1931. Maisie Dobbs' new case takes her investigation into the pastoral beauty of the Kent Weald where acts of arson, theft and vandelism around the village of Heronsdene have gone suspiciously unreported for more than a decade. With the country in the grip of ecomic malaise, Maisie is relieved to accept an assignment from an old friend who wants her to uncover the truth behind these crimes, before he can buy part of the magnificent Sandermere estate at the heart of the village. It's hop-picking time and Londoners, including Maisie's assistant Billy Beale, wanting to escape the Smoke for the summer, set up camp in nearby fields. Gypsies, too, have arrived to work the land. Maisie discovers the villagers are bitterly prejudiced against outsiders and, even more troubling, seem possessed by the legacy of a war-time Zepplin raid. She has less than a month to find out why one has been brought to justice and why secrecy shrouds the village. She must draw on all of her finely honed skills of detection to solve one of her most intriguing cases.
Jacqueline Winspear was born and grew up in Kent. The Maisie Dobbs mysteries have won acclaim from readers and reviewers alike, and have been nominated for many awards. The first four novels in the series are available now, published by John Murray.