An Incomplete Revenge is the fifth Maisie Dobbs mystery, and maintains the high quality of the series. It is 1931 and Maisie is asked by the son of her former employers to investigate the circumstances around a series of petty thefts and fires in a Kent village where he is intending to buy a brick works. With the help of her assistant who is in the area hop-picking with his family she uncovers the circumstances surrounding a Zeppelin raid in 1916 which has cast a shadow over the community.

I really enjoyed this, as I always do with the Maisie Dobbs stories as I find her such a sympathetic figure. I could see where the story was generally heading, but not the detail around it; this is the second crime novel in recent weeks where that has happened (perhaps I’m reading too many of them) but I don’t mind that really, as long as the novel is well-written and I have an interest in the characters.

I found descriptions of the travelling people (or Romany or gypsies) fascinating, and what we learn about Maisie through her interaction with them really develops her as a character; it is interesting to see how little has changed really in terms of the suspicion and prejudice these people come across wherever they go.

If you haven’t read any of these novels before I wouldn’t start with this one as there is an arc story in the background which reaches a partial conclusion here; they are so lightly written (in a good way) with a lot of compassion and humanity that I would recommend reading the the whole series from the start.

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