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Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs (2003)

by Jacqueline Winspear

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I loved this book, not because it is some fascinating story or intriguing character, but because we are reminded how war (in this case Great War/WW1) devasates the ordinary citizens who are called to serve. Thanks to TheFlamingoReads for the suggestion. January 2015 ( )
  eembooks | Jan 21, 2015 |
I quite enjoyed this! It had the feeling of some of my favorite comfort reads, though the WWI and post-war trauma elements added some considerably more uncomfortable moments (as they should). I found it interesting that while Maisie had to deal with a lot of adversity of situation, she is one of those characters (like Anne Shirley) who seem to be almost universally loved by the other characters in her world. Some readers might find this "unrealistic" but I didn't mind. I look forward to reading more in the series! ( )
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
I demand higher quality on both the characters and the story in order to give a higher rating. Maisie Dobbs was mostly annoying and a very boring character and the story was very bland.I liked the eneding, but probably not enought to want to read more books about Miss Dobbs. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 11, 2014 |
The mystery takes second place in this because it is interupted with a lengthy story of Maisie's early life and how she got started in the business of psychology and detection. In the early stages of the Great War Maisie had just begun her studies at Cambridge when she was inspired to give it up to tackle nursing, quickly ending up at the front. Winspear is able to recreate the times well: young men setting off for France feeling a combination of excitement and apprehension; and those returning from the front, broken and scarred mentally and physically. Most of all, she portrays the overwhelming tragedy of the Great War.

I've enjoyed others in the series but was unaware of her origins. I have to admit if I had read this one first, I may not have progressed to others as the mystery is secondary. Maisie's story merges tidily with the mystery, however minimal, and provides the reader with a well-written, enjoyable story. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Dec 9, 2014 |
I hoped I would like this, a good time period, and I always like to find a new good series, but although the writing was perfectly alright the character was a colossal bore, the mystery was not mysterious and the ending made me laugh, it was so ludicrous. Too bad. ( )
  SusanListon | Nov 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
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.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal
For a clever and resourceful young woman who has just set herself up in business as a private investigator, Maisie seems a bit too sober and much too sad.
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Now, he will spend a few sick years in institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity may dole.
Tonight he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him to bed? Why don't they come?

Final verse "Disabled" by Wilfred Owen. It was drafted at Craiglockhart, a hospital for shell-shocked officers, in October 1917. Owen was killed on November 4, 1918, just one week before the armistice.
This book is dedicated to the memory of my paternal grandfather and my maternal grandmother.

JOHN "JACK" WINSPEAR sustained serious leg wounds during the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Following convalescence, he returned to his work as a costermonger in southeast London.

CLARA FRANCES CLARK, nee Atterbury, was a munitions worker at the Woolwich Arsenal during the First World War. She was partially blinded in an explosion that killed several girls working in the same section alongside her. Clara later married and became the mother of ten children.
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Even if she hadn't been the last person to walk through the turnstile at Warren Street tube station, Jack Barker would have noticed the tall, slender woman in the navy blue, thigh-length jacket with a matching pleated skirt short enough to reveal a well-turned ankle.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142004332, Paperback)

Hailed by NPR’s Fresh Air as part Testament of Youth, part Dorothy Sayers, and part Upstairs, Downstairs, this astonishing debut has already won fans from coast to coast and is poised to add Maisie Dobbs to the ranks of literature’s favorite sleuths.

Maisie Dobbs isn’t just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence—and the patronage of her benevolent employers—she works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Private detective Maisie Dobbs must investigate the reappearance of a dead man who turns up at a cooperative farm called the Retreat that caters to men who are recovering their health after World War I.

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