SPOILER ALERT: This was definitely one of the better books in the series. Maisie seemed more human, though, once again, clues were kept from the reader. An annoying habit Ms. Winspear can't seem to break. I was glad to see Maisie relied more on solid detective work, however, and not mainly on gut feeling (although, at times, she did seem to piece clues together out of thin air). I had an inkling in the previous book or two that James Compton might play a more important role in Maisie's life and I'm glad I was right. There is definitely more chemistry there than with previous relationships, the most glaring mismatch being Inspector Stratton. Their conversations were so forced, I used to wince reading them. I'm glad Ms. Winspear had the courage to leave that behind and find a match which worked better. I only hope Maisie and James can weather any upcoming difficulties. And there will probably be plenty when getting a hint of the changes in store for Maisie. Which brings me to the main problems I had with the book.
The reading of the will at the end was quite boring. I guess it was needed, but still. Yawn. And the series seems like it may take a turn toward espionage. Why do so many mystery writers decide to take this turn? Usually I am left disappointed. I guess only time will tell if Ms. Winspear can pull it off.
While Maurice's death was sad for Maisie, I think his character had run out of steam and I'm not entirely disappointed to see him go. Not to mention, he will always be in Maisie's thoughts. And for once, much to my surprise, Maisie wasn't constantly checking a watch or clock. Her obsessive behavior seems to be getting better. Oh, and I'm still waiting for my favorite character, Billy, to leave for Canada. I have a feeling it's in the offing. A new life seems to be awaiting Maisie in the upcoming books and I don't see how Billy can be a part of it.