Winspear, Jacqueline - MAISIE DOBBS

MAISIE DOBBS (Historical Novel/Mystery) – Okay Jacqueline Winspear – 1st book
Penguin Books, 2003 – Trade Paperback


Set in England between 1910 and 1929 is the story of Maisie who goes from being the daughter of a fruit-and-vegetable man, to the in-between maid of wealthy aristocrats where she receives special tutoring, on to college and then serving as a Nurse in France during WWI and, finally, setting up an investigative service where she is asked to find out about “The Retreat,” a home for young men severely injured during the War.

This is primarily a background novel about Maisie who is, by the way, precognitive. She is also very taken with herself and, to me, cruel to one she says she loves. The far more interesting character is Billy, who plays a secondary role. The story of the men who fought in WWI is, by far, the strongest and most poignant part of the story. The actual mystery is almost incidental to the story and relies on information you are unaware she obtained, Billy’s willingness to be the legman, and Maisie’s intuitive powers. Although there were part of the book by which I was moved, I was disappointed overall. I’ve ordered the next book but It will need to be significantly stronger for me to continue with this series.

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