Monday, September 9, 2013

Jacqueline Winspear takes Maisie Dobbs into harrowing memories of WWI


Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather (336 pages, Penguin, $16) is another of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs novels.  Set in 1930, this novel begins when Maisie is called to the offices of a difficult wealthy financier.  Maisie is meant to find his daughter who has gone missing.

Maisie is happy to take on this case, but as she makes inquiries about the girl and her friends, it turns out that some other girls that were associated with the missing girl have been murdered in suspicious circumstances.

Winspear does a wonderful job of creating a feeling of that era between the wars, and she creates the war as a memory for her characters very beautifully.  In this case, it seems to have something to do with the war, that these women were together before the war and that they have hardly socialized since.  What holds them together, or why the young heiress has fled, are all baffling to Maisie.

She seems to unravel the mystery and find the girl almost at the same time, but that does not really tell her what she is to do about the situation.  She has a young heiress who does not want to go home, several other girls who have been murdered, and a man who hardly deserves to be called the girl's father.

This is a case for Maisie Dobbs, and all I can say is she pulls it off beautifully.  That is another way of saying that Winspear is at her most deft in bringing all the details of this plot into an effective resolution.

Jacqueline Winspear

Birds of a Feather is available at Powell's, Vroman's and Amazon.

No comments:

Post a Comment