The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs, #15)by Published 26 Mar 2019
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Beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs, “one of the great fictional heroines” (Parade), investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz in a page-turning tale of love and war, terror and survival.
When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered in her London digs, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. He is accompanied by an agent from the US Department of Justice—Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie escape Hitler’s Munich in 1938. MacFarlane asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon’s death.
As the Germans unleash the full terror of their blitzkrieg upon the British Isles, raining death and destruction from the skies, Maisie must balance the demands of solving this dangerous case with her need to protect Anna, the young evacuee she has grown to love and wants to adopt. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue being played out in Britain, Maisie will face losing her dearest friend—and the possibility that she might be falling in love again.
The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs, #15) Reviews
I think one thing I appreciate most about Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series is the author's allowing her heroine and those in her universe to experience life's ups and downs without pulling any punches. Maisie has experienced tremendous loss in her life, but manages to take the losses and incorporate them into her psyche, growing and learning, however, painfully from each one. Her life representative of our shared human experience, making it is easy to empathize with Maisie and root for her happiness.
Of course, this is a mystery series and not, on the surface anyway, primarily concerned with the heroine's private life. In the American Agent, Maisie and best friend Pris are ambulance drivers in London during the Blitz. The death and destruction of this period are related to the American populace by radio or "wireless" broadcasts led by famed American journalist Edward R. Murrow. The United States, still in the throes of Isolationism following the Great War, is still reluctant to enter the fight against Hitler.
Catherine Saxon is a young reporter who is working with Murrow and hopes to bring America into the fray, despite the disapproval of her politician father and brother. Maisie is asked to investigate when Catherine is found with her throat slit in her rented London rooms. Since Catherine was an American citizen and the daughter of a senator, Maisie is paired with American Department of Justice Agent Mark Scott as she tries to identify the killer.
Actual transcripts of radio broadcasts from the era punctuate fast moving events and Maisie's lack of closure from a case years before influence her unraveling of this investigation. Her efforts to adopt her ward Anna and to resist her attraction to the mysterious Mark Scott, who has secrets of his own, make this 15th series entry particularly compelling as Maisie personal life takes some satisfying turns.
Winspear is a master of historical suspense and her respect and admiration for her characters is always evident. While each Maisie Dobbs is a not to missed experience, The American Agent is a series standout.
My thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for providing an egalley. My opinions are my own.
This story takes place in the 1940s during the London Blitz. Maisie Dobbs and her BFF, Priscilla Partridge served as ambulance drivers helping the wounded from the bombs dropped nightly on London. They meet Catherine Saxon, an American war correspondent on one of their drives. She is later MURDER and Maisie work the case with Robert MacFarlane an agent from America. Maisie is waiting for the approval to adopt Anna The twists and turns the tale takes before there is an answer to what happened to Catherine will hold your attention until the surprise ending. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK AND SERIES.
Disclosure: Many thanks to Edelweiss and Harper/Collins for a review copy. The opinions expressed are my own.
MAISIE RETURNS AS BLITZ RAINS TERROR ON LONDON
The latest in the beloved Maisie Dobbs’ series wins on all fronts! It features my fave historical mystery character during my fave historical period.
The victim, Catherine Saxon, is an American reporting from London during the Blitz. She’s as beautiful and feisty and real as Maisie, the forensic psychologist working with Scotland Yard and the American government to uncover her killer.
The Kennedys figure secretly into this WWII book of intrigue. And Maisie falls in love again, her intended as worthy a partner as she. What more could a reader require?
Well let me tell you what the blessed reader gets! Stellar writing, spot-on insights into human nature (a particular Winspear strength), secondary characters as compelling as the leads, cinematic descriptions that seize the heart as Nazi bombs whistle, Brits race to shelters, grievously injured children are dug from rubble. I’ve read all 14 previous books in the series and find this newest touches me as deeply as the self-named first, which gobsmacked me from page one.
Maisie brings a soulful touch to her work. Here, her attention to the victim’s body is described: “She reached under the sheet and took Catherine Saxon’s hand. ‘Thank you,’ she whispered....’Thank you for being brave in all the places where you traveled to tell stories of the people. You will not be forgotten, Catherine. And I will find out who took your life. Bless you, and may you know peace.’”
I was deeply moved, too, when a quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning becomes a significant clue: “Loved, when so you’re loved again.” Although from a previous case, it slips from Maudie’s subconscious, revealing truths about Catherine’s killer and portending new love for Maisie herself.
Oh, how I pine to learn Maisie’s new life with her new love but will have to wait, as all Winspear’s readers will have to do. 2020 cannot come soon enough!
The author also just released WHAT WOULD MAISIE DO?, a “collection of readers’ favorite passages from the Maisie Dobbs’ series, together with the story behind each passage, sections on locations featured in the books, and pages for journaling.”
Both books are available from Amazon, your fave independent bookstore and through links on the author’s website: jacquelinewinspear.com.
Jacqueline Winspear manages to keep writing interesting stories and appealing characters even after fifteen books. This is my favourite of the series so far.
She can always be counted on to provide a sound, factual, historical back ground. The American Agent is set during the London Blitz of 1940/41 and the atmosphere of fear and bravery combined is perfectly presented. Maisie is driving ambulances in the streets of London, retrieving the injured, as bombs fall all around.
Of course in wartime there are many deaths but Maisie comes across one that she believes is murder and she very quickly begins an investigation. Her work brings her back in touch with the American agent of the title who has appeared in an earlier book. Is this the start of a new relationship?
So there is an intriguing mystery set against the backdrop of London and Kent with the citizens either busy trying to maintain everyday life or hiding from the bombs which are falling nearly every night. All very well written and making an excellent read. Highly recommended.
Maisie Dobbs is just one of my favorite mystery series! Winspear does a fabulous job of incorporating the time and place. This book takes place during the Blitz of London and you really get a feel for what that might have been like.