The past 4 Maisie Dobbs books have been rough going, emotionally speaking (actually, I sometimes feel like a masochist for reading this series because terrible! things! always! happen!), but this was a breath of fresh air. Do I still wish Maisie had more of a sense of humor? (Or, like, ANY sense of humor?) 100% yes. However, I thought this particular mystery was really, really gripping and clever, and there were cheerful developments in Maisie's personal life, which also made for a very nice change. I'm feeling more optimistic about the future of this series than I have in a few installments!