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Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
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Maisie Dobbs (2003)

by Jacqueline Winspear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maisie Dobbs (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6922252,169 (3.84)579
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.
Recently added byAnnaHernandez, slmr4242, rena75, mholston14, wcreads, j4cantu4, private library, Kristelle08
  1. 70
    A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd (Anonymous user)
  2. 10
    A Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw (vancouverdeb)
    vancouverdeb: Both books/ series feature a strong female sleuth.Both sleuths served in some capacity in WW11 Britain. Wonderful cozy mysteries with a twist.
  3. 10
    An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson (lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Female detectives solve mysteries centering on the devastating consequences of WWI.
  4. 21
    The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller (cushlareads)
  5. 10
    The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (cransell)
  6. 00
    Dead Man Riding by Gillian Linscott (christiguc)
  7. 00
    Gone West by Carola Dunn (cransell)
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» See also 579 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
I described this book as "charming" to the friend who recommended it, and it was at the beginning -- there's something inherently charming about 1920s England. She corrected me, though, and she was right. There is too much about the horrors of war and its aftermath to truly be "charming." Nevertheless, it was an engrossing mystery in a charming setting, and I enjoyed it immensely. My only quibble is that Maisie seemed too good to be true: so brilliant, so polite, such a good daughter and friend and pupil and boss, so hardworking it became a bit implausible. I look forward to seeing some flaws in future books. ( )
  SamMusher | Sep 7, 2019 |
Truth walks toward us on the path of our questions. So was the advice given to Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, by her mentor. Set in 1920s London, Maisie's first case brings her back to World War I and a mysterious home for wounded soldiers. In this, the first of the series, we learn Maisie's background as she comes to terms with her past. Highly intelligent and compassionate, Maisie is an extraordinary heroine. ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
A very good introduction book to the world of Maisie Dobbs, WWI nurse, now setting up her own investigation business and psychology office. I like the way the story begins as if it had been going on for some time; then in the middle jumps back in time to fill in the missing details of Maisie's life. In doing this, we see three distinct times in England. Those before the war when classes were very distinct, during the war when all was chaos, and after the war as people worked to put their lives back together, but never the same again. The mystery is rather second fiddle in this book, but even so, interesting to read. I look forward to reading more in this series. ( )
  MrsLee | Aug 16, 2019 |
All ready to get deep into a historical mystery, I picked up Maisie Dobbs by author Jacqueline Winspear. And in a strange turn of events, after getting more than 200 pages through it, I can't say I ever got a good grasp on it.

Maybe it's because my expectations were indeed built up to read a mystery, but the book has relatively little of that. The book cover and the initial dive into the case and investigation are essentially a smoke screen, suggesting something that only takes up a few pages of the novel before the story goes in an altogether different direction. And that different direction, for maybe more than half the novel, is the (back)story of Maisie, a coming of age and wartime tale that doesn't seem to have much to do with the mystery—whatever the mystery is, which must pick up somewhere in the final third of the book.

As for the coming of age and wartime tale, it gave me mild enjoyment and an emotional tug or two, but I often found it to be slow, cursory, and predictable, with nothing that really stood out to me. With only about 70 more pages to go (dense pages with rather tiny type), I just ran out of steam. Hence, whatever the real mystery is in this book, for me it shall remain a mystery.

But I do like Maisie: a smart, compassionate, discerning woman who maybe could use a compelling flaw or two to make her character more interesting, but at least she isn't syrupy or hyper-angelic. So while I didn't finish this book, I do plan on trying at least one more in the series. With the extended introduction of Maisie's character and background taken care of in this first novel, perhaps a following one will be heavier on the mystery side.
  NadineC.Keels | Jul 15, 2019 |
Set in 1929 (with flashbacks to WWI), this is the first in a series about the eponymous character, a female detective/psychologist of sorts. Here, she's setting up shop in post-war London and taking on one of her first cases: a man suspects his wife of infidelity, but it turns out to be something much different than that, and leads to a much more complex case for Miss Dobbs. It started out a little slow for me (or maybe it was just I who was a little slow to take up the story), but by the halfway point, I was completely absorbed both in the mystery at hand and in Maisie's own fascinating backstory. Lots of levels of storytelling going on here, and it's well done on each one. I'll certainly be seeking out the rest of the series. ( )
  scaifea | Jun 23, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winspear, Jacquelineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrington, RitaNarratorsecondary authorsome 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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This Work is the first volume of Jacqueline Winspears' "Maisie Dobbs" Series (2003). Please distinguish it from Winspear's "Mysterious Profile" of the title character, which shares the Maisie Dobbs title but was written exclusively for the Mysterious Bookshop (#25 in a Series) and published in

limited, numbered or lettered editions.
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