Sunlit Weapon
by Winspear, Jacqueline






"A series of possible attacks on British pilots leads Jacqueline Winspear's beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs into a mystery involving First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt"-





There's a lot going on in the seventeenth Maisie Dobbs mystery starring the intrepid investigator. In summer 1942, Air Transport Authority ferry pilots, many of them women, are being shot at by a pistol-wielding assailant in Kent, England; a Black American soldier, found by one of the ferry pilots bound and seriously injured, is being held in the disappearance of another soldier; Eleanor Roosevelt, in England to observe Blitz-torn conditions in the UK, may be in danger; and Maisie's adopted daughter, of Maltese descent, is being bullied at her new school. Along with husband Mark, an American political attaché, Maisie lands in the middle of all these plot strains. Winspear manages the multifarious narratives with aplomb, excelling both in her portraits of the female ferry pilots, whose courage and daring in flying the sleek, speedy Spitfires (an aeroplane surely made for a woman, lifting her high into the sunlit skies) and in dramatizing the bond Maisie feels for the Black American soldiers, victims of racism, who share with the British women the strength to remain standing tall when the world was bearing down. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





In 1942, Maisie Dobbs gets embroiled in diverse cases that involve her own family. Jo Hardy, a pilot for Britain's Air Transport Auxiliary, is ferrying a plane across England when she's shot at from the ground. When Jo and a friend return to the spot to investigate, they find a Black American soldier tied up in a barn who claims that his White soldier friend has been kidnapped. Later, Jo realizes that in the segregated American Army, Pvt. Matthias Crittenden is in deep trouble, and he'll be held for the murder of the missing soldier. After Jo's friend is killed during another plane delivery, Jo calls on Maisie, who's living with her extended family in Kent, to investigate. Only the pull of Maisie's highly placed American husband, Mark Scott, allows her to question Crittenden. Meanwhile, Maisie, who hates injustice of any sort, learns that her own adopted daughter is being bullied in school, another problem she resolves to straighten out. Maisie visits the barn and finds new evidence that may prove a connection between Charlie's disappearance, whoever shot at Jo's plane, and the impending visit of Eleanor Roosevelt, which worries Mark because of a credible threat to Maisie's safety. Maisie's ability to talk to all sorts of people and discern the truth helps her untangle a complicated mystery involving miscreants whose lives have been so warped that they've lost all empathy for others. A superb combination of mystery, thriller, and psychological study with an emphasis on prejudice and hatred. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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