Book Review : Leaving Everything Most Loved, A Maisie Dobbs Novel
by Jacqueline Winspear
London, 1933. Two months after the body of an Indian woman named Usha Pramal is found in the brackish water of a South London canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs to find out the truth about her death. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, evidence indicates that they failed to conduct a full and thorough investigation.
Before her death, Usha was staying at an ayah’s hostel alongside Indian women whose British employers turned them out into the street–penniless and far from their homeland–when their services were no longer needed. As Maisie soon learns, Usha was different from the hostel’s other lodgers. But with this discovery comes new danger: another Indian woman who had information about Usha is found murdered before she can talk to Maisie.
As Maisie is pulled deeper into an unfamiliar yet captivating subculture, her investigation becomes clouded by the unfinished business of a previous case as well as a growing desire to see more of the world, following in the footsteps of her former mentor, Maurice Blanche. And there is her lover, James Compton, who gives her an ultimatum she cannot ignore.
Bringing a crucial chapter in the life and times of Maisie Dobbs to a close, Leaving Everything Most Loved marks a pivotal moment in this remarkable series.
(Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
One of the things I like about the Maisie Dobbs books is that they are not overly glamorous and sensational, however, they are thought provoking, provide historical insight and have wonderful characters. I particularly liked this Maise Dobb novel because it shows possible ramifications of British colonialization and prejudice. I also love a mystery when I am left with enough clues that I feel I should have been able to solve it, but can only guess “who done it” moments prior to the reveal.
Winspear did a wonderful job building the character Usha Pramal. Usha dies in the first few pages of the novel, but as the story progresses we learn more about what kind of woman she was and her fascinating personality and foibles. As I reflect back over this novel Usha is actually one of my favorite secondary characters in the series. Maisie has continued to grow in her deductive reasoning and believability as a detective. I am sorry that this novel seems to be a big set up for Maisie to let James go while she will continue to struggle with her demons of coming out of poverty and the affects of WWI. I would like to see Maisie be able to have a normal relationship that grows into love and marriage. Though balancing a career and marriage is perhaps too blasé for a mystery novel.
I highly recommend this series.
4 out of 5 stars