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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 16 January 2015
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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on 27 January 2010
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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on 28 April 2017
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 August 2011
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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on 8 February 2010
I could not read fast enough, had to read ahead and finally I could not take it anymore and had to read the end when half way, even though I had promised myself not to do so. I of course still finished the book since the end did not mean anything without everything between the covers.
The first book was really good, the second better and this one is even better than that one. In this book Maisie has to handle three cases at the same time. She is really forced to deal with her past and WWI memories when she on account of two clients have to go over to France and find two dead soldiers' resting places and details around their deaths. Everything is not the way it seems. She encounters an MP that sits in a wheelchair which he ought not to, someone tries to kill her four times and she is also painfully close to the spirit world in other ways than through that, her old tutor is not who she thought he was and this causes friction between them. And the budding love story with country doctor Andrew Dene continues at a very slow pace. I can hardly wait for the next novel to arrive in my mail box! I love these books.
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on 18 July 2017
Although not a classic, Jacqueline Winspear gives us an insight into the period following the 1st world war and the horrors of that war. Maisie is a likeable character who wants to help her clients and has ways of solving her cases as a psychic investigator. A good read.
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on 10 May 2017
Could not put this down An easy read when stressed. Enjoyed the storyline
Ending left you wanting to read more.
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on 14 September 2017
really enjoyed this book. will have to read more maisie dobbs now. easy read.
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on 17 May 2017
Love it, the whole series is fascinating.
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on 2 February 2015
This is a really good example of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries suspense right to the end. The story takes her back to France to Face her fears and memories of the war and search for news of how a young airman died. But someone is following her.
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