Customer Reviews


36 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new direction ?
Another Maisie Dobbs Novel , but sadly it seems wealth and happiness do not make Maisie more interesting. I feel
Winspear was not sure where to take Maisie and felt she should move forward, I am just not sure if this is the right direction.
I preferred Maisie as an independent and slightly flawed emotionally, making her living and being involved in the life of...
Published on 13 Dec. 2012 by Louise Bryan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars up to standard
I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs books, but they are quite odd. The post-World War 1 novels of Rennie Airth, for example, give a much more frightening sense of the damage that war can do, and they generate a psychological intensity that Winspear shies away from, and their resolutions are gripping scenes of action. Both Airth and Winspear are concerned to present the world...
Published 13 months ago by Stanley Crowe


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new direction ?, 13 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lesson in Secrets, A (Maisie Dobbs) (Paperback)
Another Maisie Dobbs Novel , but sadly it seems wealth and happiness do not make Maisie more interesting. I feel
Winspear was not sure where to take Maisie and felt she should move forward, I am just not sure if this is the right direction.
I preferred Maisie as an independent and slightly flawed emotionally, making her living and being involved in the life of Billy and his family. Now she is suddenly" Lady Bountiful," with an Aristocratic lover, I think perhaps Ms Winspear has written herself in to a corner by heading in this direction, also the storyline with its mix of spies etc is not the Maisie Dobbs that this reader has come to love: the working class girl made good by her own hard work and intelligence was more appealing; I hope she returns
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs), 11 Oct. 2011
By 
KRIS (Earlsdon, Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The latest Maisie Dobbs offering from Jacqueline Winspear moves us into the early 1930s, 1932 to be exact. The menace of Hitler is beginning to loom and Maisie goes undercover back at Cambridge. It is very much up to Winspear's high standards, my only complaint is that to get it at a good price I've had to buy it from the States, their hardback version is cheaper than the UK paperback, but once over the irritation of color and favor without the letter u, I have coped. Definitely a very good read - I'm looking forward to seeing how the series continues towards WW2. KP
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Secrets, 16 Aug. 2011
I usually cannot wait for the next Maisie Dobbs` book to be published. This one was no exception, but I did find that it wasn`t as personal regarding Maisie`s life as normal, more factual, still a very good read though.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, 15 Dec. 2014
By 
Cloggie Downunder (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lesson in Secrets, A (Maisie Dobbs) (Paperback)
A Lesson In Secrets is the eighth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. After being (somewhat ineptly) followed for some ten days, psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobbs finds herself recruited into the Secret Intelligence Service by Brian Huntley (as was hinted by her late mentor during his last days), to work a job in conjunction with Robbie MacFarlane of Scotland Yard Special Branch. Having signed the Official Secrets Act, she is to pose as a psychology lecturer at The College of St Francis whilst observing for activities that are not in the interest of the Crown. But when she has been there only a week, the Principal of the College, Greville Liddicote, a staunch pacifist, is murdered. And a little research reveals quite a few possible suspects.

While Maisie is away, Billy Beale manages the Investigations business, although he is to some degree distracted by the impending birth of his fourth child. Luckily Maisie is able to convince her reluctant employee to become her tenant in a new cottage in which she invests some of her newfound wealth. A former flatmate comes to Maisie in distress: recently widowed, and with some doubt about the accidental nature of her husband’s death, Sandra accepts a job but remains unsettled. Maisie’s relationship with James Compton encounters a few hurdles.

In this instalment, Winspear touches on conscientious objection, mutiny amongst the troops, Nazism, fraud, organised crime and protection rackets, the role of women in the resistance and a nerve disorder that sounds a lot like Multiple Sclerosis. Maisie is frustrated at the Secret Service’s focus on Communism at the expense of Fascism, and Robert Stratton makes a surprise move. A baby is born and Maisie visits Wandsworth Prison. As always, Winspear blends historical fact with fiction while her plot takes a few twists before the murderer is revealed. It will be interesting to see where the next book, Elegy for Eddie takes this resourceful heroine. Another great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars up to standard, 24 April 2014
By 
This review is from: Lesson in Secrets, A (Maisie Dobbs) (Paperback)
I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs books, but they are quite odd. The post-World War 1 novels of Rennie Airth, for example, give a much more frightening sense of the damage that war can do, and they generate a psychological intensity that Winspear shies away from, and their resolutions are gripping scenes of action. Both Airth and Winspear are concerned to present the world between the wars as a time of fragility, but the sense of threat is much more palpable in Airth's books. In this novel, the shying away from intensity is present too in the domestic passages; Maisie is now sleeping with James Compton, but there is absolutely no sexual energy AT ALL in the novel, and this absence of erotic liberation cuts against the book's ostensible theme of the capacity of women to work effectively in a world still largely dominated by men. There are four strong women in this novel -- Maisie herself, Francesca Thomas,her colleague at College of St Francis, the College Secretary Rosemary Linden, and Maisie's office helper Sandra, now a widow determined to find out the truth behind her husband's death. Rosemary and Sandra, in their different ways, generate some intensity, but Maisie's job seems to be always to be cooling things down -- and that doesn't augur well, long term, for her relationship with James Compton.

Without giving too much away, the story has Maisie agreeing to work for the Secret Service by taking a job teaching introductory Philosophy in Cambridge at the College of St Francis, whose head and founder, Greville Liddicote has established it to further peace in the world following the horrors of World War 1. Hitler is beginning to make noise in Germany, and he has sympathizers in Britain, but (Maisie discovers) he is not taken seriously -- except by Maisie and Francesca, those prescient women! Then Liddicote is murdered, Scotland Yard appears on the scene, and Maisie, though told to keep out of the way of Inspectors McFarlane and Stratton by her Secret Service handler, manages to solve their case, while still being able to make her report to the Secret Service, AND solve problems that Sandra gets into as she seeks the truth about her husband. It's a weakness of the plotting, though, that Maisie manages to resolve the questions of the murder and Sandra's danger not really by sleuthing but by happenstance -- being in the right place at the right time. There is some effective detective work -- the finding of Rosemary Linden, for example -- but it is followed by a lot of exposition that means that Maisie doesn't have to figure things out. Likewise with Francesca Thomas -- there comes a point where she just explains it all. Is it a quality of Maisie's character that makes people explain things to her? or is it a plot convenience that Winspear can't find any other way around?

The real charm of the book is in its rather detached aestheticizing of its "world" -- a kind of aestheticizing that invites a nostalgia for that world, which, one has to say, was far more dangerous and difficult than the books show. The political and economic challenges are alluded to, but they are not rendered convincingly. So all in all, the world as the books present it, is the kind of world in which a sensitive and intelligent woman like Maisie can thrive. That is sentimental and as a result the books belong to the genre of polite romance rather than "thriller." The idea of romance fits too with the treatment of class in the novel, which is a bit odd. James's class difference from Maisie just doesn't register on her consciousness, while her assistants Billy and Sandra treat Maisie as a higher class of being -- even though Maisie's origins are as humble as theirs. I think we're meant to believe that education dissolved these differences, perhaps along with the horror of the war which tends to make one think of common humanity rather than social classes. And maybe it does for some -- but c. 1930, when this book is set, class difference in fact did matter and education had not yet worked its dissolving power. All of which is to say that the grasp of the period is a bit shaky for all the "period detail" of clothes and transportation. For all that, Lee Child, creator of Jack Reacher, apparently loves the Maisie Dobbs books -- but looked at in one way, there's something sentimental about Child's plots too. Justice is done, loose ends are tied up, and history is largely ignored, though there is a bit more sex and violence on the journey.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 24 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lesson in Secrets, A (Maisie Dobbs) (Paperback)
I find that Jacquline Winspear writes beautifully in an erudite manner. Maie Dobbs is a very interesting person who has a vast experience both in World War 1 and later in her work and knowledge of both the seedier side of London and also the so called better side or the monied classes. She holds my interest until the end of the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet., 23 Jun. 2011
By 
Sarah Ingham "shopaholic" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have really enjoyed this series and whilst it would make sense if you read this book out of synch, I would recommend reading all of them in order. For me, it was a very quick read, having become involved with the various characters and their back-stories. I am delighted that Maisie is finally getting a proper love story and can't wait to find out how it resolves.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 26 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The main problem with this book is the ridiculous plot. Characters are OK, if stereotypes, and the writing is good. I don't expect this sort of book to be more than a potboiler and it is that - fine to read on holiday.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The latest Maisie Dobbs, 23 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Another wonderful "between the wars" detective and psychological mystery. I found this book a bit lighter than the other M.D. books, since Maisie seems a lot happier personally. The characters develop in every book, and each book is beautifully written, with loads for the readers to sink their teeth into. Highly recommended, but I suggest you start with the first one, and read the whole series. Otherwise, you will miss out on the gradual development of characters and relationships.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maisie Dobbs, 3 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lesson in Secrets, A (Maisie Dobbs) (Paperback)
Jacqueline Winspear has 'done it' again with A LESSON IN SECRETS and delivered another unput downable read. As with all of her other Maisie Dobbs books this one didn't disappoint. They could also make an excellent TV series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Lesson in Secrets, A (Maisie Dobbs)
Lesson in Secrets, A (Maisie Dobbs) by Jacqueline Winspear (Paperback - 27 Aug. 2012)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews