Maisie Dobbs, female sleuth and former battlefield nurse, tackles three major cases in Pardonable Lies. Maisie is brought in by inspector Stratton of Scotland Yard to interview a young girl suspected of murder. Although evidence puts her at the scene of the crime Maisie believes in the girl's innocence. Sensitive to the loss of her own mother at a young age Maisie strives to find the truth before young Avril Jarvis is separated from her mother permanently with a life prison sentence. Upon arriving home to her room at the Compton residence she finds Lord Compton waiting for her with a request to assist his friend Sir Cecil Lawton prove his son's death. Lawton's wife never believed the reports that her son had died in France during the War and on her deathbed made Sir Cecil promise to find their son. This leads Maisie's friend Priscilla to ask her to conduct a similar investigation into the death of her eldest brother Peter. Priscilla lost all three of her beloved brothers in the War yet Peter's body was never found.
Maisie with two cases leading her back to France must face her own demons in her search for truth. Maisie must find the strength to face her own bloody past if she is to find out what truly happened to these two soldiers.
I highly recommend this novel for any fan of the mystery genre, however giving this book the mystery label does not in fact do it justice. Winspear breaks beyond the bounds of popular mystery fiction providing us with the clues and investigations that we have grown to love while providing a rich tapestry of historical context and introducing characters with a depth rarely found in modern fiction.