My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first in a mystery series that takes place after World War I in Britain. I really loved this book. Maisie Dobbs is an intrepid young woman who, through intelligence and hard work and determination, moves from the lower class into the embryonic middle class that was developing in Britain after World War I. Maisie herself is a lovely character–spunky, determined, and original.
Maisie is called upon to investigate the movements of a woman whose husband suspects she is being unfaithful. This investigation takes on a life of its own and touches upon the issues–physical and mental–of the soldiers returning from World War I and how to treat them. The horrors of warfare and the impact that war has on both the soldiers and their families are depicted with unusual eloquence and passion. It is the most touching part of the book, and it resonated with me, especially given our own society’s struggles with the same issues.
Oh, and there is also a mystery to solve and several flashbacks to help flesh out Maisie’s life and how she came to be what she is.
The main characters are fully developed, three dimensional characters, and the mystery is interesting, although the evolution of Maisie is even more interesting. I look forward to reading the next book in the series!