From Publishers Weekly
In Winspear's winning fourth historical to star British psychologist and PI Maisie Dobbs (after 2005's Pardonable Lies
), Georgiana Bassington-Hope, a pioneering female war reporter who was a classmate of Maisie's at Girton College (Cambridge), asks Maisie to investigate the death of her twin brother, Nicholas Bassington-Hope, a WWI veteran and artist. The police have ruled Nick's fall from a scaffold at a Mayfair gallery before his masterpiece could be unveiled an accident, but Georgiana suspects foul play. As Maisie delves into the art world and the dead man's unusual family, the author provides an insightful look at class divisions and dangerous political undercurrents of homegrown fascism in early 1930s Britain. Some might wish that the whodunit side of the story was more developed, but fans of quality period fiction will be well satisfied. (Aug.)
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Class divisions and the trauma of war are compelling themes in Winspear's fourth offering featuring psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs (following Pardonable Lies
, 2005). Dobbs, who earned a degree from Cambridge and served as a nurse during World War I, employs both meditation and intuition to crack difficult cases. (Her suspicions are often manifested in a "sensation at the nape of her neck, as if a colony of ants were beating a path from one shoulder to the other.") The novel opens in late 1930, as Georgina Bassington-Hope, a well-to-do former wartime journalist, consults Maisie following the death of her twin brother, Nick, a painter commissioned to design war propaganda after sustaining injuries in combat. (Georgina doubts police reports that claim her brother fell from scaffolding while installing a major exhibition at a local gallery.) As Maisie searches for clues among Georgina's relatives, she grows increasingly troubled by the family's shameless extravagance during trying economic times. A cast of vivid characters and plenty of rich period detail boost Winspear's somewhat lethargic plot. Allison BlockCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved