Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

It's 1931 and private detective Maisie Dobbs is hired to look into the life of Alfred Sandermere and the village of Heronsdene. Her client, James Compton, is interested in buying a brickworks and a large piece of land from Sandermere. But mysterious fires and vandalism has been happening with some regularity and Compton wants to make sure that it's a good investment. Maisie sends her assistant, Billy Beale, to do some investigating, since it's hop picking season in Kent and he's already there with his family. What Maisie and Billy find is the locals blaming the crimes on Londoners coming to pick hops and/or the gypsies that are in the area. The villagers also seem so unconcerned about the fires (i.e. not reporting them to the police) that Maisie knows there are secrets to uncover. The townspeople are also tight-lipped about a wartime Zeppelin raid. How are all these events connected? I really enjoy this mystery series and the insight it gives to the aftermath of World War I in England. In this book, there are already foreshadowings of what will be World War II. I hope Winspear writes this series long enough to explore that part of history, too. An Incomplete Revenge will be published in February.

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