A determined psychologist and private investigator looks into the death of Eddie, a gentle man who seemed to have no enemies, certainly not among the horses he charmed.
Education and inheritance have raised Maisie Dobbs (A Lesson in Secrets, 2011, etc.) to loftier heights in the hidebound British class system of the 1930s. But she can never forget the poor neighborhood in which she was raised. So she doesn’t hesitate when the costermongers of Covent Garden ask her to investigate Eddie’s death after he’s crushed by a roll of paper at the factory of wealthy Canadian newspaper baron John Otterburn. The more Maisie finds out, the more she’s convinced that Otterburn is using his considerable influence to steer Britain toward a confrontation with a resurgent Germany led by Hitler. After one of her employees is badly beaten and a newspaperman who was using the childlike Eddie to gather information apparently takes his own life, Maisie uses the connections of her wealthy lover James Compton to learn more about Otterburn’s influence. Despite mounting danger, she continues to investigate while trying to put her own life in order. In the midst of a difficult case, she must examine her life and decide whether she loves James enough to marry him.
Certainly not Winspear’s strongest mystery. But newcomers will enjoy the exploration of class-bound Britain between the wars, and fans will relish the continued development of Maisie’s complicated character.