In This Grave Hour By Jacqueline Winspear, Harper, 352 pages, $34.99
At the outset of this latest Maisie Dobbs novel from New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Winspear, the Second World War is declared. Meanwhile, Maisie, Sandra and Billie are back on the investigation beat, hunting down the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium during the Great War, when he was just a boy. As secrets are unravelled against a backdrop of growing conflict, Maisie learns the moving stories of those driven out of their home countries by the previous war. Many of these people drifted, homeless and nameless, and — like this man — met unfortunate ends. The stakes are raised when a little girl who was evacuated from London is resettled at Maisie’s home. This tiny refugee either cannot or will not speak of the tragedies that led to her departure from London, and as the war escalates and the mysteries perplexing Maisie deepen, she is forced to dig as deep as possible to find inner strength — and the answers she so desperately needs.