American-born spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope must solve a baffling series of murders among a group of captive agents on an isolated Scottish island as the acclaimed World War II mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal continues.
Maggie Hope is being held prisoner on a remote Scottish island with other SOE agents who know too much for the enemy’s comfort. All the spies on the island are trained to kill–and when they start dropping off one-by-one, Maggie needs to find the murderer… before she becomes the next victim.
The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal
Published by Bantam (August 7, 2018)
Genre: Fiction/Adult Fiction/Mystery/Historical Mystery/WWII
Format: Kindle, 320 pages
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Review of The Prisoner in the Castle (Maggie Hope Mystery #8)
Through personal oversight, I didn’t realize that The Prisoner in the Castle was part of a series. Obviously, I’d never read any of Susan Elia MacNeal’s other books or others in the series about Maggie Hope. However, I can say I don’t think I missed too much as I found this a thrilling mystery and was hooked from the beginning.
Approximately nine or ten agents capable of killing another human being with his or her hands have been sent to a remote Scottish island. MacNeal’s descriptive language paints for her readers a dreary, edgy landscape for the castle where these agents are held. True to the geographic area, the weather is stormy and blustery creating the right atmosphere for a dark tale of murders and suspicious minds.
Everyone at the castle thinks he or she knows who the killer is and yet as the story unfolds no one seems to be correct. I enjoyed this development as it keeps the reader guessing as well as to who the guilty party might be.
Perhaps MacNeal’s winning part of her craft is the development of her characters. Consider the number of characters in The Prisoner in the Castle. That’s a lot of characters to draw for your readers. MacNeal provides a rare set of characters who all, at one time or another, fear or hate someone else in the castle. Personalities are sharply contrasted to one another, and personal preferences are quite idiosyncratic.
My Recommendation: There is no doubt I will be going back to read Books 1-7 of the Maggie Hope series, and I’m looking forward to the next installment already. If you love a good mystery set across the pond, check out Susan Elia MacNeal’s writing, especially the Maggie Hope mysteries.
Meet Susan Elia MacNeal
Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of The New York Times, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today-bestselling Maggie Hope mystery series, starting with the Edgar Award-nominated and Barry Award-winning Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, which is now in its 22nd printing. She is currently at work on The Prisoner in the Castle, the eighth novel in the series.
Her books include Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, The Queen’s Accomplice, and The Paris Spy. The Maggie Hope novels have been nominated for the Edgar, the Macavity, the ITW Thriller, the Barry, the Dilys, the Sue Federer Historical Fiction, and the Bruce Alexander Historical Fiction awards. The Maggie Hope series is sold worldwide in English and has been translated into Czech, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Turkish. It is also available in large print and audio. Actress Daisy Ridley (Star Wars, Murder on the Orient Express) has bought the film and television rights to the series.
Susan graduated from Nardin Academy in Buffalo New York, and also cum laude and with honors in English from Wellesley College. She cross-registered for courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University. Her first job was as the assistant to novelist John Irving in Vermont. She then worked as an editorial assistant at Random House, assistant editor at Viking Penguin, and associate editor and staff writer at Dance Magazine in New York City. As a freelance writer, she wrote two non-fiction books and for the publications of New York City Ballet.
Susan is married and lives with her husband, Noel MacNeal, a television performer, writer, and director, and their son in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
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