The backstory: I've been intending to read Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs (and the rest of the series) since it began in 2003. Thanks to Book Club Girl's "I'm Mad for Maisie!" Read-along, I finally took the plunge, and boy am I glad I did! You can join in on the discussion questions for this novel on her blog today.
The basics: Maisie Dobbs is a single woman in London after World War I who sets up her own private investigation business.
My thoughts: First novels in new mystery series often involve a very personal mystery story. Sometimes these personal escapades are more successful than others, but Jacqueline Winspear takes a unique spin on it. The novel begins in Maisie's present day. She receives her first client, a man concerned his wife is cheating. As Maisie begins to investigate, she discovers a deeper mystery. Then the book jumps back in time to Maisie's teens. I wasn't expecting the jump, but I loved it. I'm a huge fan of stories about life's journeys, and Maisie's is fascinating. I enjoyed her back story as much as the compelling mystery she sought to solve.
I enjoyed this novel immensely, and I appreciated the non-linear telling. Maisie is a fascinating character I rooted for in all of her endeavors. I was enchanted with both time periods explored in the book, and I read it in less than a day. I'm looking forward to Birds of a Feather, the second Maisie Dobbs mystery, which I will review on January 31st.
The verdict: Maisie Dobbs is an endearing historical mystery sure to appeal to fans of both mysteries and historical fiction.
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 320 pages
Publication date: July 1, 2003
Source: my local public library
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