FICTION

The Paris Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery

Bantam. Aug. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780399593802. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399593819. F
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The seventh installment in the Maggie Hope series (after The Queen's Accomplice) finds Maggie undercover in Nazi-occupied France as Paige Kelly, a young Irish woman shopping for her trousseau. In reality, she is on a mission to find out what happened to SOE spy Erica Calvert and to find her half sister, Elise Hess. But all is not well at the SOE: a deeply embedded double agent is working to find out where Britain will invade mainland Europe. It is a race against time, not just with the war but with Maggie and her fellow operatives. Readers who have fallen in love with the series will be well pleased with this new title as it showcases their heroine quite well. The action is well paced and performed by a solid cast of both historical characters (e.g., Coco Chanel) and well-drawn fictional ones. MacNeal did her research, and fans will delight over even the most mundane details.
VERDICT Newcomers don't have to read the previous books to enjoy this title but some may wish to do so to grasp Maggie's backstory. For someone looking for a new historical mystery with similar characters, Maggie is a mirror image to Bess Crawford, the star of Charles Todd's World War I books. [See Prepub Alert, 2/13/17.]

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