution. This really made me think of “The Green Mile”. The electric chair is truly an awful invention. How it all ended? Well, you have to read it yourself! Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jaylia3

    I always enjoy spending time with Maggie Hope, and the fifth adventure is no exception. In this outing her code-breaking and espionage skills have taken her back across the Atlantic to the US, her childhood home, ostensibly to act as Winston Churchill’s secretary while he confers with President Roosevelt in Washington DC. The attack on Pearl Harbor means America has finally joined the fight, but someone is threatening the joint war effort by trying discredit Mrs. Roosevelt with a manufactured sc I always enjoy spending time with Maggie Hope, and the fifth adventure is no exception. In this outing her code-breaking and espionage skills have taken her back across the Atlantic to the US, her childhood home, ostensibly to act as Winston Churchill’s secretary while he confers with President Roosevelt in Washington DC. The attack on Pearl Harbor means America has finally joined the fight, but someone is threatening the joint war effort by trying discredit Mrs. Roosevelt with a manufactured scandal, so Maggie is temporarily assigned to the First Lady’s staff to make sure nothing jeopardizes the Allied alliance. I greatly enjoyed the fictional portrayals of FDR and Eleanor, and we finally get to meet the aunt who raised Maggie in Boston, an outspoken women who firmly believes her niece's prodigious intellectual abilities are being wasted in her job as Winston’s “secretary”, a supposition Maggie is not allowed to correct since she’s undercover. Other historical figures in the book include German rocket maker Wernher von Braun and, surprising to me, Walt Disney, who apparently took time away from Mickey Mouse and his cartoon friends to make propaganda films for the US government. As always the story skillfully weaves multiple plotlines and points of view, which allows readers to keep up with the actions of Maggie’s Nazi mother and eccentric genius father back in England. Romance is in the mix, but not the focus, and while this book isn’t as dark as some of the early volumes it still addresses serious issues, most notably racism. The series is following the events of WWII closely, so I appreciate the Historical Notes at the end of the book that separate fact from fiction and name the author’s sources. I love this series--the books keep me glued to the page and have greatly enhanced my understanding of WWII dynamics. I read an ebook advanced review copy of this book, supplied to me at no cost by the publisher through NetGalley. Review opinions are mine.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cameran

    After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States has finally joined the war effort. In the entourage of Churchill, Maggie returns to America, where she comes to work closely with Mrs. Roosevelt after the mysterious death of the First Lady’s secretary. I had high hopes for this book since it was to reunite Maggie with Churchill, David and John. But as with its predecessor, there was too much story rather than a centralized focus upon Maggie. Within the story were the days leading up to the sche After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States has finally joined the war effort. In the entourage of Churchill, Maggie returns to America, where she comes to work closely with Mrs. Roosevelt after the mysterious death of the First Lady’s secretary. I had high hopes for this book since it was to reunite Maggie with Churchill, David and John. But as with its predecessor, there was too much story rather than a centralized focus upon Maggie. Within the story were the days leading up to the scheduled execution of Wendell Cotton, the German’s rocket building effort, the building relationship between Churchill and Roosevelt, and a look into Hollywood commissioned propaganda. But where did all of these other stories leave Maggie? She, once again, was left with a mystery more suited for a novella. Those responsible for the death and their motivations were explicitly stated very early on, therefore there was no suspense here. In truth, this book is best suited for those interested in minute -- as well as often thrown in -- details of the White House’s rooms and furnishings during this time. The end of the story sets up the possibility of the next story being of more interest, since it claims Maggie will receive another mission, but I have begun to grow wary. Every book ends with the promise of more that is never delivered on. Let us get back to Maggie actually working as a spy, as she did in Berlin. (I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is October 27, 2015.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    AH

    I discovered the Maggie Hope Mysteries about a year ago and while I have yet to go back and read the earlier books, they are all on my to-read ASAP list. This series is great for people who enjoy books set during WWII which include real historical figures. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    This could have been a great story, but MacNeal fell drastically short. Besides the valid complaints lodged by others, such as a minimal plot that was spelled out early on and got lost amid other story lines, and way too many setting descriptions, there are other glaring problems that are far more important. The most egregious aspects of this novel are Mrs. MacNeal’s twisting of facts, the inability to understand greatness, and her sexist views voiced through Maggie Hope and other women. For examp This could have been a great story, but MacNeal fell drastically short. Besides the valid complaints lodged by others, such as a minimal plot that was spelled out early on and got lost amid other story lines, and way too many setting descriptions, there are other glaring problems that are far more important. The most egregious aspects of this novel are Mrs. MacNeal’s twisting of facts, the inability to understand greatness, and her sexist views voiced through Maggie Hope and other women. For example, yes, FDR and Churchill were just mortal men with flaws, but to belittle them as being like the Wizard of OZ, hence just “little men standing behind the curtain,” is not only naive, but also an appalling insult to two of the most crucial men of the 20th century who saved Western civilization from utter ruin. They were not just putting on an illusionary show. How MacNeal via Maggie could equate a weak, idle charlatan like the Wizard to FDR and Churchill, who both devoted their lives to intense plotting, flying or sailing to precarious destinations, negotiating with a psychopath like Stalin, and overseeing every detail of their immense global counter offensive to conquer the Axis powers, which had been savagely decimating every corner of the world, is inconceivable. And while Maggie does offer a few words of praise for these two great men, they’re quickly quashed by degrading digs like this, and others. It’s revealing how most of MacNeal’s male characters have flaws or are downright evil, while almost every female is just peachy keen. She calls Eleanor Roosevelt the powerful “matriarch," but that blatantly defies historical fact. Eleanor was passive and had a complete lack of aptitude or interest in rearing her young children, as she said so herself: “It did not come naturally to me to understand little children or to enjoy them,” and "Franklin's children were more my mother-in-law's children than they were mine.” Eleanor was a truly great woman in many other respects, worthy of the highest praise, but a powerful matriarch or good mother? No! But, MacNeal twists reality into grossly false and misleading fiction, which is not a good practice when dealing with real-life characters. However, FDR’s improper relationship with Lucy Mercer does get told, because he’s a man, as does his getting picked up like a child out of his wheelchair, obviously to focus on his frailty in contrast to Eleanor’s tall stature. Yet never once does MacNeal tell the reader how strong-willed, tenacious and amazing Franklin was to persevere through physical pain and mental anguish over many years to eventually win the presidency, all the while being an invalid—an astounding first in world history. Meanwhile, Eleanor’s story gets deceptively revised to fit MacNeal’s feminist agenda of empowering and perfecting her women characters. Then we have minor characters, like Bea, who ridicules men for making weapons that look like “the almighty penis…guns, tanks, bombs.” That explosive joke, however, quickly becomes a dud upon realizing that those brave men always painted beautiful women on their planes and bombs, not macho penises. Then once again, FDR & Churchill get belittled for happily waging war like little boy soldiers as they eagerly huddle around their maps. The gibe may seem trivial to some who don’t get what’s going on here, but after being mocked as little inept Wizards from a fairy tale and then as little soldier boys toying with the deadly game of war, it’s clear that the seriousness of what those two great men had to contend with wasn’t fully comprehended or appreciated by the author or her female characters, and that’s not only a shame but, as a patriotic American writing this review the day after Veterans Day, quite distasteful. It’s too bad, because MacNeal did her homework, reading a wealth of excellent sources, worthy of achieving an A+, but by twisting those sources to her own subtle yet biting agenda, she earned a D+. This is not to say that characters in a novel can’t be sexist, nasty, or ignorant, naturally some should be. But traits like these should be voiced by the villains or blockheads of the novel, not its protagonist, whose supposed to have a higher degree of intelligence and tolerance. So a little respect and compassion from the main character would be expected, but for Maggie Hope, there is no hope…at least not in this novel. My wish for my fellow readers is that I hope Maggie and her female cohorts mature in the next volume to be more enlightened, with compassion and understanding for their male counterparts, that men are not always dumb, childish, hateful or evil, and that no more misleading lies about historical personalities will attempt to pull the wool over your eyes. As for me, count me out, I’ve seen enough. Good luck!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I want to thank Bantam books and Netgalley for allowing me to read this advanced reader copy for free in exchange of my honest review of this book. It was truly a pleasure and a privilege. I am a purist in reading series. When I was approved to review this; I scrambled to quickly read the prior books in the series. It was a wise decision on my part because MacNeal has a strong backstory full of character development and plot twists that demand the reader read the series in order. Spy and forme I want to thank Bantam books and Netgalley for allowing me to read this advanced reader copy for free in exchange of my honest review of this book. It was truly a pleasure and a privilege. I am a purist in reading series. When I was approved to review this; I scrambled to quickly read the prior books in the series. It was a wise decision on my part because MacNeal has a strong backstory full of character development and plot twists that demand the reader read the series in order. Spy and former (or now current) secretary to Winston Churchill, Maggie Hope finds herself returning to her home country of the United States. Her time in Europe allowed her to grow personally and professionally. The reader finds a Maggie that has dealt (for the most part) with her inner demons and is fully committed to living in the moment. Maggie and John are tentatively working on mending their fractured relationship..but plans go awry when Mr Churchill must journey to the United States to solidify Britain's relationship as allies with the United States in WW2. Pearl Harbor has just rocked the United States' position of semi-neutrality and alliances must be strongly secured. Socially and politically, the United States is beginning to experience the hummings of social injustice. An African American man is sentenced to die for a crime of self defense. Activist Eleanor Roosevelt is outraged and earns herself the ire of the KKK and other opponents. Her current secretary is found dead in a bathtub with an incriminating note detailing a relationship with the First Lady. Things are not what they seem and it is vital to Britain's survival in this war that nothing bars a secure alliance with the United States. Maggie is charged with handling this debacle. Maggie finds herself with a case, a man from her past, a distant boyfriend, domineering aunt, lost half sister, and supporter of social change. In true plucky Maggie Hope style, she handles everything in stride with a little bit of luck. One of the benefits of reading this series in rapid succession was that I could really tell an evolution in Susan MacNeal's writing style. Her earlier books were very plot driven and character driven. I still see these elements in the later books, but she really delves into the historical, political, and social climates of the period in this one. I could really tell she spent a lot of time researching the time period and made a strong effort to craft her story around this. Well done! Can't wait for number six!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    It's just after Pearl Harbor. Winston Churchill, has gone to Washington to negotiate America's entry into WWII with Franklin Roosevelt, taking some of his staff (amongst them Maggie, Peter and John) with them. For Peter and John, this is their first trip to America, one that is dazzling with non-rationed food, brightly-lit cities with no blackout requirements Mrs. Roosevelt has her own agenda, one which may inadvertently threaten both the success of the new agreement and FDR's own standing, and M It's just after Pearl Harbor. Winston Churchill, has gone to Washington to negotiate America's entry into WWII with Franklin Roosevelt, taking some of his staff (amongst them Maggie, Peter and John) with them. For Peter and John, this is their first trip to America, one that is dazzling with non-rationed food, brightly-lit cities with no blackout requirements Mrs. Roosevelt has her own agenda, one which may inadvertently threaten both the success of the new agreement and FDR's own standing, and Maggie feels a moral obligation to help with the investigation. (Readers may also enjoy the short-lived return to code-breaking.) There are lots of little touches, from "Children's Hour" and Churchill's V-signs to the differing German opinions, and some thoughtful questions raised about imperialism, racism, slavery and the death penalty. I wavered a little when deciding on the star rating, but rounded down because there just seemed to be too much in this one. (view spoiler)[John's journey in particular, although based on a real person, seemed unbelievable. I think it was the Inklings that tipped me over the edge there, but Clara seemed over the top and Edmund's random entry into the story felt plain bizarre (especially as I couldn't see how a Molotov cocktail could "accidentally" ignite). (hide spoiler)] Disclaimer: I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    4 stars!! I don't know why, but I just love books about World War II. And this one fit the bill. While it was mostly centered in the U.S. with the meetings between Roosevelt and Churchill. There were also some scenes from England and a couple from Germany. At first, I was a little upset when they had high up German officials in a prison that had every luxury they could want until I figured out they were bugged and trying to get any and all information they could from them. Then I settled down and 4 stars!! I don't know why, but I just love books about World War II. And this one fit the bill. While it was mostly centered in the U.S. with the meetings between Roosevelt and Churchill. There were also some scenes from England and a couple from Germany. At first, I was a little upset when they had high up German officials in a prison that had every luxury they could want until I figured out they were bugged and trying to get any and all information they could from them. Then I settled down and I was okay with it. HA! While a lot of this was fiction, some of it was not fiction and some of it was fiction based on non fiction. The author tells you in the back of the book what is real and what is not. I definitely enjoyed reading this book although I did get confused thinking that Byrd was the dude in the fedora, not Cole, but I figured that out towards the end when the author spelled it out for me. Sometimes I'm a little slow. However, I was thoroughly entertained and definitely recommend this book. If your into mysteries with a little drama and history, this will certainly be up your alley. There's even a little Hollywood glamour in this and Walt Disney makes an appearance, believe it or not. Thanks Random House and Net Galley for providing a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Another enjoyable installment in the Maggie Hope series. I appreciate the way MacNeal weaves historical events into her plots. It makes her stories so engaging. Looking forward to the next one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    I have been a huge fan of Maggie Hope over the years. At times her character went in directions that I didn’t care for or maybe she made choices that I thought were questionable but at the end of the day, those choices and directions made her seem more real and relateable which I loved. I felt like Maggie was finally coming to terms with some of the things she had to endure through the war and as a spy. It’s like she has accepted her choices and learned to live with the choices she has made. She I have been a huge fan of Maggie Hope over the years. At times her character went in directions that I didn’t care for or maybe she made choices that I thought were questionable but at the end of the day, those choices and directions made her seem more real and relateable which I loved. I felt like Maggie was finally coming to terms with some of the things she had to endure through the war and as a spy. It’s like she has accepted her choices and learned to live with the choices she has made. She is no longer the Maggie of the earlier books….she’s more mature, more worldly, and more her own woman than in the first book. In this book I really felt like we got to see a ‘new’ Maggie….not completely different from her original character but yet changed by life events. I love seeing this kind of character evolution. In the previous book, one of the things I noted was I wished that Maggie and John would just get on the same page already or just move on. I had hoped that in this book they would finally come together and work things out but at the same time it was pretty apparent that they were both so changed by the war that their relationship was just not going to work. In lots of ways this made me sad because I really felt like there was genuine love there in earlier books. But at the same time their life experiences had been so drastic and life altering that I also felt like their relationship was impossible and beyond repair. Originally I was apprehensive about this book moving things back over to America. I love the whole American in Britain thing and I just wasn’t ready for the story to move over to the states but at the same time I think it worked well to have Maggie address some of her feelings of ‘identity’…..where does she belong? Is she a Brit? Is she an American? Where does she belong? I think this book kind of helped answer those things for me as a reader. Now she is heading back to England and her relationship with John is now more clear….I just have this feeling that the next book is going to be really really good. The only thing that kept me from giving this book a 5 star rating was the mystery part. For me this book was more about John and Maggie and Maggie finding her ‘place’ in her life now, not to mention how things were shaping up with the war. For me there wasn’t really much of a ‘mystery’. It was pretty clear that Blanche was murdered and the reason so for me there just wasn’t enough of the ‘mystery’ to hold my interest. I was much more into what was happening between Maggie and John than the mystery itself. See my full review here

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDENT (Maggie Hope: #5) Written by Susan Elia MacNeal 2015, 337 Pages Genre: war, mystery, suspense, espionage (I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.) ★★★1/2 Right after Pearl Harbor is bombed, Prime Minister Churchill heads to America to visit President Roosevelt. With him is special agent, Maggie Hope, who is posing as his typist. As the two leaders are negotiating America's entry into the War, the First Lady's aid is mysteriously murdered. As Ma MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDENT (Maggie Hope: #5) Written by Susan Elia MacNeal 2015, 337 Pages Genre: war, mystery, suspense, espionage (I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.) ★★★1/2 Right after Pearl Harbor is bombed, Prime Minister Churchill heads to America to visit President Roosevelt. With him is special agent, Maggie Hope, who is posing as his typist. As the two leaders are negotiating America's entry into the War, the First Lady's aid is mysteriously murdered. As Maggie looks briefly into the case she finds that Eleanor Roosevelt is being implicated into the crime. Now Maggie must up her spy skills - code breaking - and find out who is targeting the Roosevelts. First, I must say I am always impressed with the cover design of MacNeal's novels. They are just what I would picture from that era. I have been enjoying the series and Maggie's time in the espionage game. I was so excited to see that Maggie was going back to America and hang out with the Roosevelts. I found that the novel at times lagged a bit and it could be the case. I just wasn't that immersed into the plot as I usually am. Yet, I did still enjoy the novel and am looking forward to the book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melodie

    Though this is the 5th book in the Maggie Hope series, it's the first I've read, but won't be the last! I really enjoy books set during WWII. This one suffered a little because there were 3 or 4 sub-stories going on at the same time which caused it to bog down in places, but I really liked Maggie. She comes from quite an unusual background. This is the only book in the series that actually takes place in the US during the time period. The mystery really wasn't much of a mystery, as it was easy t Though this is the 5th book in the Maggie Hope series, it's the first I've read, but won't be the last! I really enjoy books set during WWII. This one suffered a little because there were 3 or 4 sub-stories going on at the same time which caused it to bog down in places, but I really liked Maggie. She comes from quite an unusual background. This is the only book in the series that actually takes place in the US during the time period. The mystery really wasn't much of a mystery, as it was easy to figure out "whodunit", but the book as a whole was a pretty good read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mahoghani 23

    Maggie Hope comes to America with the Prime Minister posing as his secretary and ends up assisting the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, in finding out the truth about her secretary, Blanche Half our. A story written with at least 5 different narration that brought the story to life and showed insight into each area of the plot. New characters are shady and deserve well their just desserts. A very enjoyable read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Book 5 in the series. I highly recommend reading them in sequence. In this installment, Maggie Hope travels with Churchill's entourage to the USA to meet with President FDR. All kinds of fun and trouble ensue. It was a fun installment in the series! Book 5 in the series. I highly recommend reading them in sequence. In this installment, Maggie Hope travels with Churchill's entourage to the USA to meet with President FDR. All kinds of fun and trouble ensue. It was a fun installment in the series!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    There is lots going on in Susan Elia MacNeal's fifth Maggie Hope book, but then, it is December 1941, only weeks after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States has entered this second war to end all wars. Maggie Hope has traveled to Washington, D.C. with Prime Minster Winston Churchill and his two aides, Maggie's close friend David Green and Maggie's old/new boyfriend John Sterling, on a mission to shore up America's support for the war and ensure that President Roosevelt is commit There is lots going on in Susan Elia MacNeal's fifth Maggie Hope book, but then, it is December 1941, only weeks after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States has entered this second war to end all wars. Maggie Hope has traveled to Washington, D.C. with Prime Minster Winston Churchill and his two aides, Maggie's close friend David Green and Maggie's old/new boyfriend John Sterling, on a mission to shore up America's support for the war and ensure that President Roosevelt is committed to a campaign in Europe first and foremost. Although Maggie has become a highly skilled spy, she is posing as Churchill's secretary on this trip, a trip that brings her back to the country in which she was raised by her aunt. Born to British parents, whose twisted history has been revealed in previous books, Maggie was spirited out of England as a baby to be raised by an aunt who could give her a stable environment. So, it is with much excitement that this British/American/British young woman embraces the nation's capital. MacNeal has captured the personalities and machinations of this historic meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill with the aplomb of the proverbial fly on the wall. A meeting of such importance required the social graces as well as the diplomatic skills, and the author brings both the seriousness and the entertainment aspects of the White House during this time brilliantly to life. Diplomacy and social graces were indeed in play together when during the Children's Hour, Roosevelt's cocktail hour, the President and the Prime Minister had quite different ideas about the perfect martini. Descriptions of the interior of the White House reflect the keeping up appearances of the Presidency part of the building as opposed to the family's quarters, where the shabbiness of the previous lean, economic years is evident. Eleanor Roosevelt plays a prominent role in this book (hence, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante), and the development of her as an historical character with the grace and dutiful First Lady and as a passionate, compassionate social activist was achieved by carefully distributed dialogue and interactions with Maggie. The Churchill party has only just arrived when Maggie becomes entrenched in the problems of Mrs. Roosevelt, as it appears someone is trying to drag the First Lady into a scandalous situation involving murder and accusations directed at Eleanor's decency. When the temporary secretary for Mrs. Roosevelt fails to appear for work and Maggie and Mrs. Roosevelt find the young woman dead in the woman's apartment, Maggie knows that not only is the First Lady's reputation at stake, but that a scandal of this proportion would damage the President's effectiveness and efforts to get Americans behind their entrance into the war. Maggie must now use her code-breaking, analytical, and even physical skills of espionage to uncover who is behind the attack on Mrs. Roosevelt. Churchill, realizing the importance of what's at stake, releases Maggie from his schedule to concentrate on Mrs. Roosevelt's and, in essence, America's must-solve problem. There are other subplots weaving in and out of Maggie's activities. As author MacNeal usually does with great finesse, she brings in fascinating back story, this time the story of the impending execution of a young black man in Virginia. Mrs. Roosevelt is involved in trying to stop the execution, and, thus, Maggie becomes involved in it also. And, as usual, this story, which is based on actual events, connects to the larger story, with the feelings of Southerners in American being a thin line that President Roosevelt must walk in order to keep the South on the side of America's involvement in the war. It's an ugly look at politics, which, unfortunately, isn't a thing of the past today. Maggie's and John's relationship is at a tipping point during this trip, too. Whether or not they can overcome their pasts, which have left deep emotional scarring, is the unspoken question that must be answered. There is a most unexpected character in the book that brings Hollywood into the novel, as Walt Disney is gearing his company to make war-time movies of support for the country. This novel is so rich with historical matter and allusions that, as a fan of historical fiction, I was thrilled. It is Susan Elia MacNeal's particular genius that blends these fascinating facts with a story of captivating consequence.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa B.

    In this, book #5 in the Maggie Hope series, we find Maggie coming home to America. She comes as Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s secretary. The PM comes to America to discuss WWII with President Roosevelt. When Mrs. Roosevelt finds herself in a bit of a stickey wicket, Churchill lends Maggie to her for help. Typical Maggie jumps in feet first to find out just who wants to do harm to the first lady’s character. Sigh..... I adore Maggie Hope. She is such a likeable character. She is smart, bold a In this, book #5 in the Maggie Hope series, we find Maggie coming home to America. She comes as Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s secretary. The PM comes to America to discuss WWII with President Roosevelt. When Mrs. Roosevelt finds herself in a bit of a stickey wicket, Churchill lends Maggie to her for help. Typical Maggie jumps in feet first to find out just who wants to do harm to the first lady’s character. Sigh..... I adore Maggie Hope. She is such a likeable character. She is smart, bold and loyal. She doesn’t hesitate to take the lead and pity the poor soul who tries to corner into the role of a secretary. She’s a fighter! Maggie has been on an emotional roller coaster in the previous few books. I am happy to report that this installment finds Maggie in a much better mental state. She hasn’t forgotten her past, but she won’t let it drag her down anymore. Yay Maggie! I always get excited when I hear a new Maggie Hope book is on it’s way. I know I’m in for a good read and this one did not disappoint. I’m looking forward to seeing where her life goes next. My thanks to Random House - Bantam, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante found me right back in the brilliant world of Maggie Hope. This book took a bit of a turn as we see Maggie and companions traveling to the United States with Winston Churchill for a meeting with President Roosevelt, which introduces us to a whole new set of circumstances. The author easily works in the themes of the U.S. moving forward as allies with Britain after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as well as exposing us to the civil rights injustices of the U.S. during the Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante found me right back in the brilliant world of Maggie Hope. This book took a bit of a turn as we see Maggie and companions traveling to the United States with Winston Churchill for a meeting with President Roosevelt, which introduces us to a whole new set of circumstances. The author easily works in the themes of the U.S. moving forward as allies with Britain after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as well as exposing us to the civil rights injustices of the U.S. during the time period. This series has fast become a favorite and I always look forward to Maggie Hope's next adventure!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Great entry-so much going on in the USA!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cara Putman

    This wasn't my favorite of hers, but it was still good. I so appreciate the pages of historical references that she includes in the end of her books. This wasn't my favorite of hers, but it was still good. I so appreciate the pages of historical references that she includes in the end of her books.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Reading MRS. ROOSEVELT's CONFIDANTE as strictly an entertainment issue, it was an ok book. Like many series books, they must create, resurrect, and fabricate material to keep going. This is the first one that I have read, so wasn't sure how her half-sister is in a German Concentration camp and is going to be rescued by MI5... or whoever. But, hey... I am the new kid on the block. If I had read it more critically, I would have noted that there was a slightly snarky attitude about the power of the Reading MRS. ROOSEVELT's CONFIDANTE as strictly an entertainment issue, it was an ok book. Like many series books, they must create, resurrect, and fabricate material to keep going. This is the first one that I have read, so wasn't sure how her half-sister is in a German Concentration camp and is going to be rescued by MI5... or whoever. But, hey... I am the new kid on the block. If I had read it more critically, I would have noted that there was a slightly snarky attitude about the power of the world's greatest leaders during WWII (FDR and Winston C). I am not sure that the attitudes are super reflective of the pre War era, but I wouldn't know either. My parents were of that era and they are since gone... So reading for enjoyment and not looking at it too hard. 3 stars Happy Reading!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    ORIGINAL POST: MRS. ROOSEVELT’S CONFIDANTE: A Wide Spread of Storylines http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... I’ve been reading a boatload of WWII novels lately. Wars are not my favorite subject, but they do provide a great backdrop for passionate stories. Life and death, freedom or tyranny are on the line are on the line and bring out the best and worst in characters. This one plays historical issues one after the other: US entry into WWII, the history of intelligence gathering, the politics of ORIGINAL POST: MRS. ROOSEVELT’S CONFIDANTE: A Wide Spread of Storylines http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201... I’ve been reading a boatload of WWII novels lately. Wars are not my favorite subject, but they do provide a great backdrop for passionate stories. Life and death, freedom or tyranny are on the line are on the line and bring out the best and worst in characters. This one plays historical issues one after the other: US entry into WWII, the history of intelligence gathering, the politics of discrimination, even the relationship between FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt and their relationships with other people. The relationship between Maggie and her former fiance is glibly handled – as are relieved to keep missing their shots at getting back together. The story is spread out across quite a few story lines and one, dealing with high-ranking German POWs felt quite unnecessary in the depths to which it was explored and tied to another sub-plot. Maybe this is a set-up for the next book in the series? I was first attracted to these novels because of their distinctive covers. But, this is the first of the series I have managed to read. Maggie is passionate and skilled, but she is treated as a pawn, skillfully placed and played by Churchill and FDR to do things that need doing but which can not be done, or even suggested for political reasons. Eleanor Roosevelt is portrayed as a somewhat stupid woman. Her purported lesbianism and her championing of equality for people of color threatens support in America’s entry into WWII. Maggie, born in the USA but somehow in England fighting the good fight, is appalled by her country’s treatment of “Negroes.” I found the subtle strategy Churchill uses in playing his pawns: somehow knowing their contribution to the war, and to justice, will succeed as he and FDR forge a strong relationship between the US and Great Britain, to be too knowing. It’s as if he and FDR possess some special political sixth sense. I never knew that Churchill came to the USA shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The biggest issue I had were the reader’s American accents. Even my husband, walking in as I listened commented on them. They got better as it went on, or I became accustomed to them. I did, however, like the way the main character was voiced. I loved the atmosphere of the book as it thrust me back in time; where the norms of behavior were different. In the end, I enjoyed the story, the times were passionate and dangerous, the events and issues vital and important. The story is more than a mystery, and its themes are still relevant today. It’s also, to some degree a holiday story since the events take place around Christmas and the New Year.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)

    Cool and calm, American Maggie Hope is pleased to be back in her homeland, albeit under terrible circumstances, for Christmas of 1941. She will have the opportunity to visit with the aunt who raised her and share some American foods and traditions with her good friend David, special assistant to Winston Churchill, and John, a long-lost love with whom she has recently been reunited. Moving throughout the elegant locations of Washington, D.C., Maggie runs into luminaries of the time, including Cab Cool and calm, American Maggie Hope is pleased to be back in her homeland, albeit under terrible circumstances, for Christmas of 1941. She will have the opportunity to visit with the aunt who raised her and share some American foods and traditions with her good friend David, special assistant to Winston Churchill, and John, a long-lost love with whom she has recently been reunited. Moving throughout the elegant locations of Washington, D.C., Maggie runs into luminaries of the time, including Cab Calloway and C.S. Forester and dining with political powers such as Secretary of State Cordell Hull and General Dwight Eisenhower. When Maggie is unexpectedly asked to accompany Mrs. Roosevelt to an assistant’s home, she enters into a darkly evil plot to discredit the First Lady and end her involvement in the case of a young black man sentenced to death, possibly unfairly. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor just two weeks earlier these machinations could have farther reaching repercussions than just discrediting Eleanor’s reputation. Maggie’s combat training comes in handy when she and another woman are accosted on the street outside a rally for the young man, and her ability to determine a situation and be discreet while exuding confidence serve her and Mrs. Roosevelt well as the plotter becomes more determined to bring down the First Lady by any means. Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante is Maggie Hope at her best. In this fifth installment she has completed her training, experienced harrowing situations saving the Royal Princesses from kidnappers and being dropped behind enemy lines into Germany. Now her skills are put to the test in a more subtle situation, and she rises to the occasion as always. Maggie has unfulfilled love with John, adventure with Eleanor Roosevelt driving her around Washington packing a gun, something that truly happened, and a somewhat satisfying reunion with her aunt. She even fits in time for a little new love before taking off to London and her next adventure. Fans of the series will not be disappointed in Maggie or her case, and historical fiction fans will enjoy the behind the scenes imaginings of what Roosevelt and Churchill discussed in between cocktails, which seem to have been a big thing for both of them, including a special time of day, Children’s Hour, when Roosevelt would mix his own strong cocktails that people pretended to enjoy. I am eagerly looking forward to the sixth Maggie Hope wartime thriller. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    This is the first book I've read in this series. Despite it being book number 5, and several references to things that have happened in previous books, I didn't feel left behind at all for picking it up at this point. I love a strong female protagonist, and Maggie Hope is just that - a determined, intelligent agent who can look after herself in any situation with an intriguing past. I enjoyed the setting - a conspiracy and mystery that could topple the newly forged British - American alliance in This is the first book I've read in this series. Despite it being book number 5, and several references to things that have happened in previous books, I didn't feel left behind at all for picking it up at this point. I love a strong female protagonist, and Maggie Hope is just that - a determined, intelligent agent who can look after herself in any situation with an intriguing past. I enjoyed the setting - a conspiracy and mystery that could topple the newly forged British - American alliance in the fight against Nazi Germany and its allies. Of course, a lot of liberty has been taken with history here and the one thing that held me back from giving this a full five stars is simply that some things seemed a little too far-fetched. That being said, I managed to suspend my disbelief and remind myself that this is a work of fiction, not an essay on the 1940s. I really did enjoy Maggie and cast, and found it an entertaining yet intelligent read. I do enjoy a bit of politics in my mystery, and this is the first time I've read a World War 2 Political Mystery, if that's a genre. If not, I just made it one. I especially enjoyed the story surrounding Wendell, a black man on death row after an unfair trial who is being used to create civil unrest. This gives us a look into the racial and social issues of America at that time. Despite the rather serious nature of the history behind this book, it managed to maintain an element of fun about it, because of the well written characters and their conversations. I enjoyed it enough that I'll be heading backwards to book one and starting from the beginning, hopefully catching up before the next book is released. If you like historical mysteries with strong female leads, I think you'll love this book. I would like to take the time to thank Random House (Ballantine) and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced review copy of this title.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Really 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. Though an engaging book, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante was in no way one of the best in this series. The main characters in this series take some getting used to. They are harder than many cozy* characters but once you break the "ice" of the first book they become lovable. In this book, John, one of the main characters, experienced many changes in his life and I have to say I was disappointed in a lot of them. I don't know if the author grew tired of his character Really 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. Though an engaging book, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante was in no way one of the best in this series. The main characters in this series take some getting used to. They are harder than many cozy* characters but once you break the "ice" of the first book they become lovable. In this book, John, one of the main characters, experienced many changes in his life and I have to say I was disappointed in a lot of them. I don't know if the author grew tired of his character or what, but it seemed that John was almost a different character than in many earlier books. Aunt Edith, a character we read about but never meet, was also way different than she was described earlier on in this series. The mystery was good. The reader knew the perpetrators almost from the start, but Maggie didn't and the author did a wonderful job of making me feel like I was along for the ride. Overall an okay book, I added an extra half of a star because the book was extremely engrossing, it kept me hooked and wanting more. I will stay with this series for at least one more book, and from there; who knows? *classifying this book as a cozy could be a bit of a stretch; however I still see it as a cozy albeit on the edges of the cozy spectrum

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maire

    Easily the best Maggie Hope book yet! I loved the plot, the character development of our favorite main characters, and of course the cameos of FDR, Eleanor, and Churchill. Best of all, the book doesn't shy away from depicting the full time period on the page, including discussion and major plot points about racism, colonialism, and LGBT rights. All in all, it leads to a fuller, more realistic historical fiction mystery than I've ever read--I truly think this is a rarity in the genre. Kudos to Ma Easily the best Maggie Hope book yet! I loved the plot, the character development of our favorite main characters, and of course the cameos of FDR, Eleanor, and Churchill. Best of all, the book doesn't shy away from depicting the full time period on the page, including discussion and major plot points about racism, colonialism, and LGBT rights. All in all, it leads to a fuller, more realistic historical fiction mystery than I've ever read--I truly think this is a rarity in the genre. Kudos to MacNeal for keeping it real.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Una Tiers

    Some of my favorite books are those about Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Thatcher. This one didn't disappoint. The story opens with the meeting of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill only months after the United States enters world war two. The author portrays Eleanor as not only gracious but as a part of history. I didn't know this was a series. I will watch for the other books. Highly recommended. Some of my favorite books are those about Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Thatcher. This one didn't disappoint. The story opens with the meeting of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill only months after the United States enters world war two. The author portrays Eleanor as not only gracious but as a part of history. I didn't know this was a series. I will watch for the other books. Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Renee M

    I am completely hooked by this series!

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Szalasny

    Miss Hope comes to Washington! Maggie comes back to America (just after the Pearl Harbor bombing) as part of the entourage working for Prime Minister Churchill. To better relationships between the new allies, she is allowed to assist Eleanor Roosevelt after the death of her private secretary. Mrs. Roosevelt soon learns that there is more to Maggie Hope than her typing skills. Gaining her trust, she is brought into two apparently unrelated situations. The first, a plot to discredit the first lady Miss Hope comes to Washington! Maggie comes back to America (just after the Pearl Harbor bombing) as part of the entourage working for Prime Minister Churchill. To better relationships between the new allies, she is allowed to assist Eleanor Roosevelt after the death of her private secretary. Mrs. Roosevelt soon learns that there is more to Maggie Hope than her typing skills. Gaining her trust, she is brought into two apparently unrelated situations. The first, a plot to discredit the first lady by implicating her as a lesbian. This involved the private secretary, whose death looked like a suicide, but was murdered with an incriminating letter left near the death scene. The second, the death row watch of a colored sharecropper. One of Mrs. Roosevelt's lost causes, she works vainly for the release of the young man from Virginia convicted by a jury not exactly of his peers. The issues are tied together by the actions of the top aide of the Governor of Virginia, who employer has ambitions of making home at the White House in three years. The aide does all he can to quietly discredit the first lady (including creating a new letter which he gives to a press reporter), and comes to watch the electric chair execution. By this time, he knows who (and sort of) what Maggie is. So when Maggie leaves the room, he follows her to the power station. Bad guy dies, innocent man lives.

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