Thursday, June 4, 2009
An Incomplete Revenge
I won the fifth book in the Maisie Dobbs series, An Incomplete Revenge, from Iliana, ages ago and I've just finally read it. The only reason I put it off is because I wanted to save it for just the moment and I finally found the right one.
I really, really liked this episode in the story of Maisie, in fact, I think this might be my second favorite after the original, Maisie Dobbs. It feels like going back to the basics in many ways. The romantic story lines from the recent books are completely absent here and Maisie is forced to come to terms with issues in her past that go back to the first back. We as readers also get to know Maisie better through this tale, making this a really great read.
So what is it about? Well, Billy Beale is off on vacation, a rather sad vacation actually, that involves traveling with the family out to the countryside to live in huts and pick hops. I suppose this was the only way the working class could afford a little time outside the city. Maisie has been hired by an old friend to seek out information about some property he wants to purchase and learn about some oddities in the town where it is situated. Naturally this town happens to be located just where Billy is. Gypsies have come to pick hops as well; the townspeople are suspicious of them while Maisie gains their trust and we learn about their unique ways. As is often the case, the secrets this town protects go back to the War and Maisie finds herself investigating suspicious yearly fires, crimes of theft, and a deadly Zeppelin raid that killed an entire family. It is truly a tale of tragedy, but as always, Maisie wraps up the case nicely and all secrets are revealed.
Naturally, I recommend this book and the entire series. I can hardly keep my hands off the sixth book, but I am going to make myself wait. It will be interesting to see if Winspear brings the element of romance back (do you think people didn't like it?) as well as the fate of Billy. It seems eventually he will move on - it won't be easy to find someone to take his place as Maisie's right hand man.