March 27, 2013

Month of Maisie: Leaving Everything Most Loved


In the midst of my pregnancy brain fog (well, and the distraction of a ridiculous amount of vomiting), I totally lost track of what day it was.

Till I got a text alert from my bank that they charged me a $25 late fee on my credit card bill. "What?!" I exclaimed. "I always pay bills on time! And it's not due till the 24th. Oh. It's the 25th." After a longish phone call I got that one sorted out (and the fee waived, yippee!). And then I went to bed.

In the morning I woke up and thought, "Wait a minute... if yesterday was the 25th, then today is the 26th!" (I'm nothing if not a genius).

Which meant that first of all it was my youngest sister's birthday (Happy birthday Courtney!), and second that I needed to hurry up and read Leaving Everything Most Loved lickety-split, because I'd agreed to host the TLC Book Tour spot for the book on March 27th.

Luckily Eleanor and I had minimal plans, and she actually napped, so I was able to read the whole book yesterday.

At first I started out reading rather frantically, because I was irritated with myself for being so unreliable lately. But, as usual, Jacqueline Winspear captured me with her thoughtful prose, and I slowed my pace to savor Maisie Dobb's 1933 London world.

In Leaving Everything Most Loved Maisie is at a crossroads: both professionally and in her personal life. She feels a strong desire to travel to the Indian subcontinent, as her mentor Maurice Blanche did, but she's not sure how to leave her business and her father, and James Compton, the man she loves.

As happenstance would have it, just at this moment Scotland Yard comes asking for Maisie's assistance in investigating the murder of Usha Pramal, an Indian woman who was found shot in the head. Scotland Yard was unable to solve the case at the time of her death, two months earlier, but now her brother has arrived from India, and is making a bit of a fuss about their inefficiency.

Maisie is fascinated by Usha Pramal's story, and by the larger story of Indian culture that her brother shares. Indians in London in this era face a significant amount of discrimination, which Maisie believes may have contributed to Usha's death. And, as usual, coincidences play a large part in Maisie's investigation: tying together an ongoing case and some people Maisie met in another investigation with Usha's story.

As Maisie delves further into the case - trying to discover why Usha would leave everything she most loved in India - she's even more conflicted about leaving behind everything she most loves, and heading to India. The synchronicity is tidy, the mystery is interesting, and the end of the book leaves Maisie's future intriguingly open.

I've long loved Maisie Dobbs, and Leaving Everything Most Loved was no exception. I'm looking forward to seeing what Jacqueline Winspear does next with the series.

And, I'm going to try to start looking at the calendar more often...

Are you a Maisie fan?

This post contains affiliate links. TLC Book Tours provided me with a review copy of the book.