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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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3,1971961,744 (3.85)515
Member:ffortsa
Title:Maisie Dobbs (Book 1)
Authors:Jacqueline Winspear
Info:Penguin Books (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 294 pages
Collections:Mysteries, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (2003)

Recently added byhohosmurf, tifhayes, stpauls-satx, UPMarta, wellreadkid, private library, Jessiqa, pokypl, Rena37
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Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
This is the first in series starring the titular Maisie Dobbs as a detective in mid-late 1920s London. World War I is still fresh on everyone's minds and plays a large role in the narrative, both in a chunky flash-back section and in the ongoing effect that war has on those involved. Maisie's first case involves following a young married woman to see if she's been unfaithful. What Maisie learns about the young woman leads her to look into what happened to certain men after the war and how they coped with disfiguring injuries.

Books which are the first in the series always have so much work to do in terms of world-building ad character introduction. This book is no exception. The flash-back section to Maisie's experiences during the war took up so much space as to almost make the reader forget that the main mystery was not terribly elaborate. She had it nearly solved in the first quarter of the book, then there was the flashback, then the final quarter of the book to finish the investigation and wrap things up. This isn't to say that the flash-back isn't necessary--It is, in order to establish Maisie's background in her particular brand of detective work and how she fared during the war. Maisie is an interesting character, as are many of the supporting characters. I enjoyed the book and would like to read more in the series. ( )
  Jessiqa | May 9, 2017 |
Maisie Dobbs was an interesting blend of history and mystery. In the first section of the book, Maisie is setting up her shop as a private investigator. The second section is a flashback of Maisie working as a maid and then a student and finally a WWI nurse. The third section has Maisie investigating a suspicious farm called The Refuge for WWI veterans deformed in battle. The book is a great glimpse into the world of London before, during and after W.W.I. I really enjoyed the character of Maisie Dobbs and found the minor characters interesting too. The mystery in this story is a little weak as most of the book is generally about introducing the characters. Maisie's personal story is woven throughout the plot and the mystery of her great love is revealed in the end. I have read book 1 and 2 in the past but have enjoyed this re-read as a fresher for reading the rest of the book in the series. I would highly recommend this book to those who love World War I books. ( )
  EadieB | Apr 30, 2017 |
I don't usually like mysteries, but I really enjoyed this. Maisie is a great woman. The back story is what makes this book so wonderful. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Apr 15, 2017 |
This book just didn't work for me. Maisie Dobbs was mostly annoying and a very boring character and the story was very bland.I liked the ending, but probably not enough to want to read more books about Miss Dobbs unless anyone can convince me that they will get better. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Not so much a mystery as a character study. I enjoyed the back story of WWI, a time period that often takes a back seat to WWII settings. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (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.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winspear, Jacquelineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
Quotations
In seeking to fill your mind, I omitted to instruct you in the opposite exercise. This small book is for your daily writings, when the day is newborn and before you embark upon the richness of study and intellectual encounter. My instruction, Maisie, is to simply write a page each day. There is no set subject, save that which the waking mind has held close in sleep.
"Lord Compton has received word from the War Office that our horses are to be inspected for service this week.... I *cannot* let them go. I don't want to be unpatriotic, but they are my hunters." ... "Lady Compton. Our sympathies. The country needs one hundred and sixty-five thousand horses, but we need them to be fit, strong and able to be of service on the battlefield."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:18 -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 5 descriptions

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