Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs

A Novel

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
Rate this:
35
2
1
 …
Random House, Inc.
Lady Rowan Compton first met Maisie when, at thirteen, she went into service as a maid at her ladyship’s Belgravia mansion. A suffragette, Lady Rowan took the remarkably smart youngster under her wing and became her patron. She encouraged Maisie to study at Cambridge, and was aided in this by Maurice Blanche, a friend often retained as an investigator by the elite of Europe when discretion and results were required. It was he who first recognized Maisie’s intuitive gifts.

The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie left for France to train as a nurse, then served at the front, where she fell in love with a handsome young doctor.

After the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie hangs out her shingle: M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but turns up something else, a tombstone with only a first name—Vincent. And then she finds another. The deceased had lived on a cooperative farm called The Retreat, a well-regarded convalescent refuge for those grievously wounded in the war, ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Lady Rowan’s son makes plans to join the reclusive community, Maisie hurriedly investigates and finds a disturbing mystery at its core whose resolution gives her the courage to confront the ghost that has haunted her for ten years.

Baker & Taylor
Private detective Maisie Dobbs must investigate the reappearance of a dead man who turns up at a cooperative farm called the Retreat that caters to men who are recovering their health after World War I.

Holtzbrinck
What do Hercule Poirot and Charlotte Gray have in common? It may be the wonderful Maisie Dobbs Lady Rowan Compton first met Maisie when, at thirteen, she went into service as a maid at her ladyship’s Belgravia mansion. A suffragette, Lady Rowan took the remarkably smart youngster under her wing and became her patron. She encouraged Maisie to study at Cambridge, and was aided in this by Maurice Blanche, a friend often retained as an investigator by the elite of Europe when discretion and results were required. It was he who first recognized Maisie’s intuitive gifts. The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie left for France to train as a nurse, then served at the front, where she fell in love with a handsome young doctor. After the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie hangs out her shingle: M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations . Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but turns up something else, a tombstone with only a first name—Vincent. And then she finds another. The deceased had lived on a cooperative farm called The Retreat, a well-regarded convalescent refuge for those grievously wounded in the war, ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Lady Rowan’s son makes plans to join the reclusive community, Maisie hurriedly investigates and finds a disturbing mystery at its core whose resolution gives her the courage to confront the ghost that has haunted her for ten years.

Blackwell North Amer
She started as a maid in an aristocratic London household when she was thirteen. Her employer, Lady Rowan Compton, a suffragette, took the remarkably bright youngster under her wing and became her patron, aided by Maurice Blanche, a friend often retained as an investigator by the elite of Europe. It was he who first recognized Maisie's intuitive gifts and helped her to earn admission to prestigious Girton College at Cambridge where Maisie planned to complete her education.
The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she found - and lost - an important part of herself.
Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different. In the aftermath of the Great War, a former officer has founded a convalescent refuge for those grievously wounded, ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. It is a working farm known as The Retreat. When Fate brings Maisie a second case involving The Retreat she must confront the ghost that has haunted her for over ten years.

Baker
& Taylor

In her first case, private detective Maisie Dobbs must investigate the reappearance of a dead man who turns up at a cooperative farm called the Retreat that caters to men who are recovering their health after World War I. A first novel. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Soho Press, c2003.
ISBN: 9781569473306
1569473307
Characteristics: 294 p. ; 22 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
n
NADINE KEELS
Jul 15, 2019

All ready to get deep into a historical mystery, I picked up Maisie Dobbs by author Jacqueline Winspear. And in a strange turn of events, after getting more than 200 pages through it, I can't say I ever got a good grasp on it.

Maybe it's because my expectations were indeed built up to read a *mystery,* but the book has relatively little of that. The book cover and the initial dive into the case and investigation are essentially a smoke screen, suggesting something that only takes up a few pages of the novel before the story goes in an altogether different direction. And that different direction, for maybe more than half the novel, is the (back)story of Maisie, a coming of age and wartime tale that doesn't seem to have much to do with the mystery—whatever the mystery is, which must pick up somewhere in the final third of the book.

As for the coming of age and wartime tale, it gave me mild enjoyment and an emotional tug or two, but I often found it to be slow, cursory, and predictable, with nothing that really stood out to me. With only about 70 more pages to go (dense pages with rather tiny type), I just ran out of steam. Hence, whatever the real mystery is in this book, for me it shall remain a mystery.

But I do like Maisie: a smart, compassionate, discerning woman who maybe could use a compelling flaw or two to make her character more interesting, but at least she isn't syrupy or hyper-angelic. So while I didn't finish this book, I do plan on trying at least one more in the series. With the extended introduction of Maisie's character and background taken care of in this first novel, perhaps a following one will be heavier on the mystery side.

ArapahoePamelaH Jan 31, 2019

The first book in a very popular series stars the eponymous nurse-turned-investigator. Maisie returns to London after serving in WWI and begins investigating wrongs, eventually opening her own agency. She's spunky, warm hearted and smart!

HCL_staff_reviews Jan 14, 2019

Under the backdrop of WWI England and France, housemaid Maisie Dobbs rises from her working class origins to become an unconventional type of private investigator honed to the psychology and frailty of the human mind. Mystery fans of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" and Anne Perry will find a kindred spirit in the Maisie Dobbs series. — Stella R., Maple Grove Library

m
mimimcl
Apr 07, 2018

Better to read "Pardonable Lies" and "To Die but Once" to get the feel of the character, then go back and read this to get Maisie's background before WWI. The person who thought it was boring, might have started here, but once you have gotten used to the character, it is interesting to read of some of things that shaped her. Great feeling of the atmosphere before WWI. My US Marine uncle died the day after the war ended, from injuries suffered on patrol the day the armistice was signed. Buried in France.

s
superreader64
Apr 07, 2018

I thought this book was boring. Not enough conflict for me. Where is the mystery? It seems like a lot of people liked the book, but I didn't. The only thing I liked about the book was the historical details on the war. I have no desire to read more of these books.

b
bluehydrangea
Mar 04, 2018

A very deliberate writing style that, over time, seemed to suit the characters and story. Plenty of room left for development, which can only be good for a series...

ArapahoeMarcia Sep 20, 2017

I really enjoyed reading this book - the first in a long series. The author has woven a wonderful story with incredible characters. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

r
Rubicat
May 02, 2017

I've found another favorite series, author and detective. An extremely enjoyable book and I can't wait to get the next in this series. I look forward to weeks of enjoyment with Ms. Winspear's novels.

VaughanPLZena Mar 14, 2017

For those who like their mysteries with historical detail, social context and fully developed characters with a back story, then Maisie Dobbs, set in England in the aftermath of World War One, is for you.

LPL_KimberlyL Jan 07, 2017

I was craving tea the entire time I read this book! Maisie Dobbs is certainly a likable and clever heroine, though I can only assume she is developed further throughout the series. While the mystery itself was interesting--the best part of the novel involved the flashback to Maisie's past, which will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey (like myself) and those who also enjoy Upstairs, Downstairs.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability
l
LauraSteinert
Jul 27, 2014

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

j
johnson_3
May 12, 2010

johnson_3 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Quotes

Add a Quote
l
LazyNeko
Apr 14, 2012

"...It is interesting, Maisie, how a time of war can give a human being purpose. Especially when that purpose, that power, so to speak, is derived from something so essentially evil."

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at WCCLS

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top