As always I'm behind with reviews... right back into June for one of these in fact. I'm reading a lot faster than I can review at the moment and at some stage I'm just going to have to concede that I can't review everything, try as I might.
First up, Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear.
Maisie is unsettled. She feels as though she's reached some kind of crossroads in her life and that it's concerned with travelling, - with following in the footsteps of her late mentor Maurice Blanche and going to India. The trouble is, she's engaged to be married and her fiance, James, is off to Canada and wants her to go with him. It's a dilemma she's trying to deal with when an Indian man asks her to take on the case of the death of his sister, Usha Pramal. Usha had travelled to England as a governess with a family but for some reason left them and ended up in a hostel run for Indian ayahs cast out by English families who no longer need their services. How she ended up dead by the side of a canal is a shocking mystery and Maisie takes the case on after the police had failed to get anywhere. Another case Maisie takes on involves a missing teenage boy so she's busy enough to keep her mind off her current dilemmas. Indian women being brought back to England to continue working with families they worked for in India and then being dismissed when they were no longer needed, in a foreign country, was not something that I was previously aware was happening in the 1930s. So I learnt something from this book. To be honest I learn something every time I pick up a Maisie Dobbs book. Jacqueline Winspear has a habit of finding a new slant on known issues that I'd never thought of before or even issues I'd never even heard of like this one. I like how much her books make me 'think'. I can also understand Maisie's personal problems and will be very interested to see what she does next. I understand the next book, A Dangerous Place, is set on Gibraltar so that should be rather interesting. Of course WW2 is fast approaching in the books and I'm fascinated to see how that's handled in this excellent series.
Next, The Searcher by Tana French.
Lastly, Swansong by Damien Boyd.
This is the fourth book in the author's 'DI Nick Dixon' series, set in Somerset in areas I know very well. In this installment Nick goes under cover to work as a trainee teacher in a boarding school in Taunton. A girl has been found dead in the school grounds, murdered with her ring finger cut off. What Nick hasn't told his boss is that the case mirrors a murder that happened at his old boarding school, when he was sixteen, and his then girlfriend was killed. The crime was never solved. Nick feels certain that it's the same killer and now feels in a position to find his girlfriend's murderer but really he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near this case. I like school based fiction so rather enjoyed this one. It's very much a police procedural yarn with lots of twists and turns and dashing up and down the M5 in a Landrover! I wouldn't fancy trying to do that in the middle of summer (this was set in December). So, a very pacey story with a lot going on and I really do enjoy the 'local to me' aspect of this series.