Maisie and her former mentor, Maurice Blanche, are still estranged after their conflict last year over Maurice's secrets. The Beales are still mourning the loss of their young daughter, Lizzie. The sputtering economy of the early thirties is putting a strain on everything, including Maisie's business. It's a relief when James Compton brings her a seemingly straightforward case that sends Maisie and the Beales to the village of Heronsdene, in Kent, to investigate some odd events around some property he's planning to purchase for the Compton Company.
There have been a rash of petty crimes, burglaries, thefts, and, more seriously, a series of potentially dangerous arson fires, these always on or near the anniversary of a zeppelin raid during the war, which killed the village's baker and his wife and daughter.
What seems straightforward becomes unexpectedly complicated and painfully personal for Maisie, as Heronsdene's dark secret forces her to confront her own loss, grief, and emotional scars from the war.
Winspear convincingly captures the experiences of an independent woman between the wars, and allows Maisie to grow and develop in every story. It's a humane look at some very painful issues, and told in elegantly readable form.
I borrowed this book from a friend.