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Birds of a Feather [Paperback]

Jacqueline Winspear
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 2 2005 Maisie Dobbs Mysteries

Jacqueline Winspear’s marvelous and inspired debut, Maisie Dobbs, won her fans from coast to coast and raised her intuitive, intelligent, and resourceful heroine to the ranks of literature’s favorite sleuths. Birds of a Feather finds Maisie Dobbs on another dangerously intriguing adventure in London "between the wars." It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. But what seems a simple case at the outset soon becomes increasingly complicated when three of the heiress’s old friends are found dead. Is there a connection between the woman’s mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would want to kill three seemingly respectable young women? As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers lie in the unforgettable agony of the Great War.


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Birds of a Feather + Pardonable Lies: A Maisie Dobbs Novel + Messenger of Truth: A Maisie Dobbs Novel
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From Publishers Weekly

The eponymous heroine of Winspear's promising debut, Maisie Dobbs (2003), continues to beguile in this chilling, suspenseful sequel set in England a decade after the end of the Great War. Maisie, "Psychologist and Investigator," as the brass nameplate on her office door declares, gets hired by a wealthy industrialist to find his only daughter, Charlotte Waite, who has gone missing. With the help of her cockney assistant, Billy Beale, Maisie sets out to learn all she can of Charlotte's habits, character and friends. No sooner has Maisie discovered the identities of three of these friends than they start turning up dead—poisoned, then bayoneted for good measure. At each crime scene is left a white feather. Increasingly preoccupied with these tragedies, Maisie almost loses sight of her original mission, until it becomes apparent that the murders and Charlotte's disappearance are related. As in her first novel, the author gives an intelligent and absorbing picture of the period, providing plentiful details for the history buff without detracting from the riveting mystery. Readers will be eager to see more of the spunky Maisie, with her unusual career as a one-time maid, nurse and university student.
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.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–The spirited heroine of Maisie Dobbs (Soho, 2003) is back to solve another puzzle in post-World War I London. Having been trained by a master detective, the former serving girl now a Cambridge graduate is hired by grocery magnate Joseph Waite to find his wayward daughter, Charlotte. What begins as a simple missing-person case evolves into the investigation of three murders, all of young women who were friends during the war. Charlotte may be the next target. Chock-full of period details such as how to start a 1920s-era MG, what to buy at the grocer's, what to wear in the country, soup kitchens, and heroin use, the novel follows Maisie's progress as she uses detection, psychology, and even yogalike centering to clear her mind. There is much substance to this mystery, which mines the situations brought about by the horrors of the war–both on the front and at home, and its still simmering aftermath–plus a hint of romance and the beginning resolution of two father-daughter rifts. The story flows easily, descriptions are vivid and apt, and character is limned quickly, with each an individual. This is an utterly enjoyable and painless history lesson and a well-plotted and consistent mystery that will appeal to teens looking for more than just historical fiction.–Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Masie Dobbs shuffled the papers on her desk into a neat pile and placed them in a plain manila folder. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
It is more than fifteen years after the Great War ended and England is recovering even though the depression makes the division between the classes more noticeable. Masie Dobbs was lucky to find a patron who funded her studies in nursing and psychology. She served as a nurse in France where she was injured and her great love Simon came back from the war in a catatonic state that has not lifted since his return. Masie works as a private investigator, who uses meditation as a way of opening up her senses to the world around her. Although her methods of combining investigation with psychology are unusual, it always works.
Rich supermarket magnate Joseph Waite hires Masie to find his daughter Charlotte who has a habit of running away from home even if she is thirty-seven years of age. Masie deduces that she left the day she saw in the newspaper that one of her old friends from boarding school was murdered. Two more of Charlotte's former friends die and a white feather is found on or near each murder victim. Masie must find a way to keep Charlotte safe and bait a trap to catch the killer.
Readers will thoroughly enjoy this delightful and charming mystery and find themselves interested in the historical details of England between the wars. The protagonist is not a radical feminist but an independent person who believes that she is as capable as any man in her chosen profession. Although she has known much sorrow, she is a kind-hearted and generous person who cares about people, especially those who are suffering the aftereffects of WWI. BIRDS OF A FEATHER will definitely appeal to fans of great mysteries.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars suspenseful and intriguing: a very good read May 21 2004
By tregatt
Format:Hardcover
"Birds of a Feather" is Jacqueline Winspear's second Maisie Dobbs mystery novel, and it actually is a much more suspenseful and intriguing installment than the first book in the series, "Maisie Dobbs."
Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and private investigator, has been hired by mister moneybags himself, Joseph Waite, to find his missing daughter. Apparently the wealthy and successful magnate's only daughter, Charlotte, seems to have made a habit of running off whenever she feels unhappy or ill-used. Not wanting to involve the police and hoping to circumvent the press, Waite has decided to hire Maisie because he has been suitable impressed by her accomplishments. Almost at once, Maisie senses that Waite has little patience or understanding for Charlotte. And a brief inquiry amongst the household staff elicits the knowledge that while everyone likes Joseph Waite, practically no one seems to have liked Charlotte, deeming her too cold and difficult to please. And yet Maisie (who has strong emphatic powers) senses the almost crippling despair that Charlotte felt in her home. Why would a rich and pampered young lady of leisure feel such a level of despair? And what made her run away? Hoping to get some answers from a close friend of Charlotte's, Maisie stumbles into a murder investigation instead when the friend is brutally murdered. Could Charlotte's disappearance have anything to do with the murder? Is Charlotte in danger, or is the truth something much more sinister? As Maisie digs in to find the answers, she finds herself once again delving into the past and into the painful memories of the recent world war...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Another delightful Maisie Dobbs mystery from Winspear. Set in between the two world wars, Dobbs is perhaps the epitome of do-gooder investigators and gives mighty good book with enough detail that the setting comes alive as do the circumstances of her interesting characters. An entertaining read, indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Maisie Dobbs! Aug. 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love the way Jacqueline Winspear writes. Her character of Maisie Dobbs is very intelligent and yet vulnerable. Also like that it is set in early 20th century England. Would recommend to all those Agatha Christie fans who like to read a good mystery. It is always a good choice when the author has won an Agatha award - you can be sure there is no smut or vulgarity - just excellent writing. Enjoyed all the books in the series so far and am hopeful there will be many more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mending a Family isn't Easy June 14 2012
By Heather Pearson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Maisie Dobbs has been hired to find the missing daughter of wealthy grocery store magnate. Problem is, that Charlotte really doesn't want to be found; she feels she has found the sanctuary and peaceful life that she has been seeking. Maisie agrees to find the daughter, but there is a catch, the father must agree to work with her to determine how to mend the shattered father/daughter relationship. While investigating this case, Maisie realizes that the relationship with father has become one of familiarity rather than of deep care and concern for each other. Not only must she find a missing girl and mend that family, she must also mend her own.

I listened to the BBC Audiobooks America version of this book. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I listened to it twice. I was only going to re-listen to the opening chapters, but once I got started I had to continue. It was read by Kim Hicks, 10 hours 21 minutes.

The story was enhanced by the return of handy man Billy Beale. He is now Maisie's assistant and he really does add more to her firm, far beyond answering phones and doing errands. He provided balance to Maisie's formal approach to her cases. He sees the cases through the eyes of the common man and his every day experiences.

I am looking forward to the next book, Pardonable Lies, to find where Maisie's romantic interests lead her.

I find that Maisie Dobbs and Billy are very comfortable people to spend my time with. I can imagine the conversations we'd have over tea should they manifest as flesh and blood. Oh well, so much for vacation time imaginings.
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