When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered at her London flat, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. They are joined by an agent from the US Department of Justice—Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie get out of Hitler’s Munich in 1938. MacFarlane asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon’s death.
As the Germans unleash the full terror of their blitzkrieg upon the British Isles, raining death and destruction from the skies, Maisie must balance the demands of solving this dangerous case with her need to protect Anna, the young evacuee she has grown to love and wants to adopt. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue being played out in Britain, Maisie will face losing her dearest friend—and the possibility that she might be falling in love again.
I’m sure fans of Maisie Dobbs have eagerly awaited this new book in the series. She is, however, new to me but I found it quite easy to read as a stand-alone book. Mind you as I read I felt that it would certainly be interesting to read the previous books.
Jacqueline Winspear writes with the assuredness of the seasoned author she is, conjuring up London during the blitz right before your eyes and you are living it with the characters. And what characters! Maisie is wonderful and, of the time, I could see her as quite the role-model. Not only does she volunteer as ambulance crew in war torn London, has ties to the Secret Service, has what looks like a very interesting back story but she also has her own investigative agency and is currently applying to adopt Anna. So life is busy enough when an old friend, Robert MacFarlane, asks for her help with a murder investigation.
Catherine Saxon, an American citizen, has been found dead. Will Maisie work with the American representative Mark Scott to find out what happened? Maisie was reluctant to get involved until she heard who the dead person was – she had just met Catherine, a journalist, who was writing a piece on the Blitz. She had joined Maisie and her co-volunteer and great friend Priscilla shortly before her death. Maisie had felt a sort of bond with Catherine, liked her even after such a brief encounter and so felt she deserved the truth to come out.
Mark has another agenda whilst in London turning up as it suits him he seems far more interested in Maisie than the investigation. MacFarlane wants the investigation to be sorted as quickly as possible without any issues arising with regard to Anglo-American relations or with regard to the work of the Secret Service. Still they both help out here and there.
So Maisie and her agency colleagues carry on with the investigation – checking stories, chasing leads and putting all the clues together. Has Catherine been killed because of something she wrote? Is there a connection to her past? Maisie chases down every lead to find out what happened and catch the killer.
This well written and engaging ‘cosy’ mystery murder has you hooked from the start not only in the chase for the murderer but because of the indomitable Maisie Dobbs and the vivid evocation of wartime London.
The threads of the mystery are expertly drawn together, having kept you guessing until the very end, when the killer is revealed in a rather tragic conclusion.
I can certainly recommend The American Agent and look forward to checking out the rest of this series.
With many thanks to A&B for an eCopy of The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me onto this wonderful BlogTour. Do catch up with threat of the Tour:-
Hardback / Allison & Busby / 26 March ’19 / £19.99
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. Jacqueline will be available for interviews, events and written features.
More info at: jacquelinewinspear.com
ALSO BY JACQUELINE WINSPEAR
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times best-sellers To Die but Once, In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, and Elegy for Eddie, as well as eight other best-selling Maisie Dobbs novels.
Her stand-alone novel, The Care and Management of Lies was also a New York Times bestseller, and a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
Winspear has won numerous prizes, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity Awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was named a New York Times Notable Book.
Maisie Dobbs: Birds of a Feather; Pardonable Lies; Messenger of Truth; An Incomplete Revenge; Among the Mad; The Mapping of Love and Death; A Lesson in Secrets; Elegy for Eddie; Leaving Everything Most Loved; The Care and Management of Lies; A Dangerous Place; Journey to Munich; In This Grave Hour; To Die but Once.
Also out on 26 March: What Would Maisie Do? – a collection of readers’ favorite passages from the Maisie Dobbs’ series, together with the story behind each passage, sections on locations featured in the books, and pages for journaling.
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