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Messenger of Truth: A Maisie Dobbs Mystery (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 4) Hardcover – 10 Aug 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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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: 14.6 x 22.5 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 443,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Mar. 2014
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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