War and mystery: The King’s Justice A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal

I have been reading the Maggie Hope mysteries since the first title, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, was published in 2012.  The King’s Justice is the ninth in this historical mystery series.  Any of the books can be read as a standalone but readers of the series will relate to familiar characters including members of Maggie’s family.

The King’s Justice is a complex tale.  By the time that this story takes place, the stresses of war and Maggie’s work life (currently as a bomb disposal expert) are taking their toll.  Maggie is smoking and drinking too much and pushing for intimacy in a relationship where it does not appear wanted.

Into this tense and chaotic life come new challenges.  A Stradivarius violin has been stolen.  Will it be connected to the bigger cases of the novel?

Maggie is working with many Italian conscientious objectors in the UXB squad.  Why are they disappearing?  Are they dead or alive? Where would they go? Who is responsible for what is happening?

As if this were not enough, an imprisoned serial killer from a prior case wants to see Maggie.  He tantalizes her with the possibility of helping to solve another serial murder case that is being investigated, the one dubbed the Jimmy Greenteeth case. Readers will gradually watch the aspects of the story come together.

The author has done her research and posed some big questions.  I learned a lot about how the Italian community  in Britain was treated during WWII.  There are also questions raised as to what justice is or should entail.

There are big themes here and a story that reads very quickly.  My time with Maggie and her circle was well spent.  I already am looking forward to where the author will takes me in the next novel in the series.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.  I honestly recommend all of the books in this series.

#TheKingsJustice #NetGalley

Prior books in the series that I reviewed:

If you like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and WWII intrigue, you will certainly like this book. I have read and enjoyed all of the novels in this series, starting with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. Maggie Hope is a resourceful, smart and spunky protagonist who takes great, and possibly foolish, risks, in order to help with the war effort. In The Prisoner in the Castle, Maggie has been exiled to an island where agents who pose a risk to security are secretly being housed. Over the course of Maggie’s stay on the isolated and claustrophobic island, life goes on with one big exception…Maggie’s fellow agents are being killed at a rapid, daily rate. Why? What danger do they present? Who can be trusted? How will the murderer be stopped? Will Maggie survive or could this be the end of the series? You will need to read the novel to find out.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for a fun read in an enjoyable series.

The Paris Spy is part of a series set during WW II; The cover illustration for this latest entry is appealing but does not not reflect the gravity of Maggie and her fellow SOE operatives’ risky lives. This book is NOT a cozy mystery; the scenes with interrogation and torture were difficult to read.
I recommend this book. The Paris of the occupation was well drawn and there was an interesting mix of fictional and historical personages, including Coco Chanel. I connected with the characters and worried about their safety.
Occasionally, the plot relied on coincidence and was not completely believable. Nonetheless, I rooted for Maggie and hoped for her mission and England’s success as D-day comes closer. I would definitely recommend that you read other books in this series; the books do not have to be read in order to be enjoyed as some backstory is provided.

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