Thursday, July 2, 2009

#23: Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs, a private investigator and amateur psychologist in 1930s London, takes on the case of a missing heiress that eventually leads back to multiple murders driven by a shameful act during World War I.

This is the second of the series featuring Maisie Dobbs, and like the first has a mildly engaging mystery. But Dobbs has a great backstory; she was a poor girl who came up "in service" as a maid to a quirky mistress who later sent her to college, then later still serves as a nurse at the front in World War I, becoming wounded and then coming under the toutelage of a Poirot-like investigator and eventually taking over his practice.

Consequently, I picked up the second novel mostly to see what happened to Maisie Dobbs next, and again found the storylines from the past more compelling than the present mystery presented. I think the writing is a little more clear-eyed than what you might find in the typical English "cozy" mystery, and Winspear writes with a nuanced ear for details. This, more than any plotting, would encourage me to get the next in the series.

I checked this out from the Morrison-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana.

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