Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
Published by Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0062049605
Hardcover, $26.99, 352 pages
Leaving Everything Most Loved is the tenth Maisie book, and big changes are afoot for Maisie. She is still living with James, but their relationship hasn't moved any closer to marriage, although James would like that. He keeps asking, but Maisie fears that marriage means giving up her career and the business she has built. I do find it interesting that in 1930s England there seems to be little disapproval of their living arrangement.
Maisie's case involves the murder of an Indian woman, Usha, who worked as a governess for an English family. Usha was a beautiful woman, and highly thought of by most people who came in contact with her. The police don't seem very interested in finding her killer, so Usha's brother arrives from India seeking Maisie's assistance.
Once again, we get a real feel for the atmosphere in 1930's London, and again Winspear tackles a societal issue. This time we see the problems that Indian immigrants, particularly women, faced. People fear things that are different, and that fear can manifest itself in prejudice. I always enjoy how Winspear relates the issues of the past with problems that still exist today.
One of my favorite characters, Maisie's assistant Billy, is having problems. He was severely beaten on the last case, and he is having a difficult time dealing with the aftermath. This troubles Maisie greatly. Billy and his family have faced many tribulations, and she wants to help, but is uncertain as to how.
Maisie is also having her own crisis. She feels restless and would like to see some more of the world, to travel like her deceased mentor Dr. Maurice Blanche did. But leaving means leaving her father behind, and closing her business and leaving her employees without work. James is going to Canada for awhile and would like Maisie to come with him as his wife.
This tenth novel continues Maisie's introspective look at her life that has been building in the last few novels. You can feel it all coming to a resolution in this tenth book, which beautifully sets up the next novel.
One thing I always enjoy in the Maisie novels are the descriptions of Maisie's beautiful outfits. This time, though, we get wonderful vivid descriptions of Usha's saris and the way she decorated her boarding house room. You can see it all in your mind's eye.
They mystery of who killed Usha is resolved, and as usual Winspear throws in enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing. This is another solid entry in the Maisie Dobbs series, but I don't know if I can wait until next March to find out what happens next.
rating 4 of 5
Jacqueline Wisnpear's website is here.