Audiobooks: Journey to Munich

32962722This was my first shot at a Maisie Dobbs book, which is mining Alan Furst territory by dealing with the period between the two world wars. In this book, the series character, Maisie, a recent widow, is approached to travel to Munich (the title kinda tells you about that) to collect a genius/publisher who was arrested and thrown into Dachau, which I never realized was on the outskirts of Munich.

Apparently the Nazis (we are in 1938, so the Nazis are in complete control, and about to invade Austria) insist that a family member collect the man, and since his only living relative is a daughter dying of tuberculosis, Maisie is recruited to go in her place. Since she is finally coming out of the funk she’s been in since her husband’s death and her resulting miscarriage, Maisie agrees. And she also agrees to a side mission from a powerful man to find his daughter, who has run off from her husband and child and landed in Munich, and convince her to return to the safetly of England. The complication is that Elaine is the cause of the death of Maisie’s husband, since she was supposed to be the test pilot for the plane that crashed and killed him after he took her place when she didn’t show up.

All in all, the story was very competent, as was the reader. I did find one element at the end a little problematic, since Maisie made a confusing choice that seemed to be designed to let her see a Nazi officer be brutal, since he’d been almost sympathetic up until that point of the story. There’s also no real resolution to the murder of a Nazi that Elaine was sleeping with and that she was witness to. Why was he killed? Who did it? There were hints, but nothing definite.

The most successful aspect of the book was the portrait of a city under Nazi control, knowing that war is coming. Occasionally it gets a little heavy-handed (the little German girl and Jewish girl playing together in secret because they can’t do so openly), but it was still effective.

While, I don’t feel an urge to go back and read the earlier books in the series, I have reserved the digital audiobook of the next book from the library.

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