Sunday, August 12, 2007

'Maisie Dobbs'

by Jacqueline Winspear

Fiction/Mystery/WWI, 2003
John Murray paperback, 288 p.
Maisie Dobbs series - Book 1

(Book #33 for 2007, Summer Mystery Challenge- Book #4)
London, 1929. Having set herself up as a private investigator, Maisie Dobbs is relieved when her first client arrives. Christopher Davenham suspects that his wife is conducting an affair. But Maisie’s investigations confound her expectations at every turn. And she is forced by her findings to revisit her own turbulent experience of the Great War. For Maisie, the boundary between her private and professional life is suddenly blurred.
This is a world still reeling in the aftermath of war, a world in which many secrets lie buried. But Maisie is determined to hunt down the truth, however painful it might be…
It’s appropriate that the first book in the series is titled ‘Maisie Dobbs’ after our heroine and sleuth because it really is Maisie’s story. There is a mystery that wasn’t terribly surprising, instead it was the considerable portion of the book dedicated to Maisie’s life and how she came to be the woman she is now, that I found most engaging. I can’t quite put my finger on it but the writing bothered me somehow- maybe a little too forced at times? But I quite enjoyed this first instalment and I look forward to trying the next one.

My Rating: 3.5/5
“Tomorrow will be our last day together.” said Simon. “I wish I understood time, Maisie. It vanishes through one’s fingers.”
Also reviewed at:
A Striped Armchair


  1. I read this book over the weekend and loved it!! I think I know what you mean about the style of writing but I took it as if the authour was writing during the Edwardian period and then the style seemed to flow better for me. I can't wait to read the others in the series and am waiting until I get paid next before I head to the bookstore.

  2. I loved this book but I agree there was more back story than actual mystery to solve. I've read all in the series and really have enjoyed them a lot.

  3. I read this a couple of years ago and wrote the following in my journal:

    Rating: B (4/5 Very good)

    This is a fairly quick, enjoyable read. While I didn't love it (could've been my mood), I recommend it and plan to read the sequel, Birds of a Feather. Maisie reminds me a little bit of Fiona from The Tea Rose.

    Haven't gotten around to reading the others yet, but maybe I'll try this winter.

  4. I've never liked stories in the 20's for some reason. Or during the wars. I'm much more inclined to read something anywhere from the 1700's up to the 1915's or so. I just like old historical mysteries better but I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Right now I'm reading another Sir Henry Fielding mystery and I'm loving it! I really like that series.

  5. Heather,
    You're probably right about it being written in the style of the period. I liked it enough to read the next one so we'll see.

    I've heard so many people rave about this series, and I did like this first one. I'm curious to see what the next one is like with more of a focus on solving a mystery.

    That's pretty much how I felt. I still haven't read The Tea Rose yet! One of these days..

    I haven't read much from the 20s so can't really say, but I know what you mean about the wars. Sometimes I like them but other times I'm just not in the mood.
    You've mentioned that series a couple of times. I'm going to have to try the first one I see! :P

  6. I haven't read Maisie, yet - I tried, but it wasn't right for my mood. I'll get to it. That's a gorgeous cover!

  7. Nancy,
    Yes I do like that cover, it's the UK paperback. :)


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