• The Prisoner in the Castle

  • A Maggie Hope Mystery
  • By: Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (486 ratings)

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The Prisoner in the Castle

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

A series of baffling murders among a group of imprisoned agents threatens the outcome of World War II in this chilling mystery from the New York Times best-selling author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. 

November, 1942. World War II is raging, and former spy Maggie Hope knows too much: what the British government is willing to do to keep its secrets, who is lying, who the double-crossers are. She knows exactly who is sending agents to their deaths. These are the reasons Maggie is isolated on a remote Scottish island, in a prison known as Killoch Castle. 

When one of her fellow inmates drops dead in the middle of his after-dinner drink - he’s only the first. As victims fall one by one, Maggie will have to call upon all her wits and skills to escape - not just certain death...but certain murder. 

For what’s the most important thing Maggie Hope knows?  

She must survive.

Praise for The Prisoner in the Castle:

“The colonel sums it up best on page 10: ‘If you take a pretty girl and teach her how to kill, it can cause problems.’ Not just problems - electrifying action and nonstop surprises. I loved this book!” (R. L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series) 

"One pleasure of a mystery series is connecting with a character that changes and grows with each novel.... Maggie's intelligence and loyalty to the war effort continue to evolve in [Susan Elia] MacNeal's series.... Solid twists keep the plot of The Prisoner in the Castle churning until the surprise finale." (Associated Press)

"Evocative." (Publishers Weekly)

©2018 Susan Elia MacNeal (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Another literary tour de force... From the book's perfectly calibrated plot to its incisively etched characters, everything is handled with perfect finesse by the author." (Poisoned Pen Newsletter)

"A mystery...tailor-made for readers in the post-election, #MeToo era.... If you love a tricky puzzle that requires you to keep track of multiple alibis over time, this is your summer read." (The Washington Post)

"MacNeal uses [Agatha] Christie's And Then There Were None as a framework for a character-driven mystery/thriller that successfully emulates the original." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about The Prisoner in the Castle

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best one yet?

I read the whole series finishing just in time to listen to this addition when it was released. I think it might be my favorite yet! I am now sad to have to wait another year for the next one. It was different than the previous novels, being much more a mystery and taking cues from classic Agatha Christie. The social justice themes were a little lighter in this book than previously in the series as well, as well as coinciding historical events.

I don't understand the hate for this narrator. She does a fine job. I actually thought the narrator for the first book, Mr. Churchill's Secretary was hard to listen to/understand and was glad that a new narrator was picked up for the rest of them.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Annoying narration

Why do I keep forgetting how much I don’t care for this narrator? Maggie deserves a better voice. The author deserves a better presentation. I will try to remember to read the next book rather than listen to it.

The book was just missing “It was a dark and stormy night.” This was Agatha Christie-like and, frankly, I expected better. I’m glad so many liked this book because Susan MacNeal puts a lot into each book.

Maggie is trapped on a Scottish island with other agents before murder and mayhem ensue á la Ms Christie. This was not my favorite.

3 people found this helpful

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Not up to Maggie Hope standards

Really, Ms. MacNeal? Such a blatant remake of Agatha Christie's "And then there were none." You are better than that, Ms. MacNeal.

3 people found this helpful

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author & publisher continue to use same narrator

Narrator gets consistently bad reviews from listeners. Why continue using her and her sing- song voice?

3 people found this helpful

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Love this narrator

Susan Duerdon’s narration is masterful. At a couple of points inthe book I found myself marveling that this was only one person reading. I’m writing this review because I read other reviewers low rating this narrator. I’m pretty picky and I can’t imagine why they didn’t like her.


2 people found this helpful

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Not one of the best Maggie Hope books..

I have loved this series so much, but this one with a much used plot, definitely nit so great.

1 person found this helpful

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Maggie in prison for doing her job well and not talking.

I was disappointed in the ending as it was the same as two of her other books. One being a plane and the other a boat. O surprise. As to how she was going to get out this.

1 person found this helpful

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Good, but not my favorite

I really enjoy the Maggie hope series, and I enjoyed this one too. I think this one was my least favorite to date (and re-listened to the first 7 in the two weeks before I “read” this one). But impressive to keep all of Ms Hope’s adventures new and different.

1 person found this helpful

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Dumb spies

i have always enjoyed the Maggie Hope series but this one left me scratching my head in amazment as to how dumb a bunch of supposedly highly trained spies can be. The murders start and everyone goes their separate ways instead of sticking together. the murders grow and everyone goes their separate ways instead of staying together. the murders continue and they finally talk about sticking together then the go their separate ways. the murders continue (yes there a lot of murders in this story) and finally decide it would be a good thing to stuck together, they gather, then go their separate ways.

1 person found this helpful

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The worst book in the series.

All of the Maggie Hope stories have been excellent. I was looking forward to this latest one and was disappointed. This was really simple, not very believable and barely held my interest.
Even the characters we have enjoyed were missing from most of the story.
Reread Mrs Roosevelt's Confidante. 10 times better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • helena
  • 03-24-19

Not as good as previous books

Have listened to all the others in the series and really enjoyed them. Found this to be a complete let down going nowhere and so far fetched it was unbelievable