Publication date: Reprint edition April 8, 2014 by Harper Perennial
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest review
London, 1933. Two months after Usha Pramal’s body is discovered in the waters of a city canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs for help. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, but evidence indicates they failed to conduct a full investigation. Usha had been staying at an ayah’s hostel, a refuge for Indian women. As Maisie learns, Usha was different from the hostel’s other residents. But with this discovery comes new danger, as a fellow lodger who was close to Usha is found murdered.
As Maisie is pulled deeper into an unfamiliar yet captivating subculture, her investigation becomes clouded by the unfinished business of a previous case, and by a growing desire to see more of the world. At the same time, her lover, James Compton, 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 signals a vital turning point in this remarkable series.
As usual, I was happy for the opportunity to read and review a new Maisie Dobbs book. I really enjoy reading about the character - an intelligent, well-educated female detective who places importance on taking the time for deep thought and bettering herself throughout her life.
A young woman from India named Usha Pramal is murdered and the investigation into her death becomes stagnant and almost forgotten until her brother arrives and asks Maisie Dobbs to look into it. Maisie is up for the challenge even though she is also dealing with other issues. Billy Beale, Maisie's assistant, hasn't fully recovered from an injury received on a different case. He is displaying erratic temper and a worrisome lack of concentration. On top of this, Maisie is feeling pressure from James Compton to make a decision about his marriage proposal, but Maisie has a desire to travel and explore more of the world.
It is in the midst of this turmoil that Maisie must pursue the evidence to find the person who killed Usha. The investigation not only eventually reveals the murderer, but it also deals with prejudice, people who profess to be doing God's work but are actually profiting from the misfortunes of displaced Indian women, broken families and a certain mystical aspect to Usha herself.
Leaving Everything Most Loved seems to be a sort of wrap up of a certain period in Maisie's life and there are transitions for her and for Billy. I felt the relationship between Maisie and Billy had changed over time and their lives are about to change in major ways.
I did wonder how common or accurate the depiction of the relationship between Maisie and James was. Would their cohabitation be frowned upon or would their high social and economic status quiet any possible scandal? I don't know, but I found it interesting. And I was glad to see Maisie contemplating big changes in her life and following her own path. It feels like the time is right for her to attempt a new venture. I am curious to see where their relationship goes in the future.
I look forward to reading about Maisie's new adventures and I feel certain that there will be many interesting and possibly exotic locales for her to explore.
Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, www.jacquelinewinspear.com, and find her on Facebook.
Jacqueline’s Tour StopsTuesday, April 8th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, April 9th: Col Reads
Thursday, April 10th: Book Addict Katie
Monday, April 14th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, April 16th: A Book Geek
Thursday, April 17th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, April 21st: Book Dilettante
Tuesday, April 22nd: Peppermint PhD
Wednesday, April 23rd: The Reader’s Hollow
Thursday, April 24th: Mel’s Shelves