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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Coincidence is a messenger sent by Truth.", 14 Aug 2005
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Fans of Maisie Dobbs will delight in this new addition to her series, and those who are new to her have a treat in store. All these mysteries take place in the aftermath of World War I, this one taking place between September and October, 1930. Maisie is a survivor, having enlisted, at seventeen, in the nursing corps, where she served in France in the final, horrific days of the war. A terrible attack, which killed many of the doctors, nurses, and soldiers she was tending, has left her suffering nightmares more than ten years later. Now working as a psychologist/investigator in London, Maisie stays busy to avoid dealing with her demons.
Three mysteries unfold simultaneously. Avril Jarvis, age 13, is arrested for the murder of her "uncle" when she is found with a knife in her hand and blood on her clothes. Penniless, she has no counsel until Maisie takes a case involving Sir Cecil Lawton, whom she persuades to represent Avril as part of her fee. Sir Cecil's son Ralph disappeared during the war in France, and his wife, believing him still alive, has exacted a deathbed promise that Sir Cecil will search for him. In addition, one of Maisie's friends from the Ambulance Corps, now married to a wealthy author in France, has begged her to try to find where the third of her brothers died and was buried in France.
The horrors of World War I pervade the novel, and when Maisie goes to France, these horrors come alive, not just for the reader but for Maisie, and she learns she must "slay her dragons" at last. Intriguing characters add color to the novel--a doctor who has been with the secret service, a psychic who knows too much about Maisie, a paralyzed member of Parliament who was a close friend of Ralph Lawton, and an elegant woman and her granddaughter who live in a decaying castle.
As the mysteries develop, a plethora of key photographs, kept by numerous characters, connect some of the characters with specific times and places, and romantic elements, such as a secret passageway leading to a musty room, a hidden journal written in code, assumed identities, an important clue buried under a tree, and several attacks on Maisie keep the action moving. Physical details of clothing, social customs, and landscape give a sense of realism to this romantic mystery and all its coincidences, and there is just enough danger to sustain the tension in this well written and unusual addition to the genre. Mary Whipple
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The intrepid Maisie Dobbs weaves her magic....., 18 July 2009
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This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
This, the third novel about Maisie Dobbs, the detective with a difference, holds the attention just as much as the first and second. Maisie, single and alone, has suffered enough. Her wonderful fiance, shellshocked and in an asylum for the rest of his life will never come back to her, and she has a business and reputation to build. She has another skill up her sleeve too - empathy. She knows how people feel, and if they will not tell her what they really want, she will talk it out of them. A gentle detective with a clever way of solving problems - ahead of her time in the 1930's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of my new favourite female sleuths!, 14 July 2011
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
I was handed this book on the recommendation of a friend, and though it's actually the third in the Maisie Dobbs series and I haven't read any of the ones prior to this, I think it can quite easily be read as a standalone novel as just enough back story to the characters and past events is given. I will say however that I have enjoyed this book so much that I will definitely be going back to the start of the series and reading the others set before this one as well. Though I enjoy my `cosy' mysteries well enough, there was something infinitely appealing about Maisie Dobbs and the era this book is set in is incredibly interesting- adding just a little bit extra to the story. The plot is also very well crafted with just the right amount of intrigue and suspense. The story isn't entirely predictable or cliché either and cleverly ties in history as well as mystery. After reading this novel I have to say that in future Maisie Dobbs might join Mme Ramotswe as one of my favourite female sleuths.

Set in 1930, the book follows Maisie Dobbs, a brilliant psychologist and investigator as she tries to solve three cases- one that will take her across to France and force her to relive her demons from her own time spent there as a nurse in WW1.

Maisie is a character with great depth and moral integrity and I enjoyed getting to know her. I thought the setting for this book was inspired as it encourages the reader to learn a bit more about those struggling in the aftermath of WW1, Maisie herself included, in parallel with the mysteries being unravelled. She is a detective with a little bit more gumption about her than I expected, believing in psychic phenomena and as another reviewer has commented- this story would translate very well on television. The secondary characters too, were portrayed very well- all in all I'm looking forward to going back to the beginning and getting to know Maisie a little bit better. This book was a terrific mix of crime, intrigue and drama, laced with the repercussions of the aftermath of war. It has a nostalgic feel to it with beautiful descriptions and elegant settings.

Recommended for mystery fans or people looking for a detective story that it just a little bit different from the norm.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improving series, 24 April 2006
By 
Mark Pearce "mark one" (Shropshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having picked up the first (Maisie Dodds) as part of a 3 for 2 offer, I was pleasantly surprised. The book showed enough promise to keep me hooked and I bought the second. This was even better and I bought the third fairly quickly.

Ms Winspear's writing is good. She describes the scenes and characters well, but her use of language is also excellent. I find myself looking forward to the next and I hope she is busy writing it even now!

I can see the series converting to television well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Series Is An Excellent Read, 27 Jun 2014
This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
Once again the story is intriguing and the development of the series folowing the life of Maisie Dobbs gives a good insight to life in those days.
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5.0 out of 5 stars enthralling historical mystery, 9 April 2014
By 
Cloggie Downunder (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
Pardonable Lies is the third book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, uses her unique skills to tease from a thirteen-year-old girl the circumstances of her “uncle’s” death. Avril Jarvis is the prime suspect, but Maisie doubts her guilt, and sends Billy Beale to Avril’s hometown of Taunton to do some investigating. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Compton asks aisie to take on a case for a friend, Sir Cecil Lawton, QC. Maisie’s brief is to confirm that Cecil’s son, Ralph, died in a plane crash in France during the Great War, some 13 years ago. A reunion with her college friend, Priscilla Partridge (nee Evernden) sees Maisie also agreeing to establish the fate of her eldest brother, Peter, ostensibly another Great War casualty. After some initial research into Ralph Lawton’s background in England, Maisie reluctantly travels to France, the scene of her own wartime traumas. Her mentor, Maurice Blanche, insists on accompanying her, a move Maisie finds rather unsettling; she is unsettled, too, by several incidents which lead her to believe her life is in danger. Once again, the narration proceeds at a deliberate pace to cement a plot with several twists. While some details soon become obvious, there are a few intriguing surprises in store for the reader. Maisie’s trust in Maurice is compromised; she is involved in accidents in her beloved MG; poisoned chocolates, missing War Office records, a popular politician, secret passages, a gay men’s club, psychics and a secret diary all feature. As always, Winspear creates a 1930’s world that feels authentic, including rumblings about Nazi Germany. She continues to fill out the background of her regular characters in this enthralling historical mystery.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mannered, 21 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
An enjoyable series, once you can shift gear and engage with the deliberately mannered and old-fashioned idiom Winspear employs. The books seem to improve as she gets into her stride, whether this continues throughout the series I don't know as this is the latest I have read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maisie Dobbs, 2 Sep 2013
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GillyB (Ipswich, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
Love the whole series and cannot wait to read the next episode to find out how Maisie and all her friends and colleagues manage to sort out all problems
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3), 20 May 2013
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A. Willmett (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs develops well with each new story (there are now ten) although not everyone will be comfortable with the spiritualism aspects here. However, I found it a very satisfying read. Althought there are brief explanations of Miss Dobbs' previous experiences, I think it worth starting with the first Maisie Dobbs for a full appreciation of her life and character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) (Paperback)
This is a great item and I would most certainly recommend it to others.
It is worth every penny paid for it.
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Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3)
Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 3) by Jacqueline Winspear (Paperback - 10 Aug 2006)
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