Winspear’s subpar 12th Maisie Dobbs novel (after 2015’s A Dangerous Place) finds Maisie still struggling with a double tragedy. Her beloved husband, James, died during the test of an experimental fighter plane, and the shock of witnessing the accident caused Maisie to miscarry. Meanwhile, the British Secret Service taps her for a mission into Nazi Germany on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938. Engineer Leon Donat is being held in Dachau after being arrested for involvement in the production of an underground newspaper. The Germans agree to release Donat but only to a family member. Since his one surviving relative, his grown daughter, is seriously ill, Maisie is to impersonate her to gain Donat’s freedom. As if that assignment isn’t perilous enough, Maisie also agrees to look for a woman who has disappeared in Munich, the person who should have piloted the fighter instead of James. Maisie is unconvincing as an undercover operative, and the plot relies too heavily on contrivances. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/25/2016 Release date: 03/01/2016 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.