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on 13 February 2014
I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs stories written so eloquently by Jacqueline Winspear.
Set just post the Great War, the historical contexts are evocative.
To explain too much would spoil the experience of these intelligent, reflective and informative stories.
The realities of life are woven into the fabric, alongside values in society at all levels.
Questioning the status quo, in a profound and gentle way.
The mysteries are thoughtfully constructed, too.
I will always be a fan.
Please, Jacqueline, don't stop writing them!
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on 19 November 2014
The tenth novel in this series is a fitting climax to the sequence of books. Jacqueline Winspear has again provided a satisfying mystery with engaging characters. All the books in the series provide gripping plots. What is so good about all these novels is the way Winspear has explored how the First World War influenced peoples lives. She brings out the hardship of the times. All who read the books will have great admiration for Masie Dobbs. This is truly an excellent series.
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on 12 June 2017
good read
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on 6 June 2017
good value
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on 25 March 2015
Brilliant series but sad to think it might all be coming to an end - where will Maisie end up? What life will she choose?
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on 20 March 2014
I've read all the 10 books about Maisie Dobbs and all the people in her life,I loved her dad I thought he was great and I thought Billy and Sandra were great character's. I hope this is not the end of Maisie I want to know how she does In India and then what she will send in telegraph, yes or no. Please don't let this be the last in the life of Maisie Dobbs you must have loads of stories you could write about her. So sad coming to the end of this book.😤😹💔xx
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Leaving Everything Most Loved is the tenth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and private investigator, is engaged by (former) Sergeant-Major Pramal, of India, to investigate the murder, some two months earlier, of his sister, Usha, a governess living in London. Scotland Yard have made no progress with the case, so Maisie’s team have a challenge ahead of them with this cold case. When Maisie visits the ayah’s hostel where Usha had been living, she gets the impression that the couple running the supposedly charitable institution are not quite what they seem, and before Maisie can speak to her privately, Usha’s friend and fellow lodger, Maya Patel is murdered in the same manner: shot between the eyes and found in the nearby canal.

Maisie’s assistant, Billy Beal is back in the job, but apparently not completely recovered from the attack that hospitalised him: his distraction affects his investigative abilities. Maisie takes over the case of a missing boy and a chance remark by DI Caldwell has her wondering if their two cases are linked. But Maisie is distracted too, by her burgeoning desire to travel overseas in her mentor’s footsteps. It seems that Usha Pramal was well loved, for her personality and her healing powers. As Maisie investigates, all manner of possible suspects present themselves. Maisie wonders if jealousy or a case of mistaken identity are the answer, or was there some sort of racial motivation? Or is it all about love? Winspear once again gives the reader a plot with plenty of twists and turns. She touches on the plight of Indian ayahs abandoned far from home; shell shock and mixed marriage also feature. The final chapters ensure that future books in the series will be quite different. Another excellent read.
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on 4 August 2014
I have read all the Maisie Dobbs books and I think they are more than maintaining their quality. This one was particularly good with its storyline of attitudes to Asian immigrants before the war combined with Maisie's ongoing personal issues with her fiancée and employees in the period just before WW2. She is an interesting character who has grown like Harry Potter throughout the series. Anyone new would be well advised to go back to the first book and read then in order.. They combine historical and philosophical ideas with the dawning of the use of psychology as a tool in criminal investigation.
All this done by a woman of humble origins.who by good fortune fell under the influence and mentorship of a famous psychologist who encouraged her to follow in his footsteps and make her way as a private psychological investigator.
The period flavour is always well conveyed. These are not blood and thunder books which will set your heart racing but they can be gripping and suspenseful . I find that unlike some crime books the plots of Winspear's books stay with you
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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2014
Never read a Maisie Dobbs novel I didn't enjoy - this one is no exception. It deals with murder (twice), but also, as befits our Maisie, with prejudices; this time about "them and us" - we had only a few immigrants in the UK from the Indian sub-continent back in 1933, but the problems were there, even then, when people wrinked their noses when Indian food was mentioned, and when a woman in a sari passed in the street. An eye opener indeed. Another well researched novel by Winspear to be enjoyed by fans of Maisie Dobbs.
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on 9 May 2014
Where will Jacqueline Winspear go next with Maisie Dobbs? At the end of this novel, she's shutting up shop and heading for India, having solved a pair of murders involving Indian women but also leaving people that she cares about -- especially James Compton and Priscilla's husband, Douglas -- still involved with a sinister Rupert Murdoch-like figure for whom the ends justify the means, even if the means include murder. So it seems fair to say that we'll be hearing from Maisie again, though it's not so clear what a trip to India will enable her to bring back that will help her deal with the outstanding problems any better than the skills she already possesses. There's a hint that a spiritual dimension in Maisie's make-up will be heightened (one of the murdered women is represented as almost a kind of angelic force), and readers will remember that Maisie's psychological intuitions and her general rejection of mind-body dualism have been part of an aura that Winspear has created for her from the start, poised at times uneasily between serious spirituality and old-fashioned spiritualism (remember the earlier gypsy stuff too).

And there's also a feminist foregrounding -- Maisie herself, her assistant, the widowed Sandra, and one of the murdered Indian women are all seen as breaking boundaries, and to a degree more explicit than in the earlier novels (where concerns for Maisie's safety are usually voiced by James), here the sense of strong women as putting themselves in danger is more palpable. Sandra is turned into a feminist in this novel -- night classes will do that to you -- and Maisie doesn't disapprove in principle. And although the erotic dimension of Maisie's nature is always played down in the novels, she is beginning to emerge as a kind of serial polygamist -- she has "loved" the young doctor who was wounded in France, another doctor Andrew Dene, and now she seems to be easing James out of her life. It's not clear what's going on here, and the idea that Maisie, because of her wartime experiences, has in some sense not yet "found herself" isn't persuasive: she's too competent and intelligent for that to be credible.

All of these issues -- in addition to racism, Maisie's father's romantic life, and yet another breakdown by Billy Beale, her first assistant -- get in the way of the clear and efficient handling of a plot here, and the coincidental connection between a case that Billy is working on (about a runaway child) and the case of the murdered Indian woman is perhaps just too neat -- and that how somehow events of 20 years earlier (yes, the war again) are used to tie them together seems a stretch. The ending seems clumsily handled (a dog plays a significant part), and it's difficult not to believe that the murder investigation could not have been wrapped up much earlier and more routinely. The delaying tactics, though, allow Winspear to get all her other issues on the table, even if they're not all that well integrated. Also unfortunate, because anti-climactic, are the chapters following the solving of the murder -- too much talk, too much pseudo-reflection (none of it new), and too much tying together what can be tied.

I thought Winspear's previous novel, "Elegy for Eddie," was a good, tight piece of work. This novel has intriguing elements, but it's a bit too loose and baggy.
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