Series: Maisie Dobbs #16
Publication Date: 3/23/21
Number of Pages: 352
WOW! What a wonderful new-to-me series to find. I had been reading the book blurbs on each new book as it was released – and they sounded like great stories – but I put off trying one because I thought it was still too close to ‘contemporary’ to suit me. I read very little that isn’t set in the Victorian or earlier eras. As I am becoming more and more disillusioned with the ‘woke’ historical romance books that are being written, I decided to branch out with more and more historical mysteries. This one is absolutely wonderful. I loved Maisie Dobbs – and YAY for me – I started with the book where Maisie gets married. The writing is excellent and the story and plotting are near perfect. What really brings the story home though, is the descriptions of life in WWII London during the blitzes. I absolutely felt as if I was running right along with Freddie as the bombs were dropping.
Freddie Hackett is twelve-years-old and is proud that he has been chosen as a message runner for the government. He is, of course, afraid of the bombs dropping, but those aren’t any scarier than his home life. If he keeps his father in enough coins to stay at the bar, maybe he and his mother won’t be beaten tonight. Freddie is a gifted runner who might be in the Olympics someday and as his feet are flying and he turns a corner toward his destination, he sees something unthinkable. Two men are in a fight, so he backs into a small doorway of a bombed-out home so the men cannot see him. When one takes a knife out and murders the other, Freddie loses his stomach contents. He remains quiet and still long after it is over – and then, shaking, he goes on his way to the delivery. He gets a really good look at the murderer – and guess who answers the door.
The police aren’t particularly interested in the murder Freddie reports, but Freddie is frightened, so he looks elsewhere for someone to help. That person is Maisie Dobbs. Maisie immediately believes the story Freddie is telling and begins an investigation despite her government office boss telling her to leave it be. As Maisie digs deeper and deeper into the case, she comes to learn that there are political implications to solving the crime. That, of course, doesn’t deter Maisie and she keeps going. She not only has to find the murderer, but she also has to keep Freddie, his mom, and his sister safe.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m so sorry I took so long to decide to give the series a try. Now, I just have to make time in my schedule to go back and read the first fifteen books. I can’t think of a single thing I’d change about the book – except I think it might be fun to have Mark more involved in Maisie’s case. I’m very happy to recommend this book!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.