|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
“A female investigator every bit as brainy and battle-hardened as Lisbeth Salander.” — Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air, on Maisie Dobbs
Sunday September 3rd 1939. At the moment Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcasts to the nation Britain’s declaration of war with Germany, a senior Secret Service agent breaks into Maisie Dobbs’ flat to await her return. Dr. Francesca Thomas has an urgent assignment for Maisie: to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium as a boy, some twenty-three years earlier during the Great War.
In a London shadowed by barrage balloons, bomb shelters and the threat of invasion, within days another former Belgian refugee is found murdered. And as Maisie delves deeper into the killings of the dispossessed from the “last war,” a new kind of refugee — an evacuee from London — appears in Maisie’s life. The little girl billeted at Maisie’s home in Kent does not, or cannot, speak, and the authorities do not know who the child belongs to or who might have put her on the “Operation Pied Piper” evacuee train. They know only that her name is Anna.
As Maisie’s search for the killer escalates, the country braces for what is to come. Britain is approaching its gravest hour — and Maisie could be nearing a crossroads of her own.
Maisie Dobbs is my jam. You know I love this series to bits. I've re-read all of the books so many times, that I can tell you about any of them without even thinking about it. I am an addict and I enjoy it. I can't help myself. I love me a good detective story and Maisie Dobbs is the queen of sleuths as far as I'm concerned. She's smart, savvy, resourceful, determined, and gung-ho about getting the job done. I love her practicality, her strong sense of self, and her continued commitment to helping her family and friends. She is truly one of a kind and I enjoy reading about each of her new adventures (even thought they seem to get more and more dangerous). I am a fan with a capital "F".
So, what is Maisie up to in this latest book, In This Grave Hour? Well, London is officially at war with Germany - yikes! Sandbags are everywhere, people MUST carry their gas masks when they leave the house, children are being evacuated to the country, and everyone is frightened by what this war could mean for them all. Billy's older son wants to join up and serve his country. Pris is terrified that her oldest son will be sent to fight. Sandra is pregnant and the war is stressing her out. And Maisie fears all of the danger and loss her family and friends will experience during this war. Of course, there are still cases to work amidst all of this new tension. Yep, Maisie is still investigating and solving crimes, mysteries, you name it. This time round, she gets hired by none other than Francesca Thomas - a woman involved with secret branches with the British and Belgian governments. She's come by Maisie's home to ask her to look into the death of a Belgian man. She tells Maisie that the case needs to be solved before anyone else is killed. Maisie agrees to the case and sets out to uncover the truth behind Thomas's involvement and who the murderer is. Along the way, she must also deal with a little girl named Anna who doesn't talk. She has been evacuated from the City and now resides in Maisie's home out in the country. Her father and step-mum are taking care of her. No one knows where her parents are or where she came from. Anna refuses to speak aloud and drags her belongings with her everywhere she goes. Maisie is determined to find the little girl's family and figure out how to get her to speak. Suffice it to say, a lot is happening.
Winspear returns with another terrific tale in the Maisie Dobbs series. She manages to keep the stories fresh and the characters growing as the world around them changes. I love the feel of familiar mixed in with the new. And of course, I love reading about London. The writing is top notch and filled with great historical tidbits that provides such an authenticity to the story's setting. I always feel like I'm learning something new when I read these books, which I just love. As for Maisie, I am all for her figuring out her place in the world after having experienced so much loss. I just wish that we could see her smile more. So much loss in her life has left her a bit broken, which is understandable. And, I just know that this war is going to leave its mark on her, but I also believe that it will push her to flourish in her personal life. Or at least I hope it will. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what Winspear has in store for Maisie in the next book - I hear she is currently working on it (Hurrah!) and I can't wait to read it!!
In This Grave Hour is a book I would happily recommend to fans of this popular series and anyone looking to start a terrific sleuthing series - you will LOVE this book (and series)!!
Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: In This Grave Hour