review: messenger of truth

15 07 2009

The Artsy Mama has fallen hook, line and sinker for Maisie Dobbs.  I can’t remember her reading a book so quickly since Harry Potter.  I quite enjoyed the first three books in Jacqueline Winspear’s series when I first read them – though I did read number two before number one and that wasn’t a wise thing to do as I missed much of Maisie’s backstory.  Somehow I left Maisie fall off the reading radar though.

Inspired by the Artsy Mama’s readings, I decided to make the fourth Maisie Dobbs book my next read.  In this volume, Maisie is asked to look into the death of Nick Bassington-Hope.  It has been deemed an accident by the police, but his twin sister, Georgina, has suspicions that it was murder rather than an accident.  Nick was an artist and he fell to his death while preparing for an exhibition of a mysterious work about the war that no one had seen.  Set against the case is the economic struggles of the period – ones that impact on Maisie’s assistant Billy very directly.

I was quite impressed with Messenger of Truth, and it is probably my favourite in the series so far.  I still find myself a bit distracted by descriptions of the way in which Maisie regulates her behaviour, but the central mystery in this one kept me very interested.  I was able to figure out the why and what quite early, though it took me a bit longer to figure out the right who.  I don’t want to give too much away, but the central moment from Nick’s past experiences that Winspear uses is both horrific and quite moving and emphasizes the pure insanity of WWI.

I think the next two in the series will be next in the TBR pile – if I can wrestle them away from the Artsy Mama that is.

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