Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper (March 14, 2017)
“A female investigator every bit as brainy and battle-hardened as Lisbeth Salander.”†ó 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 ìOperation 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.
Purchase Links for In This Grave Hour
About Jacqueline Winspear
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes†In†This Grave Hour,Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.
WW II is looming and Maisie and her fellow Londoners are preparing for life under siege from the Germans. Sandra and Billy, Maisie’s employees are back again at Maisie’s newly renovated office and she has re-opened her business as a private investigator. She soon receives a request to solve a murder from an unusual source, a secret service officer from Belgium. She needs to prevent further murders and pulls in a few favours from Scotland Yard to assist her as she must tread lightly when investigating in diplomatic circles.
At the same time, children are being sent out of London to be billeted in the countryside for safety reasons. Several children are lodged at Chelstone, Maisie’s home outside of London. A little dark skinned girl mysteriously appears with a group of boys and no one has been able to identify who she is or where she came from. Maisie is drawn to this little girl whose name is Anna and is determined to find her family. Maisie’s father, Frankie and his wife Brenda are beginning to worry that Maisie is developing a stronger than normal attachment to Anna and don’t want her to be hurt when her family is found.
I really loved the way the author uses language that was common to the era. Several of the expressions were quite amusing and the characters that we know from the previous novels appear in this one as well. It’s been a pleasure to follow Maisie from a young girl to a mature woman, through one war and now into another. I suspect there is another story in the works and can’t wait to read about happens next.