In 1942, Maisie Dobbs gets embroiled in diverse cases that involve her own family.
Jo Hardy, a pilot for Britain's Air Transport Auxiliary, is ferrying a plane across England when she's shot at from the ground. When Jo and a friend return to the spot to investigate, they find a Black American soldier tied up in a barn who claims that his White soldier friend has been kidnapped. Later, Jo realizes that in the segregated American Army, Pvt. Matthias Crittenden is in deep trouble, and he'll be held for the murder of the missing soldier. After Jo’s friend is killed during another plane delivery, Jo calls on Maisie, who’s living with her extended family in Kent, to investigate. Only the pull of Maisie’s highly placed American husband, Mark Scott, allows her to question Crittenden. Meanwhile, Maisie, who hates injustice of any sort, learns that her own adopted daughter is being bullied in school, another problem she resolves to straighten out. Maisie visits the barn and finds new evidence that may prove a connection between Charlie’s disappearance, whoever shot at Jo's plane, and the impending visit of Eleanor Roosevelt, which worries Mark because of a credible threat to Maisie’s safety. Maisie’s ability to talk to all sorts of people and discern the truth helps her untangle a complicated mystery involving miscreants whose lives have been so warped that they’ve lost all empathy for others.
A superb combination of mystery, thriller, and psychological study with an emphasis on prejudice and hatred.