The Hollywood Spy – A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal

If you know me, you know I love the WWII era historical mystery series of Maggie Hope. Maggie is a super sharp code breaker and spy, working for the Allies during WWII. This installment took Maggie to Los Angeles to reunite and help an old flame solve a murder. Along the way, she faces prejudice and racism directed towards her friends and colleagues, all in the shadow of the golden days of Hollywood.

I love anything to do with the glory days of Hollywood, and I love reading about what life was like in those days. I had not known about the “Nazi groups” in the LA area during the war, nor the prevalence of the Klan (though I did know that the Klan was in Napa – my hometown – in the first part of the 20th century). I knew that Susan must have meticulously researched this, and of course she did. Interesting — and disturbing!

I love this series, and you will, too. Each book can be a stand alone but I like reading them in order. That said, each story is unique and you will never feel like it’s a “formula”.

Thank you for my review copy via Net Galley!


Maggie Hope is off to California to solve a crime that hits too close to home—and confront the very evil she thought she had left behind in Europe—as theacclaimed World War II mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal continues.

“A swift, vibrant novel that peels back the asbestos curtain on the complex history of Los Angeles, home to heroes and villains.”—Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay

Los Angeles, 1943. As the Allies beat back the Nazis in the Mediterranean and the United States military slowly closes in on Tokyo, Walt Disney cranks out wartime propaganda and the Cocoanut Grove is alive with jazz and swing every night. But behind this sunny façade lies a darker reality. Somewhere in the lush foothills of Hollywood, a woman floats lifeless in the pool of one of California’s trendiest hotels.

When American-born secret agent and British spy Maggie Hope learns that this woman was engaged to her former fiancée, John Sterling, and that he suspects her death was no accident, intuition tells her he’s right. Leaving London under siege is a lot to ask. But John was once the love of Maggie’s life . . . and she won’t say no.

Maggie struggles with seeing her lost love again, but what’s more shocking is that her own country is as divided and convulsed with hatred as Europe. The Zoot Suit Riots loom large in Los Angeles, and the Ku Klux Klan casts a long shadow everywhere. But there is little time to dwell on memories once she starts digging into the case. As she traces a web of deception from the infamous Garden of Allah to the iconic Carthay Circle Theater, she discovers things aren’t always the way things appear in the movies—and the political situation in America is more complicated, and dangerous, than the newsreels would have them all believe.

2 thoughts on “The Hollywood Spy – A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal

  1. Thanks for reminding me about this series. I read the first one, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, during the winter. I’ve just reserved the second in the series.

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