In the ninth installment of her popular Maisie Dobbs series Jacqueline Winspear brings us one of her most affecting and intriguing stories to date. We meet 16-year-old Maudie Pettit, very pregnant and soon to give birth. "Maudie had been born in the workhouse, and she was determined that not only would she not be going back there, but her baby wouldn't be born in the workhouse either." She worked nights at Starlings Brewery located in Lambeth, London, cleaning the horse's stalls. It is there in 1887 that her son, Eddie, is born.
Some years later the indefatigable Maisie Dobbs comes to her office to find a delegation from her past. Waiting for her, scrubbed and in their best, is a group of costermongers, men who sell fruits and vegetables from horse-drawn carts. She remembers them from her childhood as they worked the streets of London as did her father. She also remembers Eddie Pettit, a slow but kind man who had a way with horses, almost a preternatural way of calming them. Now, Eddie is dead, killed according to his friends and they want Maisie's help.
Of course, she cannot refuse, so begins an investigation that leads her into an unsavory place of secret intelligence and propaganda, plus a confrontation with an apparently cruel, powerful press baron.
With her unrivaled mix of mystery and history Jacqueline Winspear takes us to a bygone London as vivid on the page as it was "between the wars."
In this latest installment in the series, Maisie is hired by the costermongers of her childhood to investigate the death of one of their own. What seems like a simple task eventually reveals a conspiracy involving the highest levels of society. While the mystery itself is not that complicated, the appeal of this books lies in Maisie's efforts to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become. She wrestles with questions of morality and independence, juggling the expectations of others … more
“For readers yearning for the calm and insightful intelligence of a main character like P.D. James’s Cordelia Gray, Maisie Dobbs is spot on.” (Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe for Pardonable Lies )
“[Catches] the sorrow of a lost generation in the character of one exceptional woman.” (Chicago Tribune )
“A heroine to cherish.” (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review )
“Winspear hits just the right notes….This emotional story will leave readers questioning whether the ends really do justify the means. Recommended for all historical mystery enthusiasts…” (Susan Moritz, Library Journal )
“[N]ewcomers will enjoy the exploration of class-bound Britain between the wars, and fans will relish the continued development of Maisie’s complicated character.” (Kirkus Reviews )
“Compelling.” (People (3 ½ out of 4 stars) for The Mapping of Love and Death )
“Maisie Dobbs is a revelation.” (Alexander McCall Smith for An Incomplete Revenge )
“A detective series to savor.” (Johanna McGeary, Time for Pardonable Lies )
“Terrific....Maisie is one of the great fictional heroines, equal parts haunted and haunting.” (Paradise )
“A series that seems to get better with every entry.” (Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal )
“Engaging….vividly evokes early-twentieth-century London and the flaring disparity between the haves and ...