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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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2,5631452,344 (3.86)402
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)

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Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
As a work of historical fiction (rather than a mystery), I enjoyed this book and found the character and plot development interesting and informative. I will certainly read subsequent books in the series and feel that starting with Book 1 will make Maisie Dobbs a more realistic character as the stories continue. I highly recommend the book and encourage other readers to start with Book 1. ( )
  Jcambridge | Sep 26, 2014 |
I absolutely LOATHED this book. I found the writing style stilted and difficult to read, the time jumps were irritating, and I had no empathy for the main character whatsoever. I forced myself to finish it for my own literary good, but I won't be reading anything more in the series. ( )
  themythicalcodfish | Sep 7, 2014 |
Usually, I like to read a series in order. With Jacqueline Winspear it isn't really necessary. In each book, she successfully brings the reader up to date enough to grasp a continuation. And since I couldn't get hold of the books in order, I read this first book of the series, "Maisie Dobbs", last. And I'm glad that's the way it happened. I recognize characters from the other books and I felt I was meeting old friends. Only now, I knew them better because of their past. And this is important- especially for the character of Maisie herself. Jacqueline Winspear is an author who, as she continues the series, delves deeper and deeper into WWI research. She manages to create scenarios so three dimensional that I immediately feel a part of them. In each book of this series, I have learned more and more about the home front of WWI in Great Britain and the horrors perpetrated on the front with subsequent results. The situation (mystery) to be solved centers around the existence of a retreat for WWI veterans with physical and mental disabilities. Why is everyone referred to with only a first name and where do they go when they leave the Retreat? ( )
  HugoReads | Aug 16, 2014 |
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 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (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)

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