After the Armistice in the spring of 1929, Maisie hangs out her shingle: M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but turns up something else, a tombstone with only a first name. The deceased had lived on a cooperative farm called The Retreat, a well-regarded convalescent refuge for those grievously wounded in the war - ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Lady Rowan's son makes plans to join the reclusive community, Maisie investigates and finds a disturbing mystery at its core.
Maisie Dobbs leaves nursing after the Great War ends and begins her private detective career when she stumbles across a tombstone bearing only a first name.