Opening sentence: “Tonight I joined the women of the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service as they rushed to the aid of civilians caught in the relentless bombing of this brave city.”
Welcome to my stop on this wonderful blog tour! The American Agent is the 15th outing for crime investigator, Maisie Dobbs, but don’t worry if – like me – you’re not actually up to speed on the previous 14 books; this works as a standalone read. Jacqueline Winspear skillfully drops in just the right amount of information about Maisie, so you learn a little about her past and what’s brought her to the situation she’s in now.
Set in London during WWII, Maisie splits her time between investigating crimes and volunteering on the ambulances to help the war effort. She is asked to assist on the case of an American journalist, Catherine Saxon, who is murdered in London. Was Catherine killed for something she has uncovered in her work, or is something else at play? Maisie must get to the bottom of it, all while keeping herself safe from falling bombs. Along with the murder mystery element, there’s a little romance, a pivotal moment in Maisie’s family life and high-drama with her friends.
That wonderful nostalgic sense of British camaraderie – everyone chipping in to just get on with things – even when bombs are raining down is captured in these pages. The positive outlook of so many of the characters is quite infectious, so despite the themes of murder and war, the overall tone of the book is enjoyably light. I would liken The American Agent to a Sunday night BBC drama; it keeps you hooked and there are moments of suspense, but all with a decidedly cosy feel.
This was my first encounter with Maisie and due to both her charming character and the interesting story snippets that were revealed about her past, I’d be very intrigued to have a little read through her back-catalogue.
/ Published by Allison & Busby March 2019
/ 356 pages
/ Rating: 4/5
About the Author:
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in Kent and emigrated to the USA in 1990. She has written extensively for journals, newspapers and magazines, and has worked in book publishing on both sides of the Atlantic. The Maisie Dobbs series of crime novels is beloved by readers worldwide – always going into the New York Times top 10 on publication.
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