Tuesday, March 29, 2016

book review: Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear

The backstory: I started reading the Maisie Dobbs series in 2010 (it began in 2003), and it's one of my favorite mystery series. The last title, A Dangerous Place, was a bit of a departure for the series, and it my least favorite in the series, so I approached Journey to Munich with cautious optimism it would delight me.

My reviews of other Jacqueline Winspear novels: Maisie DobbsBirds of a FeatherPardonable LiesMessenger of TruthAn Incomplete RevengeAmong the MadThe Mapping of Love and DeathA Lesson in SecretsElegy for EddieLeaving Everything Most LovedThe Care and Management of Liesand A Dangerous Place.

The basics: It's 1938, and the German government is willing to release a particularly valuable British prisoner to a family member only. Coincidentally, the prisoner's daughter looks a lot like Maisie, so she's enlisted to travel to Munich and retrieve this stranger.

My thoughts: This series has been slowly progressing toward World War II for quite some time, and the first time I saw this cover, it took my breath away. The thought of Maisie in Hitler's Germany is intriguing, and I was willing to forgive the perhaps too convenient coincidence that this man's daughter looked like Maisie. (To be fair, Winspear does make a strong case through her characters that no other women are trained and able to do the job other than Maisie, which does make sense in its time and place.) There is an immense amount of tension that builds as Maisie heads to Munich. Much of the novel feels like a spy caper or a thriller.

One of my favorite things about this series has always been the balance of mystery and character development, and Journey to Munich excels at it. After the last two in the series (and the time jump in between), part of me felt as though I needed to get to know Maisie again, and Journey to Munich provides that opportunity. Maisie is still a changed woman, but there are some lovely flashes of the old Maisie in this new one.

Favorite passage: "She was surprised at how easily she was finding her way around, as if the geography of a place were another language and she was developing her ear for the sounds, oft-used words, and the way in which movement echoes speech."

The verdict: Journey to Munich was a triumphant return to the Maisie Dobbs I know and love. Not only is it a satisfying mystery and thriller in its own right, but it sets the stage for an intriguing next step, both for Maisie and the world, as World War II looms. Perhaps I most appreciated the pacing of this novel, as Winspear seems to have one mystery be the heart of this novel, when really, there's much more at play than I first suspected.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 309 pages
Publication date: March 29, 2016
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Journey to Munich from Amazon (Kindle edition.) Haven't read this series yet?--start at the beginning with Maisie Dobbs.

Want more? Visit all the tour stops, visit Jacqueline Winspear's website and like her on Facebook.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!

1 comment:

  1. I have only ready the first few Maisie books but the idea of her in Munich before WWII gets me really excited to catch up on the series.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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