Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs #4) by Jacqueline Winspear: A Book Review

Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs #4)
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 337
Source: My State Public Library
 Synopsis: Maisie Dobbs investigates the mysterious death of a controversial artist—and World War I veteran—in the fourth entry in the bestselling series.

London, 1931. The night before an exhibition of his artwork opens at a famed Mayfair gallery, the controversial artist Nick Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police rule it an accident, but Nick's twin sister, Georgina, a wartime journalist and a infamous figure in her own right, isn't convinced.

When the authorities refuse to consider her theory that Nick was murdered, Georgina seeks out a fellow graduate from Girton College, Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, for help. Nick was a veteran of World War I, and before long the case leads Maisie to the desolate beaches of Dungeness in Kent, and into the sinister underbelly of the city's art world.

In Messenger of Truth, Maisie once again uncovers the perilous legacy of the Great War in a society struggling to recollect itself. But to solve the mystery of Nick's death, Maisie will have to keep her head as the forces behind the artist's fall come out of the shadows to silence her.

Following on the bestselling Pardonable Lies, Jacqueline Winspear delivers another vivid, thrilling, and utterly unique episode in the life of Maisie Dobbs.

     My Review: Nick, a new artist, falls to his death on the night before his opening exhibition. His sister believes that his death is not an accident and hires Maisie to investigate. She quickly learns that Nick's painting revealed a secret that someone wants to remain hidden. The clue to the secret lies in the events of WWI. Maisie also enters the art world and see the darkness that surrounds the glamouring facade. She also awakens her own interest in art.

     In my review of Pardonable Lies, I praised Maisie for being very relatable. In this novel, it was the opposite. I did not sympathise with her during her drama and thought that she deserved the consequences that came to her. She gives her mentor the cold shoulder. She also avoids her boyfriend without a reason to do so. She is very cold and distant, and I couldn’t fully understand her. I did not buy into the idea that Maisie is an independent woman. Instead, I saw her as a selfish woman who does not care about other people’s feelings. Thus, in Messenger of Truth, Maisie frustrated me the most of the series’ novels.

     Overall, this book is about secrets, art, and truth. The supporting characters in this novel did not seem very well developed and were very one-dimensional. The mystery was mostly in the background as it focused on Maisie’s drama. Personally, Messenger of Truth would have been much better if we took her drama out completely. The mystery itself was very compelling until it revealed who the killer was. The identity of the killer disappointed me and made the mystery fall flat. While this is not my favorite in the series, I’m eager to read the next novel, An Incomplete Revenge to see how she develops. Thus, this novel was not her best, but it was a very quick read. So far, reading the Maisie Dobbs series has been a fun, light time to spend an afternoon.

Rating: 2½  out of 5 stars

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