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An Incomplete Revenge (A Maisie Dobbs Mystery) [Paperback]

Jacqueline Winspear
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

22 Jan 2009 A Maisie Dobbs Mystery

1931. Maisie Dobbs' new case takes her investigation into the pastoral beauty of the Kent Weald where acts of arson, theft and vandelism around the village of Heronsdene have gone suspiciously unreported for more than a decade. With the country in the grip of economic malaise, Maisie is relieved to accept an assignment from an old friend who wants her to uncover the truth behind these crimes, before he can buy part of the magnificent Sandermere estate at the heart of the village.

It's hop-picking time and Londoners, including Maisie's assistant Billy Beale, wanting to escape the Smoke for the summer, set up camp in nearby fields. Gypsies, too, have arrived to work the land. Maisie discovers the villagers are bitterly prejudiced against outsiders and, even more troubling, seem possessed by the legacy of a war-time Zepplin raid.

She has less than a month to find out why no one has been brought to justice and why secrecy shrouds the village. She must draw on all of her finely honed skills of detection to solve one of her most intriguing cases.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (22 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719569613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719569616
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Psychologically convincing' (Jessica Mann, Literary Review)

'The author captures the atmosphere of (the 1930s) with great accuracy, borne out by extensive research' (Dover Express & Folkestone Herald)

'A riveting is an easy book to read yet is not, I felt, a light read as it delves into the horrors of the First World War' (Newbooks)

'So well written that it leaves you wanting more' (The Bookfiends Kingdom)

'The terrific mystery is intriguing and full of suspense which makes for an absorbing read' (Dartford Messenger)

'The accurate period detail makes this series a worthy successor to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple books' (Good Book Guide)

'She has created a fascinating working class heroine, Maisie Dobbs ... if you don't usually read detective stories just meet Maisie Dobbs and you may change your mind' (Driffield Leader)

Praise for Jacqueline Winspear (***)

'In Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear has given us a real gift. Maisie Dobbs has not been created - she has been discovered. Such people are always there amongst us, waiting for somebody like Ms. Winspear to come along and reveal them. And what a revelation it is!' (Alexander McCall Smith)

A fine new sleuth for the twenty-first century (Elizabeth George)

A heroine to cherish (New York Times)

A wry and immensely readable beginning to what promises to be a vivid new addition to crime fiction (Praise for MAISIE DOBBS, Daily Mail)

The British counterpart to Alexander McCall Smith's The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Associated Press)

Feisty, working-class heroine Maisie is a deliberate throwback to the sleuthettes of old-fashioned crime writing. The well-plotted story, its characters and the picture of London between the wars are decidedly romantic. American readers loved it; many Brits will, too. (Guardian)

A terrific mystery ... Intriguing and full of suspense, it makes for an absorbing read (Observer)

Even if detective stories aren't your thing, you'll love Maisie Dobbs (New Woman)

'Think Upstairs Downstairs meets Miss Marple - with a touch of chirpy cheerful Cockney from the Dick Van Dyke school' (Yorkshire Post)

Book Description

A Zepplin raid in a sleepy Kent village ...

An innocent family killed...

Unsolved crimes hang over Heronsdene and Maisie Dobbs is hired to uncover the truth. But outsiders are not welcome and the locals will go to extreme lengths to prevent their long-buried secret from coming to light.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb sleuthing 24 Feb 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For those who have not yet read the Maisie Dobbs series of novels, it is my advice not to start with this one, but with the first in the series entitled Maisie Dobbs and then read the next four in chronological order. For those already familiar with Maisie, and who already know the back story of our psychologist/private investigator, they certainly won't be disappointed with her latest exploits.
It is 1931, the country is deep in economic recession and Maisie is concerned about her business. She is therefore delighted to accept an assignment to investigate certain matters concerning a possible land purchase. Her investigations take her to rural Kent during the late summer hop picking season, to a village in which mysterious fires have taken place with alarming regularity and where the villagers - suspicious of everyone, particularly those involved in the hop picking (the families from London's East End and gypsies) - hide behind a wall of secrecy. As well as investigating the potential land purchase, Maisie is keen to discover the truth behind the fires.
As with Jacqueline Winspear's former Maisie Dobbs novel, this latest one is rich with period detail (a time when even a telephone was a luxury item) as well as instances of the gypsy language. This is the most exciting, atmospheric and enthralling of the Maisie Dobbs novels to date.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good mystery story and an enjoyable read 17 Mar 2009
Maisie Dobbs is a private investigator and psychologist in early 1930s London.

She solves mysteries by a combination of intuition and gentle probing. Shades of Miss Marple perhaps - only younger and driving an MG.

The nuances of 1930s class and speech are well observed, though sometimes the use of modern psychological ideas such as focusing or visualisation jar with the 1930s setting.

All the problems Maisie deals with have their roots in the First World War. Its aftermath and effect on combatants and non-combatants alike is a theme running through all the Maisie Dobbs novels - an original idea.

Dramatisations of the novels would make ideal Sunday night viewing. I wonder if any production company has shown interest?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good addition to the series 9 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this episode of the Maisie Dobbs series very much. I had felt that one or two of the more recent one's weren't quite as strong, but this one tied up loose ends and filled in some gaps in the backstory and seemed to set the stage for Maisie to go forward in future episodes with a renewed strength. The whole series is an interesting exploration of the aftermath of the First World War which was still evident when I was a child (in the late 40s and 50s)when the widows and spinsters of the First War were joined by those whose lives were similarly reshaped by the Second. It's made me reconsider the wonderful women who were my teachers and who had experienced similar traumas. A fascinating social history of this period and it's social effect on women is to be found in "Singled Out" which I'd also highly recommend.

If you decide to read these books do start at the beginning to really appreciate Maisie's psychological approach to detection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read. 6 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Maisie leaves London and heads to Kent in the middle of hopping season to undertake some investigations into a brickworks and the surrounding village.

While I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series (if you're completely unfamiliar, think post-WW1 solo female detective, a former nurse with painful history), there are several elements to the series that don't click with me - Maisie's psychic abilities are up there (I like fantasy, I just don't like psychics in historical fiction), as is her overly formal thought process and communication with other people. Maisie is supposed to draw people in and have them confide in her, and yet it puzzles me sometimes why people do so when faced with her cold calm exterior.

In this book, we get some sort of explanation for Maisie's psychic gifts when we discover she has Gypsy heritage. *sigh* A little romanticised and... well, silly, for my taste, but it doesn't overwhelm the story, which is a nice little mystery firmly rooted in the War, as are most of Maisie's investigations. I do like the way this series brings to life post-war England, and the way the war has affected so many lives, the very heart and spirit of the country.

Maisie has to let go of a painful link to her past, and it is nice to see a consistent maturing of her character as the books go on. I will definitely keep reading these, despite never rating them too highly - I like Maisie despite myself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maisie Dobbs An Incomplete Revenge 3 Feb 2011
By J.A
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the 5th in the Series of Maisie Dobbs Books & a great read
In this one you read about how Londoners & Gypsies went down to the hop fields of Kent you still have the way the 1st World War touches people & how they try to deal with it
I really enjoyed this book & certainly recommend it, you do really need to read the books in order so you can follow the characters but the story in each book is a complete one so if you did read it you could still follow it just that i feel you miss something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incomplete Revenge 17 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Maisie Dobbs is working for James Compton – son of Lord Julian and Lady Rowan, Maisie’s former employers when she was a servant. She has been asked to find out background information on an estate in Kent that the Compton Company wants to buy.

It is hop picking season and Billy Beale, Maisie’s assistant, takes his family into Kent to take part in the picking while he is sleuthing for Maisie. The villagers seem to be very close knit and they don’t want to talk about past events and they won’t report crimes which seem to happen at the same time each year.

This is a very dark mystery where the shadows of World War I still hang heavy over the villagers and are still affecting events in the nineteen thirties. Maisie also has to face up to her own past and try to understand her mother’s family background. The story shows the best of human nature and the worst. The book could be read as a standalone novel but is probably better read as part of a series. This is number five.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Series
Once again Jacqueline Winspear gets the mind working on how the story will pull together. Looking for ward to the next in the series.
Published 14 days ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete pleasure
I thoroughly enjoyed this, the fourth Maisie Dobbs book I have read. The story is intricate and fascinating, and informative about gypsy law and language. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bernadette
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Maisie Dobbs works her way into your heart like no other heroine I have ever known She is so real
Published 1 month ago by Derek Pullen
5.0 out of 5 stars A good solid series
I am not sure what it is about Maisie Dobbs and her friends and family that draw me but I can't put these books down once I start reading them(in order). Read more
Published 7 months ago by S. Farnaby
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible audiobook reading mars novel
I have really enjoyed the Maisie Dobbs series but this review is of the audiobook of Incomplete Revenge read by Orlagh Cassidy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Maisie Dobbs fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old Maisie!
I am glad to have found Maisie Dobbs. The books conbine my enjoyment of detective novels with an interest with WW1 and the interwar years. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Judy Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a great item and I would most certainly recommend it to others.
It is worth every penny paid for it.
Published 16 months ago by ian
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant characterisation and plot
Please read my reviews of the other Maisie Dobbs mysteries. They are all full of colourful characters and plenty of action and nostalgia. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Beckyboo
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incomplete Revenge
Another book about maisie Dobbs and her life between the wars. I am looking forward to reading it as i am sure that it will be as good as the others.
Published 18 months ago by Caradog
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
Well worth reading,with twists and turns often totally unexpected. I'm addicted to these books and eagerly await the next publication.
Published 19 months ago by Claire Voyant
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