Rated 4.5 Stars
I think this is my favorite book in the series thus far. The mystery plots in this series have always been excellent and carried a heroine that I wasn't always sympathetic with. She could come across cold and way, way too uptight. Sometimes I wanted to shout "for heaven's sake girl, lighten up!" at the book.
I have read so many books both fiction and non fiction that were set in this time period that I took as a given that men who had served in the war would go through a period of depression or would have been changed forever by there experiences. I had never thought to apply the same behaviors to the women who had been through many of the same experiences. So now I am wondering if the author is becoming more comfortable with her characters or has done a very clever job of aging her characters. Maisie has indeed "lightened up" as this series has progressed.
It took her a long time to get over Simon and I sincerely hope her relationship with James will survive the future. With WWII looming and the broad hints thrown out about future demands from the Foreign Office it looks like busy times are ahead for everyone.
The sixth Maisie Dobbs mystery, set in England between the wars, is based on a true story about the discovery of a collapsed dugout from World War I containing the bodies of a cartography team and their equipment. The American parents of the dead cartographer hire Maisie to find "the English Nurse," the young man's mysterious lover—and possibly his killer, as the autopsy evidence points to his having been murdered shortly before the dugout collapsed. Only a few hours after having hired Maisie, the Americans are attacked and badly beaten, prompting Maisie to take it upon herself to discover their attacker. Maisie and her assistant, Billy, take on the case in their usual careful and contemplative style, even as difficulties in Maisie's personal life challenge her concentration. Readers who preferred the earlier novels in the series will be pleased with this entry and those waiting for Maisie to finally find a love interest will have something to cheer about.