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Messenger of Truth: A Maisie Dobbs Mystery (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 4) [Hardcover]

Jacqueline Winspear
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Aug 2006 Maisie Dobbs Mystery 4

London, 1931. Nick Bassington-Hope, veteran of the Great War and controversial artist, is suddenly found dead. His death from a fall, the night before a much-anticipated exhibition of his work, is recorded as 'accidental'. But his sister is not convinced.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Georgina Bassington-Hope believes her brother was murdered, and she turns to Maisie Dobbs for help. Maisie's investigation takes her from the desolate beaches of Kent to the dark underbelly of London's art world. Still fragile after her war-related breakdown, Maisie's immersion in her work could lead her to lose more than she bargained for, while a desperate family with strong ties to her heart urgently needs her help.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; First Edition edition (10 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719567378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719567377
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 712,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'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)

'These books are not only good mysteries but enlightening chunks of social history' (Kaufman on Crime, Scotsman)

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

Immensely readable ... a vivid new addition to crime fiction (Daily Mail)

A heroine to cherish (New York Times)

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

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

'A new Maisie Dobbs mystery is always a cause for celebration... 'Messenger of Truth' [is] fiendishly entertaining' (Time Out)

Book Description

Charming sleuth Maisie Dobbs returns in her fourth mystery, investigating a mysterious death in the art world of 1930s London

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Set in post-World War I England, the Maisie Dobbs mysteries keep getting better and better--more fully developed, more complex, and more illustrative of life in that between-wars era. In this fourth novel, Maisie, a former army nurse, now in her late twenties, is an "inquiry agent," or private detective, who has been contacted by wealthy Georgina Bassington-Hope following the death of her brother Nick. Nick, a highly regarded artist, died in a fall from the scaffolding he was using to mount a new exhibition, and Georgina, defying her family and the police report, believes he was pushed.

Using straight-forward, workmanlike prose, author Jacqueline Winspear develops the story and a cast of characters which offers a broad cross section of the society between world wars--from the wealthy Bassington-Hopes, who can afford to be frivolous in their arty lives, to the family of Billy Beale, a poor man who supports his large family as Maisie's assistant. The exotic world of artists, gallery owners, and buyers, comes alive, as does the world of fishermen on the Kentish coast, where Nick Bassington-Hope has his studio, and the reader quickly develops an awareness of the stratification pervading society and the concern for one's "place" in it.

As Maisie begins her investigation of Nick's death, Winspear juggles several overlapping plot threads simultaneously. Nick's exhibition was to feature his "masterpiece," thought to be a triptych about his experiences in the war, a work of art so secret no one has ever seen it--and no one has found it since his death.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Aspiring young artist Nick Bassington-Hope is at the height of his popularity when he is found on the floor of the Svenson Gallery, his neck broken. He was working late in the night before the opening of his first major exhibition in years and it appears fell from scaffolding that had been set up in the gallery to allow him to construct his main piece.

The police conclude that it was a terrible mishap and a verdict of accidental death is recorded. But Nick's twin sister Georgina is convinced that her beloved brother met with foul play. There is little to be gained from badgering the police, particularly Detective Inspector Stratton of Scotland Yard, who was placed in charge of the case, so in desperation Georgina enlists the help of investigative agent and psychologist Maisie Dobbs.

The indefatigable Maisie, this thirty-year-old woman of independent means, is perhaps the only person who can perhaps lead the poor Georgina across the threshold from her doubt-ridden wilderness and through the door of truth. Maisie is only too happy to take on the case. Stubborn, willful and determined, solving Nick's murder becomes a personal challenge for Maisie, if nothing else, to prove that a woman in the 1930's can be equally successful at solving these crimes as men.

Nick's paintings were controversial at best and he had a habit of exposing certain uncomfortable truths about certain individuals within his work. Together with her cockney assistant Billy Beale - who has problems of his own - Maisie begins to unravel the mystery of Nick's death, steadily unraveling clues that stretch from Dungeness in Kent to the murky underbelly of London's art world, and to the shadowy edges of international war profiteering.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Receiving a polite brush-off from the police, Georgina Bassington-Hope seeks help from Maisie Dobbs in her quest for the murderer of her brother the artist Nick Bassington-Hope. There is however no evidence to support Georgina belief that her brother has been murdered. But in the light of Georgina's passionate belief Maisie accepts the case.

Maisie Dobbs is an investigator and a psychologist and her first task is to know Nick Bassington-Hope. To this end she sets out to meet his closest friends and his family, and to visit the scene of his death - the Mayfair gallery where he was setting up his much-anticipated exhibition. A veteran of the Great War Nick's major work which was to receive it's first showing the day after his death, but it is mysteriously missing, and no one can locate it.

Maisie's investigation takes her from Mayfair to the beaches of Dungeness. Although the year is 1931, the tentacles of the Great War still cast a long shadow over both the Bassington-Hope's and Maisie, who is still fragile from her breakdown. I have enjoyed all the books in this series but this is the best.

------

Lizzie Hayes
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Messenger of Truth 8 Mar 2014
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Maisie Dobbs is approached by Georgina Bassington-Hope to investigate the apparently accidental death of her brother Nicholas. The police have already investigated but Georgina is not convinced that it was an accident. Against a background of a worsening economic situation and problems for her assistant, Billy Beale, Maisie must try and get to the bottom of the mysteries which apparently surround the dead man as well as resolving some problems in her own private life.

This is an exciting story with some poignant moments which certainly brought tears to my eyes. The way Maisie and Billy interact is very cleverly done and I love reading about the way they work on their cases. Maisie herself is an enigmatic characters and something if a fish out of water as she started off life as a servant but had made her way in the world thanks to the support both emotional and financial of the Compton family. She has her own successful business in an era when women were expected to stay at home and bring up their families.

If you like mysteries with an historical background and with more psychological depth than the average then try the Maisie Dobbs mysteries. Each book can be read as a standalone novel but it is interesting to watch the development of the series characters if you read the books in the order in which they were published.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent mystery
Messenger of Truth is the fourth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Cloggie Downunder
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
This series is really bringing home the effects of WW1 on peoples lives along with the invetigation of the story. The changes in the social structure is interesting to see.
Published 1 month ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Briliant
Maisie Dobbs has become so real and so part of my life. I can't wait for the next book instalment
Published 2 months ago by Derek Pullen
5.0 out of 5 stars messenger of truth
I liked this book very much and found myself almost living the story and had a job to put it down so I can say to others to read it,
Published 4 months ago by pat carter
4.0 out of 5 stars I like these books
I have read all the Jacqueline Winspear in this series and am looking forward to reading this one in the near future
Published 7 months ago by M. Francis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Maisie Dobb's character grows through each book, and its so easy to read for someone who likes simplicity to0gether with depth.
Published 9 months ago by sheila baldock
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Maisie Dobbs story
I love this book which is rich in history and human feelings, which is what I am looking for in books!
Published 10 months ago by ANXI HINTON
2.0 out of 5 stars poor condition
we knew it was 2nd hand but there were stains on some of the pages and we had hoped for better condition than that.
Published 11 months ago by C Simons
1.0 out of 5 stars Am I reading the same book?
Well I've given up at half-way through. Nothing but nothing has happened yet. I care nought for any of the characters, they are writ so shallow, as is the social critique. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Catherine Woodward
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book
All of the Maisie Dobbs stories have been very enjoyable and make great light reading and this one isno exception. A firm family favourite!
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
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