The Queen’s Secret: A Novel of England’s World War II Queen by Karen Harper

About the book: 1939. As the wife of the King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel.

Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace.

Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.

In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.

My review: I’ll admit I’m a bit obsessed with all things royal. So when the opportunity came about to read this book I jumped on it. And I am so glad I did. I learned so many things about “the queen mother” and in such an entertaining way.

It is obvious from the start that the author did an immense amount of research for this book. The attention she paid to historical details shows in her writing. I enjoyed learning about her relationship with her husband, daughters, and Winston Churchill. The author made the characters come alive on the page and she brought history to life.

This book was well researched, well written, and the story is told in a way that keeps the reader’s interest. A book worth reading for fans of the royal family or WWII. Definitely one for the keeper shelf.

Publication Date: May 19, 2020

Publisher: William Morrow

About the author: A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen’s books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county. Her most recent books include THE SOUTH SHORES TRILOGY (CHASING SHADOWS, DROWNING TIDES and FALLING DARKNESS.) Her latest historical is THE ROYAL NANNY.