In This Grave Hour is the thirteenth Maisie Dobb’s book, and as the title suggests, WWII has just been declared. As with any long running series, some books are better than others. In the early stages of this one, I thought we had one of the lesser Maisie’s on our hands. It felt a little clunky, like it was trying too hard to find the Maisie magic of old.
But as we went along, the pace picked up and Winspear found her groove. The regular, much-loved cast of characters add the heart and soul to this story and they all got a chance to shine in this story, especially Maisie’s dad, who I just adore.
The crime centred around the revenge-styled murders of Belgium refugees from WWI, but the emotional heart of the story involved the children evacuated from London during the early days of the wars announcement. Maisie also got to revisit an old flame in the guise of Richard Stratton, recalled to London to help with the war effort.
After feeling so fearful for Priscilla’s young adults sons in the previous book, In This Grave Hour brings the sense of tension back a few notches. This reflected the anti-climax that occurred in England after the initial announcement when nothing actually happened, leading the early stages of WWII to be called the phoney war or the bore war.
In This Grave Hour was not Maisie’s best work, but she’s such a lovely, comfort read for me, that I will forgive many sins, just to disappear into her world for a while. Her happy mix of empathy and rational thought is a combination that I find endearing and admirable. Spending time with such kind hearted, well-meaning people will always feel like a good thing to do.
Maisie Dobbs #1
Maisie Dobbs #2 Birds of a Feather
Maisie Dobbs #3 Pardonable Lies
Maisie Dobbs #4 Messenger of Truth
Maisie Dobbs #5 An Incomplete Revenge
Maisie Dobbs #6 Among the Mad
Maisie Dobbs #7 The Mapping of Love and Death
Maisie Dobbs #8 A Lesson in Secrets
Maisie Dobbs #9 Elegy for Eddie
Maisie Dobbs #10 Leaving Everything Most Loved
Maisie Dobbs #11 A Dangerous Place
Maisie Dobbs #12 Journey to Munich
Maisie Dobbs #13 In This Grave Hour
Maisie Dobbs #14 To Die But Once