Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

This is the 4th installment in the Maisie Dobbs series of historical mysteries. They take place in the late 1920's in Great Britain and the aftermath WWI looms large.  Maisie is hired by a well-to-do journalist to investigate the presumed accidental death of her artist twin brother.  With her usual methods blending traditional investigation techniques and psychology, Maisie dives into the life of the dead artist.  In the process she illuminates some truths about the unique bohemian family to which the siblings belong.

This is a pretty solid addition to the Maisie Dobbs Series. The case being investigated was fairly interesting though I figured out the who and why fairly early on.  It sometimes felt like there was a little too much padding included to mimic substance. However, overall it was relatively satisfying if not a gasp-inducing page-turner.

The most compelling thing about the books is the character of Maisie. Maisie continues to struggle with conflict between her deep satisfaction with her independence and her loneliness.  She is also challenged with her change in social position and she doesn't seem to fit comfortably anywhere. While she is some ways deeply compassionate she also comes across as very detached and disconnected with those around her.  I have to say I'm not sure I entirely like her but I don't know that I've encountered a similar character before so I do enjoy reading about her. 

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