Maisie Dobbs

2003

Maisie Dobbs is the first book in this mystery series set in Great Britain during the late 1920’s to early 1930’s.  This particular story takes place in 1929 when Maisie’s mentor, Maurice Blanche, has retired and she has just opened up her own detective agency.  Christopher Davenham, suspecting his wife of infidelity, is her first client.  What would appear to be an open-and-shut case, however, soon turns up another mystery that brings Maisie’s past to the forefront of her mind, forcing her to deal with some painful memories.

Maisie Dobbs reads a lot more like historical fiction than mystery due to the author’s style of developing her characters.  This may bother some readers, but I appreciated the in-depth look into Maisie’s past to set the stage for the series.  I can assure you that in the second novel, Birds of a Feather, Winspear’s focus shifts to the mystery.  There are currently nine books in the series.  The remaining seven are Pardonable Lies, Messenger of Truth, An Incomplete Revenge, Among the Mad, The Mapping of Love and Death, A Lesson in Secrets, and Elegy for Eddie.  I highly recommend this series to those who enjoy gentle mysteries (think Alexander McCall Smith), as well as to fans of all things British.  Maisie is a delightful character, far ahead of her time.  I am looking forward to reading more about her.

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