• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 8, 2014)
London, 1933. Two months after Usha Pramal’s body is discovered in the waters of a city canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs for help. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, but evidence indicates they failed to conduct a full investigation. Usha had been staying at an ayah’s hostel, a refuge for Indian women. As Maisie learns, Usha was different from the hostel’s other residents. But with this discovery comes new danger, as a fellow lodger who was close to Usha is found murdered.
As Maisie is pulled deeper into an unfamiliar yet captivating subculture, her investigation becomes clouded by the unfinished business of a previous case, and by a growing desire to see more of the world. At the same time, her lover, James Compton, gives her an ultimatum she cannot ignore. Bringing a crucial chapter in the life and times of Maisie Dobbs to a close, Leaving Everything Most Loved signals a vital turning point in this remarkable series.
Mystery! And I’m sorry that my rating picture looks more like lollipops than magnifying glasses. Something to fix for later, me thinks.
There was at least one good red herring that had me fooled though about half way through the author kind of spelled it out. Up to that point, she had me guessing and I wish she gave us more to chew on before pointing the finger. Otherwise I think this would have gotten an easy five.
To start, I’ve never read a Maisie Dobb’s novel before and it is my understanding that this is the tenth book in the series. Though previous events weren’t difficult to catch up to, at least those that were pertinent to the current storyline remained.
What drew me to the book was the historical factor. It’s a female private detective in England during the 1930′s. She is clever and independent, especially for that era. Despite this great list of attributes she fell a wee flat on being a more complex character. I knew the above about her because of her deep contemplations but sometimes she seemed emotionless. She studied the facts and logic in everything, including the big ultimatum from her lover which should, in my mind, have been emotional. My thoughts on this is that there are ten books before this so the author had plenty of time for character development before I stumbled in. Though I’ll point out that all the surrounding characters were very well done and lifelike.
The mystery was amazing for about three quarters of the book where – which as I said above – she basically pointed an X over the target. Leading up to that point, I was thoroughly engaged and had an amazing time tagging along with Maisie and making my own deductions alongside her.
Loaded with plenty of intrigue, “Leaving Everything Most Loved” is a great mystery and if you follow the series, I think it’s a major transition book for the main character. Everything is about to change for Maisie Dobbs and I’m thinking her adventures are only going to get bigger.
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other Maisie Dobbs novels. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.
Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, www.jacquelinewinspear.com, and find her on Facebook