Birds of a Feather
In this second entry in the series, Maisie Dobbs has been hired by a grocery store magnate to find his daughter. This is not the first time she has run away, but it is the first time her father has been unable to locate her. Charlotte Waite is 32 years old, but her father feels strongly that the only place for her to live is at home. The search becomes more urgent when a school friend of Charlotte’s is murdered.
Although it is 1930, the effects of the Great War are still felt keenly. Maisie’s assistant, Billy, is increasingly plagued by pain in his leg injured at the Battle of Messines. Maisie is struck by the memorial to those employees of Waite’s International Stores who were lost during the war: a memorial which can be found in every Waite’s branch. And several characters regularly visit veterans who were severely wounded.
Some of the memorable characters from the first book, Maurice Blanche, Maisie’s teacher and mentor; Detective Inspector Stratton; and Lady Rowan, who has made Maisie’s new life and career possible, play smaller roles this time. The focus is on Maisie and Billy, and on Maisie’s father. Winspear’s feel for the period and her descriptions make the era come alive. A situation intimately connected with the time provides the basis for the mystery, which is well-plotted and suspenseful. I look forward to the third book in the series.