If you enjoy a mystery with a little bit more to it than just fluff, you'll enjoy "Maisie Dobbs". Maisie opens her own detective agency in England, 1929. Originally a servant in a wealthy household, her intelligence is recognized by her employer and she is sent to college. This story also weaves in Maisie's experiences as a nurse in France during the Great War, and how those experiences influence and haunt her in the post-war years. All of this is wrapped in a good mystery tale. Highly recommended!
#1 in the Maisie Dobbs historical series set in 1920's London, Maisie is a former nurse during WWI and now a private investigator. I actually started this book intending to cull it from the TBR--it's set in a timeframe I'm not particularly fond of and just expected not to like it. Hah! I loved it and devoured it! Best book I've read in awhile. The author has a very captivating writing style, and though there wasn't too much of a mystery with this one--more setting up the series with getting to know the main characters and the like with a light mystery to accompany it--but I was totally enthralled! I really like the main character and her outlook on life as well as the supporting cast...very well-drawn and fleshed out for a first in series. Excellent...have the next one on the way.
A wonderful series. The stories take place during the time between the World Wars. The characters in this story are greatly affected by WWI and the aftermath. Maisie is a female detective, but that isn't the most amazing thing about her. I highly recommend this series.
What I thought would be a mystery turned out to be an incredible time trip into Britain of WWI and the decade after. What an awesome piece of literature! It does contain a mystery, several actually, and the surprises continue right up to the last page. One of the best books I have ever read of any genre.
Finally, a mystery that is written above a 4th grade reading level! She's got a wonderful way with words, and the plot was pretty decent. The detective, Maisie, is a very real person with faults and quirks.
This is a fantastic book that is in a first of a series. It is Agatha Christie meets Upstairs Downstairs. The author has created a perfectly delightful character in Maisie Dobbs who is quick and clever yet filled with plenty of her own personal diamonds. I like how the book touches on the English class system of the period and how World War I truly shook things up for people's economic standing in life. It is a book that appeals to a wide audience.
I really enjoyed this mystery. The protagonist is an unusually bright daughter of a fruitseller, born in pre-WWI London. Through the sponsorship of an energetic noblewoman, Maisie becomes a detective who investigates through reason in an almost mystical way. Her own story is one of the most interesting things about this book--while at Cambridge, she joins the war effort as a nurse and falls in love with a doctor--which gives her special insight into the case she must solve.
Excellent read. Mystery, history, personal story of an interesting woman in early-mid 20th Century. First of new series. Can't wait to read the second. Author's interview fascinating. Great for book groups, for has discussion questions.
A lovely, lovely book. A little mystery, a little history, but much enjoyment. I can't wait for Winspear's follow-up - which I have on my Amazon wishlist.
While this is about Maisie's coming of age and becoming an independent woman, this is also a story about the horrors of WWI and the aftermath. It's told in two parts - 'modern' 1929 where the bulk of the story and mystery takes place, but also in flashback to Maisie's years 'in service' both in the Compton household and in France during the war. It's these experiences that allow Maisie to solve the case given to her, which in turn allows her to heal and put to rest some of her personal war demons.
Outstanding book in the historical mystery genre. You really get to know the characters and care about them. She interweaves her 1929 investigation business very well World War I story line. She touches on the horrible events of war with out going through all the gore. It will make you want to look up the events of World War I. This book is one of my all time favorite historical mysteries.
If you like Alexander McCall Smith (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) you're sure to love Maisie Dobbs. The stories are totally different but the gentle but persistent mood and tone are the same. This story will take you out of our world and back to the aftermath of World War I in England. Beautifully told, and hard to believe this is Ms. Winspear's first book.
Maisie Dobbs is a pretty remarkable woman, the kind I can imagine people in her world would want to be. Shes a little outrageous for her time, the kind of lady who dares to challenge the expectations of her class and gender, which is just the kind of character I like.
Were introduced to Maisie as shes setting up shop to be her own business, in the aftermath of WWI after everyone should be recovered from the war. Its one of those things thats felt but never said, that everyone who was involved in the war should be over it. At one point in the book one character mentions that we like our soldiers to parade around victorious in their uniforms after the war, but we dont want to see them as they convalesce, and that rings true to me about most tragedies. To an extent, its the theme of this book have the horror swept under the rug. Out of sight, out of mind.
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This is the first in an enjoyable mystery series set in England featuring Maisie Dobbs a WWI nurse. After the war, Maisie sets herself up as a private investigator in business for herself, which is unusual for a woman to be in business in 1929 but Maisie didnt shrink from following her dreams like going to university even though that was not the norm for women.
Maisies character is artfully developed as you follow a young costermongers daughter, who makes her way to Cambridge University and as a nurse in France during the war. The sacrifices made by the English as well as the human cost of war are present in the story, but this is not a book of gory war scenes.
I enjoyed this book enough that I will be reading the rest of the books in the series. The author, Jacqueline Winspear, made a visit to our local library. I recommend you go see her when she comes to your library because she has a great sense of humor, is very engaging, and has done a lot of research on World War I and is happy to share her interest in this period of history.
I just loved this book. Outlook is very heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It shows the terrible cost of war on society as well as a wonderful heroine's lovely outlook on life. I want to read all of this series.
I was so impressed and surprised I am giving my 1st book review.
Audrey J. reviewed Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this was an outstanding debut novel. In it the heroine Maisie Dobbs is introduced to mystery fans. She has just opened her one-woman detective agency in London. The first case that she takes on leads her to face her past in the first World War when she served as a nurse in France. She is a very intuitive and likeable character, and I look forward to other Maisie Dobbs novels.
Didn't realize that I would enjoy this book as much as I have. It's a wonderful story about a bright young woman who, in spite of her humble origins, is able to attain her potential. Maisie becomes a private detective, modelling her life after her mentor, Maurice Blanche. Devouring classics and philosophy tomes, she earns a place in a women's college. With the war in progress, she lies about her age, obtains forged papers, and becomes a nurse who is stationed at the front. There is romance and mystery in this little read. It's a very good read.
The Daughter of a struggling greengrocer, Maisie Dobbs was only thirteen when she was sent to work as a maid for wealthy London aristocrats. But being bright and thoughtful beyond her years, Maisie studies her way to Cambridge then serves as a nurse on the Front during the Great Way Now it's the spring of 1929 and she opens her own detective agency. a good read
This is a nice book told about people living after the First world War. The story line of the detective is a little lacking, but the way the author relays the way the war effected the men and women is really very good. The characters are very believable. It is a nice read.
Jacqueline Winspear deserved all the awards she won with this title! Winspear created vibrant and realistic characters who live in a time where society struggles to adapt to the deluge of changes brought about by the Great War. Accurately weaving in the early 20th century's turbulent history, Winspear successfully unfolds several plots in her first mystery novel.
Maisie Dobbs, the daughter of a costermonger, uses her gifted intellect to cross social lines and move from being a scullery maid to owning her own investigative business where she is Psychologist and Investigator. Her first case, a seemingly ordinary question of infidelity, leads Maisie on an even greater journey where Maisie must revisit a past she had locked deep inside. With dear friends and family by her side, Maisie Dobbs discovers the truth about not only her past, but the dark secrets the Great War has created for many others, too.
Maisie Dobbs was an interesting blend of history and mystery. In the first section of the book, Maisie is setting up her shop as a private investigator. The second section is a flashback of Maisie working as a maid and then a student and finally a WWI nurse. The third section has Maisie investigating a suspicious farm called The Refuge for WWI veterans deformed in battle. The book is a great glimpse into the world of London before, during and after W.W.I. I really enjoyed the character of Maisie Dobbs and found the minor characters interesting too. The mystery in this story is a little weak as most of the book is generally about introducing the characters. Maisie's personal story is woven throughout the plot and the mystery of her great love is revealed in the end. I have read book 1 and 2 in the past but have enjoyed this re-read as a fresher for reading the rest of the book in the series. I would highly recommend this book to those who love World War I books.
I adored this book. It has unsuspected depths, an interesting story line, a fantastic historic backdrop and characters I'd like to continue to get to know better.
The action takes place in London and Kent in 1929, with a significant visit back to the French front in WWI.
Maisie is the daughter of a tradesman who takes a position as a maid when her family falls on tough times. The family that employs her notices her interest in learning and adopts her as their social project, providing her an education that ultimately leads her to college and upward mobility. She trains as a private investigator and a psychologist and employs both skills to track down the truth behind an unusual "Retreat' for badly wounded war vets in the Kent countryside.
This is the introductory novel to what promises to be a wonderful series. I can't wait to find the next installment.
Maryanne F. reviewed Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, Bk 1) on
Loved this whole series. This first book establishes a foundation for the series, but is still enchanting. The Masie character is strong and inspiring. The actual mystery aspect of this book is not as overwhelming as in other books since this book does lay the foundation by introducing the characters. Make time for the whole series once you've been captured!
Maisie Dobbs isnt just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligenceand the patronage of her benevolent employersshe works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.
For some reason I thought that this book was going to be more mystery then it actually turned out to be. What started out interesting quickly lost its spark for me when it turned out to be more about Maisie's early life and less about the investigation that she was hired for.
Instead of heading off to college as Maisie had planned, this rather inquisitive fourteen year old enters service of Lady. The Lady of the house is rather taken with Maisie's intelligence and arranges for her to be tutored, and with good fortune, Maisie qualifies for Cambridge. Unfortunately, the college cannot keep her interest and within a year, Maisie enters the World War I as a nurse.
Somehow, this is where the story jumps, actually the whole book jumps, but the war is over and Maisie is opening up her own private investigation business. She is asked to look into a rather discreet affair that quickly turns into her investigating the goings on at the Retreat, a remote convalescent home has some rather underhanded business dealings that take advantage of the injured returning soldiers.
Overall, the story is not bad, just not what I was expecting and with so much back story, the whole thing just lost its initial charm.
This is the first in a series of books about Maisie Dobbs, the daughter of a London greengrocer who ends up opening her own detective agency in the 1920's in London after returning home from serving as a nurse in the first world war. Maisie isn't as polished a character as Harriet Vane - probably because Jacqueline Winspear is no Dorothy Sayers! Nevertheless, the book is fun to read if for no other reason than because of the period detail and the historical setting.
This is the first title in a splendid series, one that just keeps getting better with every book. Maisie is truly unique among the throngs of unusual detectives that have emerged in recent years, and the author deftly captures the texture of Britain (and the Continent) during that amazing period from WWI to WWII. There's something here for everyone, really. If you're a mystery buff, you'll enjoy the whodunnit storylines. If you like historical novels, you'll appreciate the authenticity of domestic details as well as the military insights. There's even a thread of Eastern mysticism and meditative arts that runs through the books, courtesy of Maisie's spymaster-turned-psychologist mentor.
So glad I decided to read this series---and in order. Maisie Dobbs is not your typical investigator. She has spent her school years studying psychology and uses her education, sensitivity, and intuition to understand the criminal as well as his crime.
This is the first novel in Winspear's wonderful series about Maisie Dobbs. On one hand, it's a classic "servant girl makes good by becoming a detective" novel, but superb writing and historical settings (she serves as a nurse in France during WWI, and in "Journey to Munich," which I'm reading now, Hitler is coming to power in Germany and the British Government has enlisted her in its service.) There's always a murder to be solved, but not by deduction. Her methods are more in line with those used by The Mentalist in the TV show of the same name. Secondary characters are drawn with depth and sensitivity, even those who aren't necessarily good.
In other words, Winspear takes on the period between and including both world wars, so these are not "cozy" mysteries. There's no shying away from tragedy, including drug addiction, terrible losses, and the desperate poverty of the wars' wounded and widowed.
This might be the last book in the Maisie Dobbs series. The series is delightful and both my husband and I have read them all. The setting is post WWI . Maisie is an interesting young woman who was a nurse during the war in France. She returns to England after the war and establishes and PI firm. The books are well written and the stories are interesting without a lot of sensationalism.
Maisie Dobbs is a young woman who in 1929 is able to open a business as a private investigator or as she decided to call herself, a "Psychologist and Investigator." At a young age, she is fortunate to be placed as a house servant and maid in the house of Lord Julian and Lady Rowan Compton. While there she is found early one morning by Lady Rowan in the library reading and taking notes on a book on philosophy. This leads to her tutelage under a good friend of Lady Rowan, Maurice Blanche. Maisie ends up taking over Blanche's investigative business. Her first case seems to be quite routine looking into a possible marital betrayal but this leads to a mysterious home for disabled and disfigured veterans of the Great War. Maisie had spent time as a nurse in France during the war and her experiences there come back to haunt her as she investigates the home for veterans.
The novel was obviously extensively researched especially the details of the horrors of trench warfare in WWI including descriptions of injuries of soldiers who have lost noses, jaws, and eyes making them want to get away from society. England in the 1920s is also depicted well and the characters in the books are all well-portrayed. Overall a very enjoyable read. I have some others in this series that I hope to get to soon.
Enjoyed this book about a maid who believes in herself and manages to achieve an education by being caught in the library of the aristocratic home she serves after hours. She becomes a detective. So, yes, it is formulaic but a very good read.