The dark woman Mrs. Edith Billings watched was Usha Pramal, whose body is later found floating in a South London canal. In two months Usha's brother steps off the ship from India and demands to know why more hasn't been done to find his sister's killer. Detective Inspector Caldwell knows that Scotland Yard did very little to investigate this murder and asks Maisie Dobbs if she will help Mr. Pramal.
Maisie learns that Usha was staying at an ayah's hotel with other Indian women whose British employers turned them out into the street when their services were no longer needed. Another woman at the hotel, Maya Patel, was Usha's friend and has information for Maisie, but Maya is killed before she can share what she knows. This case finds Maisie at a crossroads. She finds the Indian culture captivating, and she longs to travel in the same spirit as her mentor, Maurice Blanche, but her lover has given her an ultimatum, and an unfinished case demands to be taken care of.
As usual, Jacqueline Winspear brings 1930s London-- and the mindsets of so many of its citizens-- to life. The mystery kept me guessing right through the book. However, as any faithful Maisie Dobbs devotee will tell you, the mysteries are first-rate, but that's not the real reason why we eagerly await each new book in the series.
We faithful come back for Maisie herself. Her life has changed dramatically since the very first book, and we have to see how she will adapt. This book, more than any other, shows that there could very well be some great changes in her life in the near future. Maisie still isn't completely comfortable with her inheritance, but she has seen that playing Lady Bountiful with her friends and employees isn't the best way to deal with it. It's taken her a long time to overcome the horror she experienced as a nurse at the front during World War I, but she now has a sense of what she wants from life-- and what she wants to give to it. I can't wait to see what's in store when next we meet this wonderful character that Jacqueline Winspear has created. Maisie Dobbs is a treasure.
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
Harper © 2013
Hardcover, 352 pages
Historical Mystery, #10 Maisie Dobbs mystery
Source: Amazon Vine