by Jacqueline Winspear (read August 2006) Rating: 5/5
I had seen this book reviewed on several different reading blogs. All comments were complimentary and since I love a good mystery I decided to give it a try. I was of the mindset that it was written ages ago and was a bit frothy, but not so. This novel was published in 2003, even though the cover makes it look like it came out in the 1930's.
Maisie sets up business as a private investigator in 1929. She starts out with a simple mystery to solve - tracking a wife's wereabouts while her husband is at work. But questions remain. Winespear deftly weaves together the present day mystery with the questions the reader has about Maisie's life prior to 1929. The characters were full-bodied and real - people you want to meet again. Luckily there are sequels and I can't wait to read them.
From the time she was a young girl, Maisie was tutored, first in school and later in private investigating, by Maurice Blanche. All the quotes I marked are advice from Maurice.
"Truths walk toward us on the paths of our questions. As soon as you think you have the answer, you have closed the path and may miss vital new information. Wait awhile in the stillness, and do not rush to conclusions, no matter how uncomfrotable the unknowing."
"Stay with the question. The more it troubles you, the more it has to teach you.
"Dawn is an almost mystical hour. A time when the light is most likely to deceive the eye, a time between sleep and waking. A time when a man is likely to be at his weakest. Dawn is a time when soft veils are draped across reality, creating illusion and cheating truth. It is said, it is darkest just before dawn."