From Goodreads: In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ career goes in an exciting new direction when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities “not in the interests of His Majesty’s Government.”
When the college’s controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, Maisie is directed to stand back as Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Stratton spearhead the investigation. She soon discovers, however, that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillance.
To unravel this web, Maisie must overcome a reluctant Secret Service, discover shameful hidden truths about Britain’s conduct during the war, and face off against the rising powers of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—in Britain.
A pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs, A Lesson In Secrets marks the beginning of her intelligence work for the Crown. As the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon, Maisie will confront new challenges and new enemies—and will engage new readers and loyal fans of this bestselling mystery series.
I think I waited to write this review because I’m sad the Maisie series is done for awhile. This is a little different from past novels because it’s more about the mystery and less about Maisie’s personal life. Though there is movement on that front.
I really do love Maisie and this was a fine outing, though, and this will come as a shock to anyone who has read my past Maisie reviews, this is not my favorite. I did enjoy the new professional direction Maisie is heading in.
The only small issue I had with this outing was the way the sub-plot involving the a mysterious accidental death that may not have been an accident and the a shadowy underworld character. Most of the action and the solution take place almost completely “off screen” and makes me wonder why. But, it was good to see an old friend again.
The thing I really loved about this one is Maisie’s new career involvement with the government. The the specter of war again in the air we know our girl is going to have to be in the thick of things as more than a nurse. This book in the series seems to be a transition story. There was some reference to WWI but really just to show the way towards impending world events.
Then, of course, the real fun was getting to see all my old favorites. After a few hints of problems Maisie’s love life is on the path to happiness. We get to see our beloved Pris again. And not only does Frankie (Maisie’s father) have a new love interest, the beleaguered Beal family has an abundance of good news.
This is a series that keeps moving forward and in a rarity in mystery series manages to move forward and have the characters grow and change but also keeps all the qualities that make us love the series.
For those of you who are lucky enough to be just at the beginning of this series, enjoy. I’m a little jealous that you have so much good stuff ahead of you. And for those of you who gave me some wonderful advice, I’m on my was to order the entire series on audio-book.
Thanks to Book Club Girl for my copy for the I’m Mad About Maisie Read-Along.