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Maisie Dobbs (Book 1) by Jacqueline Winspear
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Maisie Dobbs (Book 1) (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Jacqueline Winspear

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2,5191432,404 (3.86)392
Member:wstarmer
Title:Maisie Dobbs (Book 1)
Authors:Jacqueline Winspear
Info:Penguin Books (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 294 pages
Collections:History & Historical Fiction, Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction

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Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (2003)

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» See also 392 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
I am having a really hard time getting through this book. I'm struggling with leaving it unfinished. I really want to like it, but it annoys me!
  IamFluff | Jul 17, 2014 |
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/3250733/

I was interested in the setting, between the Wars London and the story of a woman detective, when I grabbed this at a MeetUp but it didn't really live up to my expectations. I think the author was modelling the detective on Sherlock Holmes type but with some modern psychology aspects and it just didn't work for me. Then, the entire inner third of the book was a very long sidebar of the detective's (Maisie Dobbs) growing up years and how she became this strange combo of detective and counsuleor. I completely lost track of the initial plot when it picked up again. Overall, not a particulary satisfiying read. I was away from home when I read it so I couldn't check but I thought there were numerous historical mistakes as well as not having the right feel for the time period. I stuck it out but I never warmed to it so it got left behind as a BookCrossing selection.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
The books deals with serious issues---the horrible wounds, both visible and psychological, resulting from World War I, and the terrible front line conditions. The book was interesting and informative, but Maisie seems a little too good to be true and there are too many coincidences. The man who helps out in the building where she rents space just happened to be a soldier helped by her, her first case is directly related to the life of her patron's son. Maisie has a patron, a mentor, and a guru. She knows how people are feeling by assuming their posture.
  raizel | Jun 10, 2014 |
A salable, even admirable launch to a private-I series, set in 1929 London. Writer does a good job delivering three distinct narratives: a smart introduction to Maisie, fastened to a simple first case for the newly-shingled M. Dobbs business; a well-told backstory, looking back to her precocious years after losing her mother, including a gracious investment in her budding education by her employer/ benefactress; and a return to 1929, where a perhaps somewhat rushed story results in Maisie's first major success as a solo "Psychologist & Investigator". touching evocation of the death, sorrow and lasting wounds of WWI, whose specter surrounds the entire story. I will read the next book- and this is saying a good deal, as the genre isn't usually of interest to me. ( )
  JamesMScott | Jun 4, 2014 |
What a fascinating character Maisie Dobbs is. Much of the attraction comes from how Maisie got her education and the friends she gathered around her. A rich group of characters which enlivens this character-driven novel. This book was recommended to me as a 'mystery,' but there is no mystery here. It's obvious from the outset that The Retreat is "too good to be true" and it's equally clear what's really going on there. But that doesn't take away from the wonderful world that Jacqueline Winspear creates for the reader to immerse themselves in. I'll definitely be reading more of Maisie Dobbs' adventures. ( )
  whymaggiemay | May 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (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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Epigraph
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.
Dedication
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.
First words
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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