Review: The Paris Spy (Maggie Hope Mystery #7) by Susan Elia MacNeal

The Maggie Hope mystery series is part mystery and part spy….probably heavier on the spy side but it has murder mystery elements woven in for variety. Some might argue that this series isn’t sure what it is….is it spy or mystery but in my opinion, I like the variation. It keeps thing exciting for me, having a character solve murders in one book and then go on a spy mission in another book.

I’ve been a fan of this series for some time now and though I haven’t loved every book, I love Maggie as a character and always excited to see where life will take her next.

Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with swastika banners.

Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing for home.

But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and Maggie is desperate to find her—that is, if Elise even wants to be found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown.

Maggie must risk her life to penetrate powerful circles and employ all her talents for deception and spycraft to root out a traitor, find her sister, and locate the reports crucial to planning D-Day in a deadly game of wits with the Nazi intelligence elite (summary from Goodreads).

One thing I have always wanted for Maggie was a prince charming. Not because she needs that as a female character, but because I like her so much and I want her to find love. Ever since she fell in love in the first book, I’ve been hoping someone will come in and sweep her off her feet. I like that different options have circulated in and out of the different books, but I am hoping that sometime soon a HEA will find Maggie and a love connection will be more evident. In this book there was really no true love interest. In some weird way I was hoping that Christian would become more of an interest but that never materialized. The more I read though the less I cared about the love interest and the more anxious I became about her being stuck in occupied France.

I love war history and especially espionage. Plus the whole setting (occupied France) adds a layer of mystique to the story for me. There is something about the occupation that really intrigues me when it comes to WWII history and I love how the author uses that sense of mystery and intrigue with the setting to make the story more suspenseful. I was perpetually worried for Maggie and her other friends being deep in enemy territory.

I also wanted to know so much more about the women who went undercover and on these dangerous missions, especially the captured ones. I was so happy that the author included a list of works consulted at the end so for those who were interested because I was definitely interested in reading more about the real life stories of those women. I think that MacNeal goes to great lengths to make her stories authentic and true to history, and that’s evident by the amount of consulting she does.

This book kept me reading late late late into the night. I was wholly invested in the story and characters and sad about how some of their situations ended, but that’s what will keep me reading this series, what will happen to the characters and Maggie now that life has been drastically altered for some of them? The only thing that was a little hokey for me and a little too neat was the appearance of Coco Chanel. I felt like there had to be a better way for Maggie to get connected with the Nazi inner circle than a chance meeting in the hotel lobby. For me it just was too convenient. Maggie didn’t really have to do anything to set herself up in the right channels in France, so for me that made Maggie look a little in experienced as a spy. Sure she had a limited amount of time in France and she made a last minute decision to get air dropped into France in the last book so no time for a cover story etc but at the same time, meeting Chanel in a hotel lobby when she happens to be wearing a Chanel dress and then boom she’s in with the Nazis made it all seem a little too neat.

But with that said, it was a minor stylistic issue for me and ultimately I accepted it and kept reading, focusing instead on how Maggie was surrounded by danger. After this book I was worried that there wouldn’t be many more novels which makes me sad because I love this series so much but I was pleased to hear that at least 2 more books are planned so until then I am eagerly awaiting the next installment of Maggie Hope!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The Paris Spy (Maggie Hope Mystery #7) by Susan Elia MacNeal 

  • Kindle Edition, 320 pages
    Expected publication: August 8th 2017 by Bantam (first published August 2017)
  • Review copy provided by: Author/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5

Genre: historical fiction, detective novel,  mystery, suspense, spy novel, WWII

Memorable lines/quotes:


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