Book Review: Maisie Dobbs


Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1)Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Equal parts love story, mystery, and historical fiction, Maisie Dobbs follows the adventures of a clever woman set on making her way in the business of sleuthing. Little Maisie gets her start as a maid in wealthy home, but as soon as the Lady of the house realizes the potential of the girl cleaning her fireplace, she becomes a benefactor in Maisie’s education.

Thanks to natural smarts and dedicated study, Maisie works her way into Cambridge University where she excels. However, the call of duty to the French battlefields of World War I sends Maisie on a different course. She steps away from university and serves as a nurse to wounded soldiers fresh from the trenches. The brutality and horror of war will weigh heavy on her long after she returns home. Especially, since her time on the war front is linked with memories of her first love.

To her credit, Maisie returns to Cambridge and finishes her studies after the war. Thanks to her childhood tutor and clever wit, she jumps right into the business of private investigating. One of Maisie’s first cases leads to a mystery involving the death of a wounded World War I veteran, which naturally dredges up many horrific memories. Despite her own demons, Maisie works relentlessly on the case with her own brand of deduction and fact-finding. This is one tough woman and it takes more than a murderer and wartime memories to scare her away from sniffing out the truth.

Jacqueline Winspear deserves huge kudos for enlivening early 20th Century London with so much detail. The same is true for the characters she creates as they feel so real their pulses practically bounce across the page. Maisie herself exudes incredible spirit and determination, but her pain is also quite palpable when it comes to all she’s endured in her young life.

Maisie Dobbs is a great read for anyone who loves a strong female character and historical escape mixed with a little romance and intriguing mystery.

View all my reviewsΒ on Goodreads

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c.b.w. 2013

18 thoughts on “Book Review: Maisie Dobbs

  1. Okay, I’m not going to read your review yet, because I’m right in the middle of the book (though I started it months ago and forgot about it and stuck it away and found it just the other day….) But I want to come back to this soon to see how you liked it. πŸ™‚


  2. I’m adding this to my list. Sounds like it could be something for me πŸ™‚

    You know … I’ve read so much about reading, and even moreso; writing, around the blogosphere, so I decided to take WP up on a little challenge they had the other day. Never did that before, but it was fun and I just let myself go…


  3. Jean

    My mother recommended this book to me, and I’m glad you found it as well! I particularly enjoyed the author’s use of details about post war London society. You sum the book’s strengths perfectly!


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