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Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Aug 2003
£21.65

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Press Inc; First Printing edition (1 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569473307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569473306
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.7 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,611,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

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

'It's a long time since I've read a crime novel that begins as well as Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs' -- Simon Brett, Daily Mail

'Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs is a welcome addition to the sleuthing scene....Maisie isn’t a character I’ll easily forget' -- Elizabeth George --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Introducing the delightful Maisie Dobbs, private investigator of love and war in the 1920s, guaranteed to be embraced by mystery lovers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too many huge holes in the plot, Americanisms( envision, etc) and gross errors....the Times didn't have news on its front page until the sixties, and even an ex- Brit, now living in America could have checked her facts! I am sure she works with a map of London and an Underground map by her side, as sometimes Whinspear batters her readers over the head relating the routes her characters take. The stories are good enough, but easy reading and undemanding.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm in need of some "comfort reading" at the moment. Having finished Louise Penny's excellent Inspector Gamache novels (cosy but with quite a bit of depth, I highly recommend them) I was looking for something similar and Amazon recommended the Maisie Dobbs series.
So I read book one and to be honest I'm not really sure if I lked it or not. Things I liked: the era, the background info on the medical services on the battlefront, the general premise of the story. Things I didn't like: the overly cliched and repetitive writing style (e.g the umpteen references to "tendrils of hair" escaping from Maisie's hat/bun/nurse's cap), the thinness of the plot, the silliness of the confrontation with the villain and, most importantly, Maisie herself. This was mostly because the author does not properly explain Maisie's rather cold treatment of Simon Lynch during their courtship and her utterly callous abandonment of him after he's injured. So I was left feeling she was, to put it bluntly, rather a self centred b*tch. And that's not ideal when you're supposed to empathise with the heroine. I'm going to read the next in the series in the hope it gets better.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. On Amazon it is often compared to Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and while I have not read those books, I have seen the TV series and yes, I can agree with them. It resembles that series BUT... at the same time not.
Maisie Dobbs grows up in a very strict social order and class system without any prospects beyond becoming a maid. But she has a very bright mind and the luck of working for a woman that wants to make a changes in society. She is given the opportunity to study and step out of the class where she was born. Then World War 1 breaks out and she lies about her age to become a nurse and help out. Not until the war is over, can she return to her studies and then continue being trained by a man that is doing something so modern as being an investigator and psychologist at the same time.
Some people have complained that there is only a mystery at the beginning and at the end of the book. Yes, that is true. At the same time, I as a reader wanted the story in between. The whole middle section tells Maisie's story so that the author can make a series out of this heroine. She builds up Maisie's backround so we know where Maisie is coming from, what she has encountered during the war and what people she knows. This needs to be done somewhere and why not after having started the mystery???
Since the book is set in 1929, cases can not be solved quickly and have to be done so without modern technology and often with the help of psychology. She is an Hercules Poirot and a Miss Marple and yet, entirely a person of her own, an loveable, attractive young lady with a broken heart.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been so touched by this story, At first when I started reading it I didn't think I would continue, but I got caught up in Maisie's life, the terrible war casualties made me realise exactly what our young men and women went through for our freedom and also how their suffering still continued after the war ended, but I really got involved in the story and cried more than a few tears. I must praise the author for her writing ability she really made it all seem so real.
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By Aletheuon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This first novel in the Maisie Dobbs series is not the best of them but it is still absorbing. Maisie is a modern woman in a world now disappeared; she is highly intelligent and achieving, her own woman,well-educated and therefore not bound by her class,determined and capable yet searching for an anchor in a dangerous and uncertain age. She has rightly been compared with Precious Ramotswe of 'The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency'. Both women are survivors, strong and possessing profound feminine wisdom, and both inhabit a moral universe. Precious Ramotswe embodies a traditional African way of life now disappearing. Maisie Dobbs' world has now disappeared but is vividly opened up to us as we read.
The book is highly readable, even addictive. Other reviews point out weaknesses - and they are all correct. It is true that Maisie's story is unlikely, in that class-ridden age. She did not encounter snobbery, jealousy and class warfare; instead, her path was smoothed by everyone involved. She was loved and admired by all. Authors can become so involved with their characters that they cannot be wholly realistic about them.
As a woman, I'm not sure how men would respond to these stories, but I suspect that their greatest appeal is to women. Personally, I much prefer books by women because they tell me what I really want to know about the characters, their feelings and their personal growth. This is the real fascination of these books - well-rounded central characters who grow and who relate to each other with kindness, fundamentally good people. They live in a world that is very tough and often tragic but their struggles enable them to learn real psychological lessons and their life experience is redemptive. They inspire hope. Perhaps this is at the root of their popularity.
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