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THE CONSEQUENCES OF FEAR

A fast-paced tale of mystery and spycraft whose exploration of inner doubts and fears makes it much more.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

October 1941 finds Maisie Dobbs continuing her espionage work while Great Britain is locked in a do-or-die fight against the Nazis.

As she continues her secret work for spymaster Robbie MacFarlane while also running her detective business, Maisie’s affair with Mark Scott, her American counterpart, has reached an inflection point. Maisie is a mother, a nurse, a veteran spy, and a psychologist who sees that young Freddie Hackett, one of many speedy boys running messages around London, is at his breaking point. His father is a drunk who beats him; his mother is desperate to protect Freddie and her daughter who has Down syndrome. Now the police have blown off Freddie’s claim to have witnessed a murder. Since the killer turns out to be the recipient of the message he was on his way to deliver when he saw the crime, Freddie’s in a position to give an excellent description of him. Maisie, who’s found it harder and harder to vet people who may be sent off to work with the French Resistance, especially because so many of them will be tortured and killed by the Nazis, meets a French officer who fits Freddie’s description of the killer while she’s in Scotland reviewing a new group. But MacFarlane refuses to help her with the case because relations with the Free French require a delicate balance. Undeterred, Maisie uses her contacts to unveil a story of treachery and deceit dating back to the last war, knowing that all the balls she’s desperately juggling will come crashing down if she makes a mistake.

A fast-paced tale of mystery and spycraft whose exploration of inner doubts and fears makes it much more.

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-286802-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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THE COMFORT OF GHOSTS

A fitting finale to a marvelously entertaining series full of finely drawn characters often scarred by the horrors of war.

Farewell, Maisie Dobbs.

Once a maid in Lady Rowan Compton’s household, then a university student, a nurse, and an agent of the British Secret Service, Maisie has blossomed into a psychologist and private investigator. Her first husband, James Compton, died while test-flying an experimental aircraft. The end of World War II finds her living in the Dower House of the Compton estate with her second husband, Mark Scott—an American diplomat—and their adopted daughter, Anna, and comforting her former mother-in-law, Lady Rowan, who’s just lost her own spouse. When she hears there are squatters living in the Comptons’ London house, Maisie heads to Belgravia, where she finds four teenagers in residence along with an ailing Will Beale, the son of Maisie’s business partner, who survived a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Checking with her old friend DCI Robbie MacFarlane, whose help she’d asked in finding the previously missing Will, she gets a bad feeling about Robbie’s interest in the squatters. Worried about the youngsters, who were part of some secret government project, Maisie talks them into letting her into the house to help Will. When they admit they witnessed the murder of a Nazi sympathizer that the government wants covered up, she moves the group to a safer place. Her investigation of the murder discloses a mass of nasty secrets. One of the teens found a packet of letters under the floorboards of the Compton house belonging to one of Maisie’s fellow maids, killed in an explosion, who had a child with James when they were very young. Finding that child, who was put up for adoption, may be the most challenging task Maisie’s ever undertaken.

A fitting finale to a marvelously entertaining series full of finely drawn characters often scarred by the horrors of war.

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9781641296069

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Soho Crime

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2024

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