Reminder: Page Turners Book Club will be discussing this book on Thursday, May 11 at 3 PM.
This is the first in series starring the titular Maisie Dobbs as a detective in mid-late 1920s London. World War I is still fresh on everyone’s minds and plays a large role in the narrative, both in a chunky flash-back section and in the ongoing effect that war has on those involved. Maisie’s first case involves following a young married woman to see if she’s been unfaithful. What Maisie learns about the young woman leads her to look into what happened to certain men after the war and how they coped with disfiguring injuries.
Books which are the first in the series always have so much work to do in terms of world-building ad character introduction. This book is no exception. The flash-back section to Maisie’s experiences during the war took up so much space as to almost make the reader forget that the main mystery was not terribly elaborate. She had it nearly solved in the first quarter of the book, then there was the flashback, then the final quarter of the book to finish the investigation and wrap things up. This isn’t to say that the flash-back isn’t necessary–It is, in order to establish Maisie’s background in her particular brand of detective work and how she fared during the war. Maisie is an interesting character, as are many of the supporting characters. I enjoyed the book and would like to read more in the series.
Review by Jessica A.