The Hollywood Spy

Bantam. (Maggie Hope, Bk. 10). Jul. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9780593156926. $27. M
Maggie Hope has a feeling she isn’t in London anymore. Much like Dorothy upon arriving in Oz, Maggie can’t believe how truly different World War II Los Angeles is from London under the Blitz. But Maggie can’t let her initial reactions to the City of Angels distract her from her reason for returning to the States. Her old friend and ex-fiancé John Sterling, a British pilot, is convinced that the recent death of his new fiancée Gloria Hutton was no accident, and he wants Maggie to use her special skills to investigate. In the 10th superbly crafted addition to her “Maggie Hope” series (after The King’s Justice), MacNeal deftly captures both the dazzling side of 1943 California, with cameo appearances from Hollywood stars galore, and the dismaying aspects of the Golden State’s darker side, with its homegrown network of Nazis and other racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan sowing dissension against the U.S. government.
VERDICT Longtime fans of the series will savor the perfectly calibrated mix of intriguing plot and engaging characters in the latest “Maggie Hope” mystery, and the impeccably written book should also work as a good introduction to the series for newcomers.
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