Between the wars, the shooting death of an Indian woman is not high on the priority list of the British police.
Psychologist and private investigator Maisie Dobbs has been trying to find a missing teen, until a visit from DI Caldwell immerses her in a case that will change her life. As her wealthy upper-class lover, James Compton, whom she’s steadfastly refused to marry, prepares to leave for Canada, Maisie yearns to travel to India in the footsteps of her mentor and benefactor, Maurice Blanche. So when Caldwell arrives with Mr. Pramal, an Indian who served with distinction in the British Army in World War I, Maisie is intrigued by the unsolved murder of his sister. Usha Pramal had come from India as a governess but had more recently found herself living in a hostel and taking on cleaning jobs for a living. Usha—beautiful, spirited, educated and unusually independent for an Indian woman—may have left India after falling for an Englishman whose clumsy approach to her family put him off limits. Maisie discovers that Usha had amassed far more money for her dream of starting a school for girls in India than her cleaning jobs would account for. Her income may have been derived from her talent for healing, both by medicinal mixtures and the laying on of hands. When Usha’s friend Maya Patel is murdered in the same way as Usha, Maisie and her staffers, Billy and Sandra, pull out all the stops to solve the case.
Not the strongest mystery in Maisie’s ongoing saga (Elegy for Eddie, 2012, etc.), but one that delves deeply into her complicated relationships and hints at a compelling future.