Tuesday, December 11, 2018

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 


First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.   

Today I'm featuring a current read, Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal.  The excerpts shared are from a trade paperback version I received at last week's Random House December Open House.

Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Maggie Hope Mystery, #1) 


Half an hour before  Diana Snyder died, she tidied up her desk in the typists' office of the Cabinet War Rooms.



"I would say to the House, as I've said to those who have joined this Government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.  We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind.  We  have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering," intoned Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill to the House of Commons and the British nation in his first speech as the new Prime Minister.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This novel is the first book in the Maggie Hope Mystery Series, a series I have been meaning to start since it first appeared in the book world in 2012.  It's a natural fit for me because I love the historical mystery genre, particularly series which are set in war-time London.

It would probably have taken several more months (or longer) for me to gravitate to the series had it not been for an historical fiction author panel at the recent Random House Open House I attended.  Not only was it a treat to listen to Ms. MacNeal in conversation with authors Amy Bloom and Elizabeth Letts (and moderated by Reading with Robin's Robin Kall), I also came away with a copy of Mr. Churchill's Secretary in my gift bag.  While it might take a while to catch up (The Prisoner in the Castle, the eighth book in the series, was published this year), I anticipate it will be a wonderful reading journey.

This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.


  1. Nice beginning. I've seen this book around.

  2. This one is still on my tbr pile so I’d keep reading.

  3. This should be a good one; enjoy.

    Here's mine -http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2018/12/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_11.html

  4. I love this series, Catherine! How fun that you got to hear the author. Enjoy!

  5. I enjoyed this book, and hope to read more in the series. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  6. I enjoy historical fiction, too, especially stories set in England around the time of WWII. This sounds like a good series.
    My Tuesday post features excerpts from Joy That Long Endures.

  7. I enjoy historical fiction and I've recently read several very good historical novels built around important figures so I think I woulld enjoy this one. MK French is featuring a middle grades fantasy at Girl Who Reads

  8. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction so I'd pass.

  9. I read a later book in this series and enjoyed it though I think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd started at the beginning.

  10. I'm always glad to learn about a new mystery series, and this one looks good!