by Susan Elia MacNeal
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 07 Aug 2018
Imagine Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None played out on an island where British spies who are an “inconvenience” are kept. The newest Maggie Hope mystery, The Prisoner in the Castle, reinterprets Christie’s classic plot in a manner that is fresh rather than derivative. Maggie Hope was sent to Killoch Castle without explanation - her assumption is that she knows too much. After a new resident arrives, the deaths begin. First the kindly soldier ostensibly in charge, then one spy after another. Anyone present is capable of killing, but what would be the reason? As each turns on the other in suspicion, Maggie tries to hold things together and keep everyone alive. Meanwhile her good friend DCI Durgin realizes Maggie has gone missing and pursues her with the help of her friends and allies in the service....
The Queen's Accomplice is no light historical mystery that is easily read and forgotten. It is a chilling thriller that is pertinent today, despite being set during WWII. We would like to think we live in a more enlightened age, but the reality is that violence against women is all too prevalent. Sadly the speeches of certain politicians railing against women read much like the excerpt from Mein Kampf placed at the beginning of the novel.
During WWII, women had to take the jobs left empty by men fighting in the armed forces. Their work was essential, but that doesn't mean it was always appreciated. Susan MacNeal has done extensive research, and it shows clearly in her writing. Maggie Hope, though working for the SOE is seconded by MI-5 to assist in the search for a serial killer targeting professional...