The Queen's Accomplice (Maggie Hope Mystery #6) by Susan Elia MacNeal
Description: Spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope returns to war-weary London, where she is thrust into the dangerous hunt for a monster, as the" New York Times" bestselling mystery series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry continues. England, 1942. The Nazis relentless Blitz may have paused, but London s nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper s crimes. What s more, he s targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill s spies and saboteurs abroad. The officers at MI-5 quickly realize they need the help of special agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed the Blackout Beast. A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate.
Why I Picked This Book: This is a series I've been wanting to try for awhile and the Jack the Ripper copycat was something I just couldn't pass up! Plus, I just love the cover.
My Impression: Despite being the 6th Maggie Hope mystery this is my first time meeting her and while not perfect I'm definitely glad I did! Maggie is an interesting - she's an American who was in London settling her grandmother's estate when World War II broke out and has been taking part in the war effort for the UK ever since. In this book Maggie's staying in London trying to get ready for her half-sister's arrival from Germany but despite her wish to have a more settled life trouble seems to find her when SOE women start turning up dead with references to Jack the Ripper.
There are a good number of side characters between Maggie's friends and her colleagues but while I got hints of various backstories I don't feel like it impaired my enjoyment of the mystery itself. I liked seeing the different dynamics in the relationships. Maggie leans into the Know-It-All zone quite a bit but for the most part she just reads as an intelligent and quick-witted character. She brings up several points about the way women in active roles were treated during the war and the inequality not just in pay but in benefits and support as well. This was fascinating and appalling but after awhile I kind of wished she would quit talking about it as I really just wanted to focus on the mystery.
The mystery was a page turner and I loved watching the investigation take it's course. I did guess the killer pretty early on but for me this was more of a how is it going to wrap up mystery than a straight whodunit. I also enjoyed DCI Durgin's character and hope he shows back up! While the mystery itself is nicely concluded there are a number of threads left open that I'm looking forward to seeing how they work out.
Overall, I enjoyed this read. At times Maggie got on my nerves but the mystery was very compelling and there are a number of interesting subplots that I would like to find out more about. This wouldn't necessarily be an autobuy for me but I can guarantee when I see the next book at the library I'll definitely be picking it up!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes I would! I'm curious to see more of the backstory as well as see what happens next!
Would I Recommend this Book?: I think fans of Maisie Dobbs would enjoy this series as well. While different wars and different characters it had a similar feel to it.