An Incomplete Revenge: A Maisie Dobbs Novel Paperback – Nov 25 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In Edgar-finalist Winspear's enjoyable fifth installment in her Maisie Dobbs series (after 2006's Messenger of Truth), the psychologist/investigator digs deep into a village's long-buried secrets. Maisie's benefactor, tycoon James Compton, wants to buy an estate in the bucolic hamlet of Heronsdene, but is wary after a string of mysterious fires. Maisie soon proves Compton's suspicions correct when she encounters the shady current landowner and a vaguely menacing band of Gypsies in town for the seasonal harvest. The locals are also curiously tight-lipped about Heronsdene's wartime tragedy, when a zeppelin raid wiped out a family. Teasing out Heronsdene's secrets will take all the intrepid former nurse's psychological skills and test her ability to navigate between the Gypsy and gorja (non-Gypsy) worlds. Winspear vividly evokes England between the wars, when the old order crumbled and new horizons beckoned working women like her appealing heroine. Even if a few of the plot twists prove predictable, this jaunt back to a bygone era is as satisfying as a spin in Maisie's MG. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Maisie Dobbs is a revelation.” ―Alexander McCall Smith, Author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
“Those unfamiliar with the Maisie Dobbs series are best advised to start here and work their way backward. . . . An Incomplete Revenge shows Maisie at the top of her detecting form.” ―Newsday
“A smart, pragmatic private investigator and psychologist with extraordinary empathic sensitivity . . . Every page of this novel is dense with affectionately rendered period detail. Winspear deftly intertwines multiple story lines. The tale becomes increasingly gripping as the novel progresses toward a truly moving ending.” ―The Boston Globe
“Winspear's lively and graceful prose, strong sense of time and place, and her ability to create believable and sympathetic characters make the book a joy to read.” ―The Denver Post
“A pleasure . . . This nuanced series explores England in the aftermath of World War I, when millions of women who lost their husbands, lovers, and sons were left to make their own ways. Maisie is one of that group, and her way is an appealing one.” ―The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
“A compelling and intriguing puzzle . . . inspear infuses this moving novel with wisdom, restrained emotion and, as is her custom, issues of morality.” ―Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Intriguing . . . Fascinating . . . Skillfully drawn.” ―The Washington Times
“One of the more robust entries in the historical mystery category.” ―The Seattle Times
“Often eloquent and deeply human.” ―The Providence JournalSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
An old friend hires investigator Maisie Dobbs to investigate matters relating to a potential land purchase. Petty thefts have been blamed on London boys there to help pick hops, but the residents also distrust the Gypsies who are there. Maisie has discovered small fires which have occurred each year but no one reported them to the fire departments or police. A family was killed during the war by a Zeppelin attack, yet no one will talk about it. Maisie must put together the pieces together while also dealing with her feeling regarding the soldier she loves who has been in a coma since the war.
This is my second foray into Maisie Dobbs. I didn't care for her first time and, I must admit, nothing much has changed. Winspear does include information on the gypsies that I found interesting until it became redundant. She also includes details to the point of minutia on things that aren't particularly important. Her descriptions are informative but not evocative so that a feeling for the sense of place is missing.
As a character, Maisie is the sort of person who would annoy me if I knew her. Yes, I can justify some of it by remember she's experience the trauma of war, but not all. There is arrogance to Maisie that surpasses self confidence and is somewhat unappealing as it borders on arrogance. Her friend, Priscilla, is the complete antithesis to Maisie and annoying in her own way. In fact, the most interesting characters in the book were Maisie's father followed closely by the dog.
The story itself is just not gripping. There's no real suspense or emotion; everything is at a distance and somewhat dispassionate.Read more ›
Maisie Dobbs is a psychologist and investigator. All the novels take place in England in the late 1920's. Maisie is asked to investigate a small village for a company hoping to purchase the local brick works. They are concerned about a series of fires and small thefts that have been occurring.
It is hop picking season in the village, so her assistant Billy and his family are also in the village to work, as are a band of gypsies. The villagers do not report the fires and just gloss over them. They are very reticent about some of the history of the village and do not like the gypsies. With patient questioning Maisie unravels the mysteries surrounding this tiny enclave.
The descriptions of society at this time are fascinating. If you're looking for a good cozy mystery, this might be for you.
The Compton Corporation wishes to place a purchase offer on the estate, but James is hearing doubts about the landowner, a man called Alfred Sandermere, the younger son of Lord Sandermere, who became heir to the estate when his older brother Henry was killed in the Great War. Apparently, Alfred has done nothing but draw funds from the estate, leaving it on the verge of bankruptcy. "It's essentially a fire sale," James tells Maisie, and there's nothing more than the Compton Corporation likes than "a clean transaction."
For sure the petty crime and vandalism in the house, and at the accompanying brickworks, are in danger of jeopardizing the sale. Even stranger is that all of the local villagers are keeping quiet about it with no one especially hurrying to point a finger. Trusted with the job of looking into matters to find out if there's anything amiss locally that would affect James' purchase of the Sandermere estate, Maisie travels to Heronsdene with her faithful cockney assistant Billy Beale whom she entrusts to do much of the initial legwork.
A center for the summer season of hop picking, Heronsdene, however, proves to anything but bucolic for Maisie, the initial drive through the village causing her to shiver with the hair on her back bristling with uncertainty.Read more ›
All Maisie Dobbs fans will enjoy this story immensely. It is well written and keeps you guessing till the very conclusion of the story. It also leaves wide a new path for Maisie which could go in many different directions in future stories we all anticipate with great expectations.
Jacqueline Winspear has brought freshness to the detective genre, much as Dorothy L Sayers did in her time. The stories and characters have great depth, as the characters continue to grow with sigificance in each story. I look forward to reading many more adventures in the future!