Not your average mystery... Maisie Dobbs isn't your average detective, either. She's part psychologist, part detective, and part healer. This is a tough book to categorize. It's also a tough book to read...I was unsure about the structure of the book. It isn't unheard of to jump between time periods within a character's life. But this book starts us in 1929, as Maisie is setting up her "detective" agency. We learn about her methods and manners. Then we're whisked back into 1910-1917, where we meet a 13-year old Maisie and watch as she matures physically and intellectually from house maid to WWI nurse. We see her struggle to find her place in a class society, when she has the intelligence and aptitude thought to be reserved only for the cream of British society. We see her struggle with her first feelings of love... and her first love. And then we're back in 1929, with a lot of unanswered questions about Maisie's past, and specifically, her first love.After reading the book, I suppose the structure works. I'm not quite sure why we couldn't have gone more chronologically through her life, but I wasn't bothered by the device. And I can see that Billy will be a long time friend and assistant -- and with good reason.But there's so much bittersweet... so much of war and what it does to bodies, emotions, and minds... The book is so relevant for all time, including today, when we in America face the pressures of this "war on terror". It challenges the reader to THINK... and to do what Enid told Maisie, which was essentially to do what you can right now for even one.