Birds of a Feather, the second book in the Maisie Dobbs series, finds our intrepid heroine well established in her business, settled in new digs, and making good use of the services of her assistant, Mr. Billy Beale. In this story she’s tasked with finding the missing daughter of a grocery store tycoon, a man who isn’t altogether likable (but then, neither is his daughter, once we learn more about her!)
Along the way, Maisie must deal with some problems on the home front -some strained relations between herself and her aging father, as well as her assistant’s cocaine addiction, a habit which evolved from the injuries he suffered during WWI. As in the first novel, the war and its aftermath play a part in several of the story lines, including the main one, as we come to find out that the missing woman was part of a group called The Order of the White Feather. As other members of the group start turning up dead all over town, Maisie is forced to delve into the background of this organization, whose mission was to point fingers at young men who were not in service during the war by giving them white feathers as a symbol of cowardice.
I enjoyed seeing Maisie mature in this novel. The success of her business has given her a greater sense of self-confidence. Her thoughts are beginning to turn to her social life, and two possible suitors emerge on the horizon. One of them, a police detective, seems the obvious choice. But methinks I favor the young Doctor Dene, who seems a bit more fun and rakish – a good antidote to Maisie’s innate seriousness.
As in the inaugural novel, the period details are impeccable. Maisie also begins to take a greater interest in fashion, and at the end of the novel, she goes so far as to take the drastic step of bobbing her hair! A new look seems bound to bring interesting developments in the next book, Pardonable Lies, which I can’t wait to start reading.
Thanks to Book Club Girl, for hosting the Mad About Maisie readalong and introducing me to this wonderful series!