4th Maisie Dobbs book (and they SHOULD be read in order.) Maisie investigates the apparently accidental death of a controversial artist. As in all the Maisie Dobbs books, the "murder" is less important than the characters, all of whom are suffering from the Depression and the other after effects of WWI. The coming WWII is foreshadowed in the politics of the day. Touching, often wrenching, never dull. Difficult to put down.
#4 Maisie Dobbs series, set in post-WWI England. Maisie, a former nurse turned private investigator is hired by a young woman, Georgina Bassington-Hope, whose brother Nicholas has just died in what was ruled an accident when he fell from some scaffolding while preparing for an exhibition of his paintings. Georgina has a funny feeling that it was not an accident, and wants Maisie to figure out if her feeling has any substance to it.
Nicholas Bassington-Hope was very talented, and had been documenting the war in his latest paintings, a set that together is said to be his magnum opus--which are missing. He had them hidden away, not to be displayed to anyone until his exhibition, and no one knows where they are--or will admit to it. As Maisie visits Nick's friends and family and those associated with the art gallery, she begins to get the same feeling Georgina had, but nothing solid.
On the personal side, Maisie's assistant Billy Beale and his wife Doreen are having a bad time of it as their youngest child Lizzie is hospitalized with a severe case of diphtheria, and Maisie continues to settle in to her new home and resolves to figure out what she should do about her relationship with Dr. Andrew Dene.
This series just seems to get better the further along I read in it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and until very close to the end, I did not figure out who the bad guy was--plenty of red herrings although in thinking back, the clues were there to be ferreted out. Looking forward to the next in series to see what direction the author takes Maisie in.
I have loved every one of Jacqueline Winspear's books. Her main character, Maisie Dobbs, is cleverly crafted. Although her present occupation in these books is a private investigator, she is not rough and tumble. She retains her feminity. There are flashs back to World War I when she was a nurse treating the wounded soldiers in a Mash type of set up.
Her other characters, Billy her assistant, is very believable for the times. That is another she has done well. The reader gets a very accurate feel for the time periods that she speaks of. I recommend all the Maisie Dobbs book in this series.
I enjoyed this installment of the Maissie Dobbs series better than the other two books that I have read (not that I didn't like the others!).
In this story, Maissie just seemed a bit more human and approachable. The story seemed drew me in far more, perhaps mainly because it was a straight mystery story with a lot of red herrings and great clues. Also, it involved subject matter which really intersted me as an artist.
The tie-in the WWI was touching, horriffic, and haunting. The artist who was killed was committed to telling the truth about what he had seen during the war, no matter who it hurt.
The story about the death of the child touched me as well. I even had to fight tears in one spot, and I am generally a hard nut to crack.
As usual, the author's writing style is readable, fairly fast paced, but with great detail and narrative that invokes emotion and makes one think. The main characters, at least, are deep and complex.
Altogether, this is a great book, and I would hightly recommend it.