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Leaving Everything Most Loved
Winspeare said that this was book was going to change the entire playing field and the woman did not lie. She changed almost everything we were familiar with over the course of the book.
I have loved every one of these stories even when I got a little annoyed with the character of Maisie for clinging to tightly to her past and not moving on as fast as I thought she ought to. I am no longer annoyed. Plus she managed to change everything while leaving all the bare bones of the series firmly in place. This book just came out and I am already wishing for the next one.
And as for the mystery, I didn't figure it who-done-it until the very end. I absolutely love twisty mysteries and this one had a grand twist at the end. The book reminds us that regardless of how much we want to see Masie and James wrapped in each others arms Winspeare is a mystery writer and any romance that floats by is strictly secondary and is meant to advance the plot only.
I grew up watching Perry Mason mystery in the early days of TV and my brother and I competed every week to see which one of us could figure out the Grand Denouement first. I'll admit I had an advantage over him for a while because whoever casted the shows had a weakness for weak chins and all I had to do was look to see which character had one and I had the killer. But eventually he figured this out for himself and I had to fall back on thinking which is not usually my brain's default position.
And I say this in every review that I write for the Maisie books. Winspeare is probably better than any other writer of mysteries set in this era. She does such a good job of setting the atmosphere of time and place that the reader is left as fly on wall as they experience the story in whatever format they have chosen.
And, as a personal note to whoever reads this comment. I know I am sounding a little gushy but if you have read any of my journal entries in the past you know that I pretty much call them as I see them. It has gotten me quite a few negative votes on amazon and a few on audible. But happily I am not running for election to anything and I paid for my book and am not obligated to write a positive review for anyone so I will continue always to call them as I see them.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
I have loved this series! Maisie Dobbs remains an admirable commentator on both the difficult and admirable social changes taking place in Post-WWI-Britain. This book is no exception, in that it deals with the post-Empire immigration struggles which brought new vitality but also often-resisted change to all of Europe's countries.
That said, Maisie has alas become a very predictable character. Her ambivalence about her relationships, her origins, and her wealth are becoming a bit stale. This once intriguingly different woman is too often now just too good to be true. And the increasingly syrupy narration of Orlagh Cassidy has not helped.
I hope the ending of this addition to the series foretells a vibrant, new direction for Maisie. The 1930s are advancing, and all her readers know what is coming for Britain within the next decade. Here's hoping Winspear returns to form as WWII approaches!
21 of 22 people found this review helpful