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4.4 out of 5 stars41
4.4 out of 5 stars
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2010
People that reviewed the first book in this series accused it for only being a mystery in the beginning and at the end. Well, with this second book no such accusations can take place. It is a solid mystery from beginning to end. And at the root of the problem is a very sad part of history, something that happened during the Great War. Which makes the book very touching.
The reason why I have already come to love this detective after just two books and am heading for my third book, is that it is not just mystery that is revealed on it's pages but also a changing society. The social history is as intriguing as the case. And Maisie Dobbs personal life also becomes more interesting. In this book she fights the decision of cutting off her hair like many other women did at the time, that is 1930. Over ten years has passed since the Great War was over and still she is daily reminded of the horrors and so is the rest of society that she lives in. Not only she but lots of others are having a difficult time to move on and leave it all behind to start living. In this book she starts looking at the problems she is having with her dad, them having a difficult time forgiving and forgetting certain things. And she also has to decide what to do with the two suitors that want to be part of her life and what to do with her love for Simon, the man that came back from the war as a vegetable.
All of it brings together a page turner that can not be put down.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2010
Believable & interesting main characters and a good plot, centred around the long-term consequences of actions taking during WW1. However, it's only a 3 star read for me due to two minor niggles and one major irritation. Firstly, I became very bored with the endless descriptions of clothing. We need some knowledge of the fashions of the time to help set the scene, but do we really need such detailed lists of exactly what Maisie is wearing on every occasion? Secondly, Maisie finds two clues, around which are built a huge mystery, but we are not told what these clues are for some time...probably because once we know, the motive for the crimes becomes obvious. The greatest flaw for me is that much of Maisie's detection is based on some form of psychic ability. For example, she picks up clues from the 'auras' remaining in a persons room after they have left, a sense of pressure on her back tells her that the person she is talking to has more to tell her, and a sense of warmth in her fingers tells her that her hand is near to a hidden clue. If you find this believable then you will probably enjoy these novels (her detective methods in 2 other novels I have read are similar). I did not, which prevented me engaging fully with the story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2009
A Canadian friend told me she was hooked on the Maisie Dobbs books (English detective, circa 1930, no 'sex or violence' & so I have started to read them and found them to be good light reading with an interesting slant on the atrocities of the first world war, life in the twenties, the place of women in the workplace etc. Birds of a Feather is the second in the series & I am now on the fourth - and have loaned the first to a friend.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2006
If you've enjoyed any of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, then it's a fairly good bet that you would enjoy this. It's based in London during the 1930s, centering on a small detective agency run by Maisie Dobbs. The similarity to the Alexander McCall books lies in the fact that the case being solved is only part of the story, the other being the development of the main character, Maisie, her relationships with those around her and the "human interest" themes. I would say though that it lacks much of the wry humour of the Alexander McCall books and, as far as whodunnits go, it was pretty predictable from a reasonably early stage. But nethertheless a pleasant read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Birds of a Weather(Book 2 Maisie Dobbs Mysteries)by Jacqueline Winspear for me was an excellent read which showed me what those who lived through the First World War at home and abroad truly suffered and the after affects for so many years after it was won.
This is the Second book following the sleuth Maisie who does her investigating in her very own unique way accompanied by her ever faithful Billy Beale. Maisie is still suffering from the after affects of the First World War though slowly accepting that life must go on for her and those around her. She is employed by a very prestigious business owner namely Joseph Waite a self made man, who had accomplished so much which he makes his love for all that he owns and rules over very well known. Joseph's daughter Charlotte has disappeared and he wants her brought back home as soon as possible, this would be understandable but Charlotte is thirty two and immediately Maisie knows everything is not want it seems.
As this missing person case turns into something a lot more sinister this is indeed a case which Maisie takes control of in her own way while dealing with her own personal problems and finally accepting who she is in society which includes accepting her new stand in life which she finds the most difficult of all. It is also a book which showed me as a reader the true after effects of a terrible war and even when the last gun was sounded there was so many innocent people left to suffer in somewhat tragic ways but it also showed me how even then illegal drugs were a menace in society but also I learned how different the drug problems were looked at compared to today's world. This is certainly a book of mystery but one which showed what life was really like not only for those fighting in the First World war but for those who were fighting their own war at home, and how it left its legacy in suffering for so many years later.
I love Jacqueline Winspear as an author and I would recommend her books to any reader who likes a bit of a mystery within their reading material. I would actually compare Maisie Dobbs to a young Mrs Marple who misses nothing of her surroundings and a private detective who indeed kept me constantly entertained throughout this excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, is asked to try and find a businessman’s daughter. Maisie is dubious about the case because she suspects Mr Waite’s motives as his daughter, Charlotte, is an adult and cannot be compelled to return to her father’s home. When she realises that the name of a recent murder victim is one of the friends listed in Charlotte’s address book Maisie is very worried about the case.

This is a thought provoking mystery set in the nineteen twenties where the shadow of World War I is still lying heavy on many people including Maisie. There are interesting characters and motivations and a well drawn historical background. Maisie is battling with her uneasy relationship with her father and her own position in society which is unusual. Her business is helping her to establish herself and Billy Beale, her assistant is settling into his job and proving his worth.

If you like your crime novels with added depth and then try this series. Maisie herself has many interesting qualities and is developing into a well-rounded person with problems of her own to solve. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple or Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Whilst I enjoyed this second Maisie Dobbs mystery, for me it lacked the appeal of book 3 in the series- maybe its because I'm not reading them in their intended order, but to me it just felt a little bit flatter than `Pardonable Lies' and I struggled to enjoy this in quite the same way. I still adore Maisie as a sleuth and she is a fantastic character, but I struggled to engage with this book in quite the same way as its follow up.

This book finds Maisie having to track down a missing girl on behalf of the girl's rich father which then sees her caught up in several unsolved murders. At the same time, Maisie is still struggling to cope with her memories of World War I, as it seems is her assistant Billy.

I enjoy these books for their different setting which really stands out compared to a lot of other mysteries I've read in the past. Its fun to read about the 1920's/1930's and how women acted and behaved then- Maisie really is a bit of an independent trendsetter with her little MG car. It was also good to learn a bit more about her family background and the relationship she has with her father.

A few little irritations in this book for me though- other reviewers have commented on Maisie's ability to read `aura's' which I found annoying and a bit tedious- possibly because I don't go in for that and I didn't personally find it believable. I also find it difficult to understand her mentor, Maurice who seems a bit of a two-dimensional character. These niggles aside though, this is an intelligent mystery with a well developed plot and it is clear the author has done her research into the aftermath of WWI.

If you're a fan of mysteries and are looking for a bit of light reading then I would recommend giving Maisie Dobbs a try. With its twenties era setting and references to fashion and culture at the time in abundance, they're a bit of a treat.
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Birds of a Feather is the second book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Now in a new office in Fitzroy Square with Billy Beale as her permanent assistant, Maisie Dobbs is still under the generous patronage of Lady Rowan Compton, living at the Compton's Ebery Street house and in the process of buying Lady Rowan's crimson MG. Maisie is engaged by a wealthy and highly respected self-made businessman and philanthropist, Joseph Waite, to find his daughter Charlotte, who has, once again, run away from home. A woman in her early thirties, the reason for Charlotte's disappearance is not entirely apparent, although it is obvious that neither her father nor the household staff have a good relationship with her. But is this rather unhappy young woman in hiding (and if so, where?), has she met with foul play or an accident, or has she taken her own life? Following up with Charlotte's very sparsely-populated address book, Billy and Maisie discover a link with a young woman recently murdered, and soon, in exactly the same manner, the same fate befalls another of Charlotte’s contacts. When Maisie tracks down a third contact, a weeks-old suicide also begins to look suspicious. Joseph Waite has not been entirely forthcoming with information, and it seems that Billy Beale also has a problem he is not sharing with Maisie. DI Stratton makes a premature arrest and dismisses Maisie's misgivings; he continues his pursuit of Maisie socially, but his are not the only attentions Maisie has to handle. As well as expanding on Maisie's support cast, this installment illustrates further what life was like in 1930's England in rich and poor households alike, describing clothing and accoutrements, customs and behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. It also touches on the themes of remembrance and reminders, guilt, resentment and forgiveness, shame and coercion. Maisie demonstrates the value of following one’s intuition, of listening to service personnel, of re-enacting certain situations and of empathy with witnesses and victims; she uses trace evidence and, as usual, gets valuable advice from her mentor, Maurice Blanche. Yoga, Pilates, a convent, chronic pain and narcotic abuse, and a decoy stand-in all feature. Another historical mystery with an intriguing plot and an exciting climax.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2014
I am only at the beginning of the Maisie Dobbs series, although I am beginning to like her very much. I think that Jacqueline Winspear has painted the characters very well and with some sensitivity, although I thought the denouement of the first novel 'Maisie Dobbs', was a little artificial. The atmosphere of the 'twenties and the post-first-first-world-war world seems to have been very accurately portrayed, and makes a pleasant and realistic contrast to the popular idea of the 'fast' world of 'flappers' and jazz. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2013
With Maisie's previous history described in the first book, this second adventure focuses more on the mystery itself. I enjoyed this just as much as Book One - and think that Maisie is a wonderful character. There is a real feel for post-WW1 period - and so much more to the story than simply solving the mystery. I'm certainly looking forward to reading more about Maisie Dobbs & Co.
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