Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on 6 January 2013
Maisie leaves London and heads to Kent in the middle of hopping season to undertake some investigations into a brickworks and the surrounding village.
While I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series (if you're completely unfamiliar, think post-WW1 solo female detective, a former nurse with painful history), there are several elements to the series that don't click with me - Maisie's psychic abilities are up there (I like fantasy, I just don't like psychics in historical fiction), as is her overly formal thought process and communication with other people. Maisie is supposed to draw people in and have them confide in her, and yet it puzzles me sometimes why people do so when faced with her cold calm exterior.
In this book, we get some sort of explanation for Maisie's psychic gifts when we discover she has Gypsy heritage. *sigh* A little romanticised and... well, silly, for my taste, but it doesn't overwhelm the story, which is a nice little mystery firmly rooted in the War, as are most of Maisie's investigations. I do like the way this series brings to life post-war England, and the way the war has affected so many lives, the very heart and spirit of the country.
Maisie has to let go of a painful link to her past, and it is nice to see a consistent maturing of her character as the books go on. I will definitely keep reading these, despite never rating them too highly - I like Maisie despite myself.