Thursday, April 27, 2017

In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

In This Grave Hour: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear --- 333 pages

In the thirteenth entry in this mystery series, the world is once again on the threshold of another "Great War," the second such in the lives of Maisie and her compatriots, who still bear the scars of the first on their bodies and minds.

Maisie has re-established her business as a psychologist and investigator, joining forces once again with her colleagues Billy and Sandra. She has also been drawn back into her relationship with Priscilla Partridge, a friend since college days, and Priscilla's husband and three sons, who consider Maisie their aunt. Maisie and Priscilla were nurses during World War I; Douglas Partridge lost an arm in that war, and all three of Priscilla's beloved brothers were killed in action.

Now the whole nightmare looms again, as Maisie is reluctantly recruited by the British Secret Service to look into the troubling death of a Belgian refugee from the last war, who stayed on in Britain, married an English woman, and raised a family.  Frederick Addens was found dead near his workplace just after picking up his pay packet, and Scotland Yard has written off the case as a robbery gone bad. But evidence at the scene suggests Addens was on his knees when he was shot execution style, in the back of the head.

Francesca Thomas, one of Maisie's contacts with the Secret Service, was herself a Belgian Resistance leader in the last war, and knew Addens as a boy, when he first arrived with other refugees. She's not satisfied with Scotland Yard's explanation, and wants Maisie to look further into the matter.

Maisie agrees to take the case, but suspects Thomas is not telling her everything she knows. As she begins her investigation, she uncovers other execution-style murders. The victims are all either former Belgian refugees or people who worked to resettle Belgian refugees.

Another fine historical mystery from Jacqueline Winspear that brings the past convincingly to life.

Click HERE for a review from Publishers Weekly.

Click HERE for a review from Kirkus.

Click HERE for a review from the New York Times Book Review.

Click HERE for a review from the New York Journal of Books.

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