This is Fiona Davis’s third New York City based historical novel and it is a winner! I have not read her earlier books,The Address and The Dollhouse, but may well do so now.
The Masterpiece has a dual narrative structure, one story is set in the 1920s-30’s and the other in the 1970s. The stories of Clara Darden and Virginia Clay overlap and intersect.
Darden is an illustrator, teacher and painter in the earlier era while Virginia, a divorcee, begins working at Grand Central around the time when the landmark battle was underway. Each woman has a backstory, relationships and challenges, all of which are well depicted.
Did you know that in the 1920’s there was an art school right in Grand Central? Did you know that Sargent was one of the founders? Are you interested in historical preservation? Do you enjoy a story with a plot twist? If you can answer yes to any, or all of these questions, I highly recommend this book.
If you like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and WWII intrigue, you will certainly like this book. I have read and enjoyed all of the novels in this series, starting with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. Maggie Hope is a resourceful, smart and spunky protagonist who takes great, and possibly foolish, risks, in order to help with the war effort. In The Prisoner in the Castle, Maggie has been exiled to an island where agents who pose a risk to security are secretly being housed. Over the course of Maggie’s stay on the isolated and claustrophobic island, life goes on with one big exception…Maggie’s fellow agents are being killed at a rapid, daily rate. Why? What danger do they present? Who can be trusted? How will the murderer be stopped? Will Maggie survive or could this be the end of the series? You will need to read the novel to find out.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for a fun read in an enjoyable series.