Maisie Dobbs is back, and her private investigation business is growing despite the difficult economy. She's also starting to spread her wings a bit, to operate a bit more independently of her mentor, Maurice Blanche.
Then Lord Julian Compton, whose family helped her get an education and start her business, asks her to take on a case for a friend. His son was a pilot killed in the First World War, but his body was not returned and his wife never believed in their son's death. On her deathbed, she made her husband promise to find him.
While Maisie is struggling a bit with whether she wants to go to France to investigate Rafe Lawton's death, and risk revisiting the scenes of her own traumatic experiences in the war, her friend Priscilla Partridge asks for her own investigation: find the place where her brother, Peter Evernden, died.
For Maisie, it's a journey through the dark heart of the war, compounded by a discovery about Maurice that leaves her feeling confused and betrayed. She's forced to confront her own feelings, as well as learning secrets the families involved might be happier not knowing.
It's another pretty good mystery, layered around an insightful look at Britain between the wars, and the slow, rich development of Maisie's character.
I borrowed this book from a friend.