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A sunlit weapon
2022
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In September 1942, British ferry pilot Jo Hardy is delivering a Spitfire to Biggin Hill Aerodrome when gunfire whistles her way. She later learns that another ferry pilot has also died flying the same route, and her fiancé was killed in the area a year previously. When she discovers coded material in a nearby barn, she heads straight to Maisie Dobbs, who faces a hard truth: these events may have compromised First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's upcoming diplomatic mission to the U K. With a 100,000 copy first printing.
Publishers Weekly Review
Agatha Award winner Winspear ups the ante for Maisie Dobbs in her suspenseful if flawed 17th mystery featuring the British psychologist/investigator (after 2021's The Consequences of Fear). In 1942, ferry pilot Jo Hardy consults Maisie after the plane she was flying over southeastern England was shot at by someone on the ground. The unidentified shooter was at a farm, and when Jo visits the scene, she finds a Black American private, Matthias Crittenden, bound and gagged in one of the buildings. Despite that condition, Crittenden is suspected of being involved in the disappearance of a fellow private and is taken into military custody. Maisie's probing uncovers some coded messages at the spot where Crittenden was held captive, which her husband, Mark Scott, an American political attaché, discloses relate to a German plot to kill Eleanor Roosevelt on her goodwill tour of Britain. Meanwhile, Dobbs must also address her adopted daughter Anna's disturbing clingy behavior. The plot has more than its fair share of contrivances, including one involving the headmistress of Anna's school that almost drags down the entire book. Series fans will find the characters' personal development gratifying. (Mar.)
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