Maisie Dobbs Paperback – May 24 2004
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Maisie is 14 when her mother dies, and she must go into service to help her father make ends meet. Her prodigious intellect and the fact that she is sneaking into the manor library at night to read Hume, Kierkegaard, and Jung alert Lady Rowan to the fact that she has an unusual maid. She arranges for Maisie to be tutored, and the girl ultimately qualifies for Cambridge. She goes for a year, only to be drawn by the need for nurses during the Great War. After serving a grueling few years in France and falling in love with a young doctor, Maisie puts up a shingle in 1929 as a private investigator. She is a perceptive observer of human nature, works well with all classes, and understands the motivations and demons prevalent in postwar England. Teens will be drawn in by her first big case, seemingly a simple one of infidelity, but leading to a complex examination of an almost cultlike situation. The impact of the war on the country is vividly conveyed. A strong protagonist and a lively sense of time and place carry readers along, and the details lead to further thought and understanding about the futility and horror of war, as well as a desire to hear more of Maisie. This is the beginning of a series, and a propitious one at that.
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.
"The reader familiar with Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency... might think of Maisie Dobbs as its British counterpart.... Winspear, who intends to write a series featuring Maisie Dobbs, has created a winning character about whom readers will want to read more." —The Associated Press
"[Maisie Dobbs] catches the sorrow of a lost generation in the character of one exceptional woman." —The Chicago Tribune
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Top Customer Reviews
Jump back to 1910-1917 and we begin the journey with her. Her mother passed on and her father trying to support their young daughter and himself as a costermonger, he is no longer able to manage as bills keep piling up. Love is not enough to feed and clothe. A decision is made that changes everything but the love between father and daughter. I found myself drawn in to their hardship and the changes they deal with when she goes "into service" with Lady Rowan in a household that is not quite what one would expect of a Lord and Lady in this time period. The work ethic and hours spent are there, but Lady Rowan is actually in a period of change among the elite. The brilliance of this young girl is discovered and plans are made to accommodate learning with working within the house. Lady Rowan has determined that Maisie should be university educated.
I look at this book as an introduction to a fascinating young lady; one who cares deeply about people, intuits what they need and what she needs.Read more ›
The prose is redolent of its place and time and, even though Maisie may be a revisionist, she's most refreshingly wonderful if too pure and serious. Can't wait for the next Maisie mystery.
The second part is flashback. We see Maisie rise from a maid, to a student at Cambridge, then a WWI nurse. We see her getting up at three in the morning to read the books in her employer's library. When she is discovered, rather than fire her, her employer takes her under her wing to assure her an education.
In the third section we return to Maisie's investigation of a suspicious farm called The Refuge which had been formed as a haven for WWI veterans who had been deformed in battle.
Although sometimes over-earnest with a plot line that's a bit too convenient, Maisie Dobbs is a worthwhile read. The likeable lead, the setting, and the theme of soldiers with little to live for kept me turning the pages with relish. Jacqueline Winspear is also smart enough to keep you guessing about what happened to Maisie's doctor lover right up until the end. The book is also peppered with enjoyable minor characters that help round out the personality of our Maisie.
In Pardonable Lies, Maisie is asked by a friend of her patron, the Comptons, to prove that his son did die, as reported, during the war. On her death bed, Agnes Lawton implored her husband to find the truth. As much as it seems this is an open and shut case, Maisie is determined to undertake a thorough investigation.
While she is starting the Lawton case, she meets with her dear friend Priscilla, who lost three brothers during the war. She asks a favour of Maisie, to find the resting place of her brother Peter. As much as she doesn't want to do this, she can't refuse her friend.
Once again, we are reunited with some of my favourite characters. Her mentor, Maurice Blanche, spends several days with her and reveals things which he had not planned to. I feel there is still much mystery to Maurice. Billy Beale continues to assist with the investigations and even take a lead hand when she is not available. Way to go Billy. Several times, Maisie calls on her friends for background in her cases. James Compton, the son of her patron, finally finds his way into the story. I have been looking forward to more involvement from him as so far he has rather been a mystery.
Ms. Winspear kept this story very close to her chest, she carefully shared bits and pieces, never revealliing too much at one time. I was practically on the edge of my seat listening, waiting for the next development.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Another excellent novel in the Maisie Dobbs series. I look forward to each one.Published 1 month ago by Miriam
Great read loved the intertwining of historical fact and the detective story. Can't wait to read more novels,by this author.Published 4 months ago by Jean Coughlan
Ms Winspear has a magical way with words. The story flows like a slow moving river irresistibly towards its end. At the same time the story is well paced and interesting. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Happy Dragon
Very good book. It was descriptive and held my interest throughout.Published 22 months ago by Teresa Murray
An excellent book. Looking forward to reading more novels by this author. I would recommend this book to my book clubPublished on May 4 2014 by lindance
It's another great episode in the life of Maisie Dobbs. I love the series. Each episode is an adventure. Ms. Winspear allows us to know Maisie and her colleagues. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2013 by Michal
I'm very much engaged in this book and it's only been 2 chapters!!! I love the references to post-war London, the main character Maise is completely loveable and her cases are... Read morePublished on March 25 2013 by Zoe Middleton
Besides the thoroughly enjoyable character of Maisie Dobbs herself, this one had lot more depth to it. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2009 by Ronald E. Dines