Messenger of Truth
A Maisie Dobbs Novel, No. 4
by Jacqueline Winspear
Dobbs isn't your usual private detective. To start with, she's female
and runs her own agency - unusual enough today, unheard of back in
the 1930s. She's also a former maid and wartime nurse. But that's
only the beginning. Her sign says "psychologist and investigator"
for a reason. She not only has dual practices, but also takes a strongly
psychological approach to detective work, basing her investigations
on a well-integrated combination of logic and intuition that borders
on the psychic. She investigates facts, but she solves people.
Artist Nick Bassington-Hope died falling from the scaffolding where
he was working in privacy to install his latest controversial masterpiece.
The police quickly rule his death an accident, but Nick's twin sister
Georgiana refuses to leave it at that. She is referred to Maisie,
whose search for the man Nick was -which she feels she needs to
understand to determine how and why he died- forces her to work
her way through the complicated web of crime, deception, and personal
conflict surrounding Nick in life and in death. A journey that takes
her into personal danger both physical and psychological, since
(as in prior books) the investigation also forces her to face some
truths about herself and her own life.
There's plenty of plot and action, but this series is really about
people: their relations with each other and what makes them the
way they are. Including Maisie herself, who at times in prior books
has seemed almost too perfect, but shows some reassuringly human
flaws here. This book and the entire series also give a great feel
for the time, when unimaginable scars from The Great War are still
part of everyday life for too many people and where the worldwide
economic depression of the 1930s brings its own problems. A satisfying
entry in one of the more unique series - historical or otherwise
- being written today. Recommended.
Reviews of other titles in this series
Lies, No 3
of Truth, No 4
Incomplete Revenge, No 5
Lesson in Secrets, No 8
Holt and Co. AND Picador
2006 / July 2007
Mystery [London 1931]
NOTE: Agathy and Macavity award winning author for prior books
in this series.