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  • The Hollywood Spy

  • A Maggie Hope Mystery (Maggie Hope, Book 10)
  • Written by: Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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The Hollywood Spy

Written by: Susan Elia MacNeal
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
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Publisher's Summary

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

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL • “An absolute triumph . . . Maggie Hope is irresistible.”—Hilary Davidson, author of Her Last Breath 

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. Up 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 can’t say no.  

Maggie struggles with seeing her lost love again, but more shocking is the realization that her 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.

©2021 Susan Elia MacNeal (P)2021 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Maggie Hope and her adventures continue to be charming and absorbing.” (Seattle Times)

“The tenth Maggie Hope historical mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal is a particularly distinctive one.... MacNeal’s brisk plotting and efficient dialogue propel a mystery cloaked in some universal truths: History is determined to repeat itself, no front is ever united and Hollywood, despite its glamour and sparkle, is a hall of mirrors.” (The New York Times

“Stellar.... Susan Elia MacNeal expertly braids the glitz and glamour of Hollywood with the chilling reality of the rise of American Nazis and blatant racism.... Maggie notes that ‘it’s the same war, different country,’ and, sadly, one we’re still fighting.” (Arizona Daily Star

What listeners say about The Hollywood Spy

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    3 out of 5 stars

Petulant and Immature

The character seems to be regressing. Forget plucky, she is petulant. Not expecting a perfect character but what is annoying is that we are expected to accept the moralizing while Maggie Hope demonstrates no real emotional growth. Instead she seems to be regressing. Again, if this was some sort of comment on the effects of war then fine but then we get the moralizing....

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  • WAmom
  • 2022-05-31

Virtue signaling replaces character and plot

Loved Maggie Hope 1-9. Ten is the end, never buying another work by Susan Elia MacNeal.
We read historical novels to understand people's thinking during their time, not the thinking of some preening, preachy copycat scold from 2021. Highlighting Racism could have been powerful, but MacNeal throws the whole litany at us: women unrespected, United States hopelessly evil, American nazis, lesbians harassed and shamed, anti-semitism, even freaking pollution. Chapter after chapter. Not a story -- a screed!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lyn
  • 2021-07-10

California centered

I’ve enjoyed all the Maggie Hope books because life during WWII has always fascinated me, drawing me to both historical fiction and nonfiction books centered on that period. Maggie Hope books are among the best because they combine excellent history lessons alongside vivid, appealing characters and compelling plots. We see how people can grow during wartime but shattered by the violence, cruelty and duplicity. This book shows us a Maggie whose confidence soars as she brilliantly solves a complicated mystery while confronting fascism, racism and fanaticism in wartime California.

3 people found this helpful

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  • P. Doty
  • 2021-08-31

Ruined by the Narrator

Earlier books in this series had a different narrator who presented Maggie as plucky and likeable. This particular narrator presents her in a way that is overbearing and obnoxious. Every thought is a breathy soliloquy. The story itself was good but the topic was especially painful given the background of current events and the inability of Americans to separate themselves from inherent racism. Tough listen, made tougher by the narrator's presentation of the main character.

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  • Bonnie
  • 2021-07-10

Not the best

I have all the other Maggie Hope books but this one just didn’t interest me. The performance was all right. I found the story just flat despite the number of historical entertainers introduced. Disappointed in this one.

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  • BamaState
  • 2022-09-01

Maggie Hope becomes Woke

The inclusion of the prevailing racism in 1943 is not my criticism as it was informative but it was the author’s repeating of the same examples usually displayed against AA elites. There were so many more story lines and plots that were not developed that would have made the book more entertaining but seemed to be pushed aside by 2020 mores.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laurence Borenstein
  • 2021-10-17

Acknowledgement

The author credits the book, ‘Memories of Ciro’s’ by Lauren Scibelli Mullen. That book is about an Italian restaurant, Ciro’s, in Springfield, Massachusetts. It has nothing to do with the Ciro’s in Los Angeles! Makes one question much.

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  • Dante The Cat
  • 2021-08-16

The story line and plot were painfully slow.

The subject matter was very hard to listen to. Did not care for this book.

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  • Jessie
  • 2021-07-15

Worst narrator in history

There is something dreadful about the narrator. Is she trying to sing? My ears were bleeding. Had to stop.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2023-01-20

History eye opener of WWII

If you think you know about what really was going on during WWII in the States think again. Many would say US vs Nazi’s, while others in the US were fighting another war in itself.

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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 2022-12-09

Didn’t like the performance

The narrator has this weird tone… It was like a computer/machine was reading. I had trouble engaging because of that