Months after her painful experiences in France and the rupture of her friendship with her mentor, Maurice Blanche, Maisie Dobbs is still recovering from her breakdown. She has returned to work before anyone thought she should, but she can't let go and relax; she needs to work.
The latest case comes to her through her Girton College past; another former student, journalist Georgina Bassington-Hope, consults a former professor about investigating her artist brother's death, and the professor recommends Maisie.
Nicholas Bassington-Hope, explosively popular post-war artist, has died in a fall from the scaffolding he was erecting for his deep-secret masterwork, which no one has seen, and which no one even knows the final form of, though it is presumed to be a triptich. Police immediately ruled the death to be an accident, and Georgina has no evidence that it's not--except for a twin sister's intuition.
Maisie finds herself investigating a large, confusing, artistic family, on the one hand, and an apparent smuggling ring on the other. Which are the real clues to Nick's death, and which the red herrings? Once again, the story revolves around the characters--of Maisie, her friends, her client, the dead artist, and their relatives.
Intriguing and enjoyable as always, although parts of the mystery are quite weak in this one.
I borrowed this book from a friend.