Oh, Jacqueline Winspear, how do I love thee . . .let me count the ways. . . with the 8th Maisie Dobbs novel in my hands I can say that you have created one of my favorite female characters to have ever walked through London ( and I’ve read a LOT of books with British women as lead characters.) Even as I poured over the pages of Elegy for Eddie (a compelling novel about a mysterious death and the series of events linking the simpliest of people to an approaching World War) I felt poignant tugs remembering that the Maisie of this story has earned her stripes in the various emotional tragedies in her short, but unusual life. For someone who tries to live a bit aloof, Maisie cares deeply and has been romantically involved with no less than three very different men (and some others that were nuanced flirtations) in the course of these 8 novels–although my fingers are crossed that James Compton has sticking power. Ms. Winspear, I do not know if you intended to create such a deep and diverse character when you wrote the first Maisie Dobbs novel, but your skill in painting layers has grown to a level that must be envied by the best writers of this day. Call me an ardent fan, but please tell me you’ll let me down easy when Maisie Dobbs chooses to solve her final case.