Monday, November 7, 2016

The Queen's Accomplice - Review

The Queen's Accomplice (Maggie Hope Mystery #6) by Susan Elia MacNeal
Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

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.

Genre: Mystery 

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.


  1. I agree, that cover is gorgeous! I hate, though, when the main character gets on my nerves. Sill, I'm glad you enjoyed this one, even if it wasn't love.

  2. I have this series on my radar, probably b/c of you ;O).

  3. This does look a bit like the Maisie Dobbs books, maybe because of the cover design or something. Speaking of which, I agree the cover is very nice. This sounds like a good read - glad you liked it in spite of some of the minor flaws.

  4. This sounds like a good series, I need to go check it out. :)

  5. I love the covers too. I've only listened to this series, and I quite like it. Light reads, but then the mystery will turn dark. I've had trouble getting the tone sometimes. I think originally I thought it was lighter like The Royal Spyness series, but it wasn't. Maisie Dobbs is closer and Maggie is definitely a know it all and can be annoying, but I keep reading!
    Glad you were able to pick up in the middle and still enjoy it!

  6. Yes agreed the cover is well done. Sounds like it was a worthwhile read and if you are willing to read another then I think that speaks for the book.

  7. Despite your thoughts on the protagonist, the Ripper mystery has me wanting to read this.