Publication Date: 2005
Challenges: TBR 2009 Challenge #6 , Support Your Local Library Challenge #9
England in 1930 is still haunted by the physical and emotional damage of World War 1. Maisie Dobbs is making a success of her investigation business and is even called upon by Scotland Yard to help question a 13 year old girl who is accused of murder. Maisie has doubts as to whether the young girl actually committed the crime, but she has none about the fact that the girl needs someone to look out for her and see that she is adequately defended.
Maisie is asked by her former employer to help out Sir Cecil Lawton, who is hoping to keep a promise to his late wife. She never believed that their son was actually killed in the war and he wants Maisie to verify his death so that he can truly put his wife’s memory to rest. Although it means that she may need to return to France and face her own demons from her time as a nurse during the war, Maisie agrees. Soon she has an additional favor along the same lines. Her longtime friend also wants Maisie to find out more about her oldest brother’s wartime death.
There are lots of intertwining mysteries in this installment of the series. As questions are answered, just as many are raised. Are there connections between the investigations? Is someone trying to kill Maisie and if so, why?
Like the other books in the series this is as much the mystery stories as it is a portrayal of the time and place. England and France between the World Wars were in the process of healing while at the same time hints of future trouble are coming out of Germany. They’re not action packed adventures, but are slower paced period pieces as much as they are mysteries. I’m looking forward to continuing the series.