Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs #4)
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Published: August 22, 2006
Hardcover: 322 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): London, 1931. On the night before the opening of his new and much-anticipated exhibition at a famed Mayfair gallery, Nicholas Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police declare the fall an accident, but the dead man's twin sister, Georgina, isn't convinced. When the authorities refuse to conduct further investigations and close the case, Georgina - a journalist and infamous figure in her own right - takes matters into her own hands, seeking out a fellow graduate from Girton College: Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. The case soon takes Maisie to the desolate beaches of Dungeness in Kent, as well as the sinister underbelly of the city's art world. And while navigating her way into the heart of the aristocratic yet bohemian Bassington-Hopes, Maisie is deeply troubled by the tragedy of another, quite different family in need. In Messenger of Truth, Maisie Dobbs again uncovers the dark legacy of the Great War in a society struggling to recollect itself in difficult times. But to solve the mystery of the artist's death, she will have to remain steady as the forces behind his death come out of the shadows to silence her.
My Thoughts: Another great story in the Maisie Dobbs series, Jacqueline Winspear takes the reader into the London art world as Maisie tries to figure out if an artist's death was an accident or murder. As in the previous novels, the first World War plays a part in this story, as the artist fought and then created propaganda art for the war effort. But, as more time has passed between the crime and the war, Winspear starts exploring more of the social issues that are rampant in London. Focusing the poor (we are in the Great Depression during this story), the welfare of the poor, sickness and death among children, Winspear pulls the reader into London in the 1930s and, I feel, creates a stronger bond between the reader and the characters.
I really did enjoy this book, but I was a bit distracted during the reading, so I felt as if the story was choppy, that could also be attributed to my lack of reading everyday. Maisie is definitely growing as a character and learning more about herself. I enjoy the way that Winspear is developing Maisie, which doesn't make this seem as if it's a washed out series. I do hope that Winspear continues to use the issues that were occurring during the 1930s to continue with this series, because I feel that it's becoming harded to write about the war when we are now so far removed from it. I can't wait to see what the fifth book in this series is about and continue reading more of Maisie Dobbs.