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Summary: An eventful year has passed for Maisie Dobbs. Since starting a one-woman private investigation agency in 1929 London, she now has a professional office in Fitzroy Square and an assistant, the happy-go-lucky Billy Beale. She has proven herself as a psychologist and investigator, and has even won over Detective Inspector Stratton of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad – an admirable achievement for a woman who worked her way from servant to scholar to sleuth, and who also served as battlefield nurse in The Great War.

It’s now early Spring of 1930, Stratton is investigating a murder case in Coulsden, while Maisie has been summoned to Dulwich to find a runaway heiress. The woman is the daughter of Joseph Waite, a wealthy self-made man who has lavished her with privilege but kept her in a gilded cage. His domineering ways have driven her off before, and now she’s bolted again. Waite’s instructions are to find his daughter and bring her home. When Maisie looks into the disappearance she finds a chilling link to Stratton’s murder case, and to the terrible legacy of The Great War. –from Goodreads

Oh Maisie, Maisie, I can’t stop talking about Maisie. I love her to pieces. She is wise, wonderful, interesting, full of flaws, and endearing in every way. And she delivers a cracker jack mystery to boot.

After rereading the first book Maisie Dobbs, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this second adventure and I wasn’t to be disappointed.  This time out the mystery was front and center and kept me intrigued the whole time.  I loved how this story unfolded and the connections were all revealed.  What begins as a runaway daughter case turns into full blown murder, actually murders. And Maisie must figure out if the runaway is really missing, is she a victim, or is she a killer.

All the cast of characters are back. We get to know Maisie’s mentor Maurice Blanche better and also Detective Inspector Stratton. And while Lady Rowan plays less of a central role in this outing we do get to find out more about the wonderful Billy Beale. Maisie has to help poor Billy find a way to fight the demons that still haunt him from the war.

I have mentioned I don’t know a lot of this time period, though I have been researching a little bit here and there. And I do love that Winspear gives little tidbits about the time period. I had no idea Pilates has been around since WWI in response to it’s creator being a POW. I love when books have those details that round it out and make them real.

We also see Maisie coming to understand herself a little better. Through the women whose lives she is investigating she learns more about her and starts her journey to become less isolated. And there’s even a hint of romance in Maisie’s future. I’m firmly invested in Maisie now and can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m so thrilled there are still 6 books to look forward and a new book due April 25th.

This is part of the I’m Mad for Maisie read-along hosted by Book Club Girl. Head on over for some interesting discussion on Monday, January 31.

It also count as an entry for both the Book Junkie’s Bookshelf ‘s Support Your Local Library Challenge and Book Chick City’s Mystery and Suspense Challenge.

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