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Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2)

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  13,580 ratings  ·  1,385 reviews
It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. When three of the heiress's old friends are found dead, Maisie must race to find out who would want to kill these seemingly respectable young women before it's too late. As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers lie in the unforgettable agony of the Great War.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2005 by Penguin (first published June 1st 2004)
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Reader Q&A

The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
49th out of 1,086 books — 2,934 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
25th out of 717 books — 740 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Claire
I'm giving up on this series. I want to like it, but I just don't. I'd like reasons behind her solving cases instead of mystic hunches. The set-up is great. The character not at all.

Also this book particularly annoyed me. Throughout, the author kept pointing out how little Maisie ate. All these comments about how she'd forgotten to eat breakfast or how she peeled the batter off her fish. I started wondering if the author wrote this while dieting since it added nothing to the character or the sto
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Alyson
While I enjoyed the first in this series, this second book has me wondering if I really want to continue reading about Maisie Dobbs. The mysticism/woo used by Maisie to "sense" things is really becoming wearing and unnecessary--if Maisie is supposed to be so bright, intuitive, and observing of her surroundings, this extra "centering" and feeling the "hand" of a dead person on her shoulder is jarring and silly. There are also subplots with Maisie's father and partner that feel tacked on and, quit ...more
Hannah
It is now 1930, and this second installment in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series finds Maisie's detective services requested by the rich grocery chain owner Joseph Waite, whose 30+ year old daughter Charlotte has run away from the family home and her feckless lifestyle. Maisie and her sidekick Billy Beale once again delve into the pain and anguish caused by WWI, and encounter a mystery tinged with loneliness, grief and revenge. In her quest to solve Charlotte's disappearence, Maisie uncovers the m ...more
Mary
the 2nd in a series - always a test to see how well the characters hold up, and I thought these did - actually liked this book better than the first one. the characters were more developed (maybe seemed a bit more "real", not that I was looking for that, but it struck me as a good thing when I was reading) and there seemed to be more of a real mystery this time. more themes about WWI and loss. and I love that Maisie might be ready for a new relationship. I'll definitely read more of the series.
Lauren
I so want to like this series. I feel like I should like this series, that I’m the target audience and there is something wrong with me that I don’t like this series. But I don’t like Maisie Dobbs. At all. She’s a cold, self-centered woman with few redeeming qualities and the good fortune to be fictional and therefore able to ignore her numerous failings due to an author who wants to make her something wonderful. In short, she’s the literary equivalent of a spoiled, lazy, not-at-all bright teena ...more
Elizabeth
I really grew tired of the plot device whereby the author hid essential information from the reader that Maisie had in order to keep me from figuring out the mystery. "Maisie sat down with Mr Jones and began to ask the questions that had been forming since she'd met with Mr Smith. ... When she left the office an hour later, the pieces were finally starting to fall into place." That's just a paraphrase, but it happened over and over. We are never privy to her thought processes, the identification ...more
AnnaMay
Reading a Maisie Dobbs book is like eating comfort food. There are such good supporting roles (Maurice Blanche, Lady Rowan, her father, Billy, and more are being added...) It's nice facing life's challenges with such a crew bouying you up, I imagine.

Reading this story helped me reflect on my own supporters. We are such a result of those whom we love and associate with, even those from whom we seem naturally repelled. Each day we're torn down in new ways, built up in others, morphing into better
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Sarah
I've decided that Maisie Dobbs and Nancy Drew are very similar characters.

1. They are attractive, tall, independent, and without ties to men (but have their suitors)
2. They have no concerns with money (Maisie did in her childhood but now has a benefactor and works; Nancy had her father)
3. They both love to drive their sporty vehicles fast (although Maisie has yet to wreak her car; Nancy did in nearly every novel)
4. Everything always works out

How they are different:
Maisie is dealing with problems
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AlixJamie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
The subject of Birds of a Feather is pain—the kind of physical, mental, and emotional agony that exists only in real life and in the very best literary fiction. And yet, the story is very beautiful.

I categorize the books of the Maisie Dobbs series as "literary" rather than "mystery" because the focus is not really on the plot. Although they are well structured and provide plenty of suspense, the novels of Jacqueline Winspear are very rich in terms of the other elements of fiction: namely, charac
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Damaskcat
Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, is asked to try and find a businessman’s daughter. Maisie is dubious about the case because she suspects Mr Waite’s motives as his daughter, Charlotte, is an adult and cannot be compelled to return to her father’s home. When she realises that the name of a recent murder victim is one of the friends listed in Charlotte’s address book Maisie is very worried about the case.

This is a thought provoking mystery set in the nineteen twenties where the shadow
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Melissa
This is the sencond in the Maisie Dobbs series, and it does not disapoint!

"An eventful year has passed for Maisie Dobbs. Since starting a one-woman private investigation agency in 1929 London, she now has a professional office in Fitzroy Square and an assistant, the happy-go-lucky Billy Beale. She has proven herself as a psychologist and investigator, and has even won over Detective Inspector Stratton of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad - an admirable achievement for a woman who worked her way from
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Leah
I gave this second book in the Maisie Dobbs series a chance, after a lukewarm reaction to the first book. I ended up not really liking the second one either, which is a shame, because they have such great potential. A young, female detective in London in the years after World War I sounds like a great premise for a mystery series. But it's the execution of the characters that I just didn't like.

In this second book, Maisie Dobbs is investigating the disappearance of the daughter of a wealthy sto
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Tanja Berg
This is the second book I read about Maisie Dobbs and in many ways I liked it better than the first. I know the characters from before and enjoy the personal developments in both detective-psychologist Maisie and her assistant Billy. In this book they are given the job of returning noevau riche's man's daughter home. It quickly turns out that the disappearance of Charlotte is in connection with the murders of women who once were her friends, so Maisie gets more to chew on than expected.

There are
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Ruthie Jones
Another good Maisie Dobbs story. Maisie's character develops beautifully in this second installment. She is a strong woman who is determined to put her brokenness behind her. She is compassionate, intelligent, independent, and clearly her own woman at a time in history when women were struggling for a foothold in a man's world. I like Maisie. She reminds me of a British and a little older Nancy Drew. She pushes the envelope to find answers and get the job done. She isn't afraid to do the right t ...more
Nancy

This is the second book in the Maisie Dobbs series and I liked it even better than the first, and I liked it a lot. Maisie is not your every day detective. She operates under a strong moral code prompting the Abbess of a convent to tell her: “I’ve come to wonder Maisie, if our work is so different. We are both concerned with questions . . . investigation . . . and we are witnesses to confession. . . We are both faced with the challenge of doing and saying what is right when the burden of truth i
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Anna
I really wanted to like Maisie Dobbs. A new mystery solver for me, based in the London of 1930. What I found was a mixture of Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew, with a hint of No 1 Ladies.
Maisie is a Nancy who grew up in London, and like Nancy, is described flawless. She drives in her fancy car around the city resolving mysteries her police friend can't solve without her help, yet she does not want to become a full policewoman or investigator. Instead of a Ned Nickerson she has a helper called Bil
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Colleen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zinta
When I was recently invited to join a small book club under the auspices of something of a celebrity librarian where I live--she organizes successful events and authors readings, many of which I have attended over the years--I couldn't resist accepting. What kind of books might this small and intimate grouping of admirers of fine literature read? A list of books covering the next few months to come was intriguingly diverse in style, genre, time period. This would be an interesting exploration, n ...more
Jennifer
This series is very good, but I've decided to stop reading/listening to it. It is just too depressing! So far all of the mysteries have to do with WWI and they all have to do with injuries, deaths etc. and how people's lives have been ruined by the war. Not to mention the difficulties the main characters have to deal with because of the war. I know that is the reality people faced in Europe and the US after WWI, but it is just too much of a bummer to keep delving into. I learned a lot from the f ...more
Sophie
Murder! Drugs! Pilates!

Ah, if only life were like a Maisie Dobbs novel and we could all resolve our emotional problems along with our more physical ones by the end of the book. Maisie becomes sort of an angel of peace, healing others' spiritual wounds left by the war and, bit by bit, healing her own as well. This book didn't affect me as deeply as the first, but the mystery was compelling, and though I had a rough idea of the killer's identity and motives by halfway through the book, the details
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Ruby Rose Scarlett
Really fantastic. I devoured this in no time at all and didn't want to let go. Maisie is a great main character but the secondary ones are sometimes so good I long for spin-offs (how I would like to read a whole book about Lady Rowan!). This is a book with a lot of heart and I could feel for everyone - Winspear is so talented and has a real gift for characterization. Clever title and great historical detail I never even knew about (I'm afraid I have to remain vague for fear of spoiling the plot) ...more
Susan
Jul 24, 2010 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio
I love the Maisie Dobbs books as I feel like I'm spending time with a friend whenever I read one. I appreciate the lyrical descriptions the author uses to tell her story.

However, I didn't care for the story line in this book as much as I did in the first. For once I sympathized with the murderer and it made it hard for me to feel compassion for the murders that were committed. I guess I prefer my murderers to be the traditional 'bad guy'. But I do enjoy reading these books so will look for the n
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Kelsey
I love Winspear's smart writing style. Plus, her characters are easily loveable and detestable. The murders within this novel are frightening but not anywhere near what's considered scary like Stephen King (I avoid his stuff like the plaugue.) My only complaint is that I expected Maisie to reveal every bit of evidence she finds to the reader like those found at each murder further linking them together. I finally guessed what they were but it drove me crazy more so than trying to figure out the ...more
Sarah
Birds of a Feather is the 2nd installment in the Maisie Dobbs private investigator series. Introduced to this author and series via a bookclub, I decided to give the next in the series a try. Winspear's first Maisie Dobbs novel fell short in story but the main character is so refreshing, the time period after World War I so compelling and Winspear's free-flowing writing so easy to read I was drawn back to try another. And yes, this 2nd book is much better than the first.
These are just fun easy w
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Amanda
I'm getting the impression that if you've read one Dobbs novel, you've read them all...
The Lit Bitch
3.5 stars

So I am not entirely ready to give up on this series yet. While I am struggling to make a connection to Maisie, I like her enough to keep reading and am curious to see how she pulls herself up from the ashes. I can’t say that I love her as much as other female detectives that I’ve read but I am trying to give her a shot.

I liked this book a little better than the first one. It was a little cliche at times and not really heavy on the mystery, but it was intriguing enough for me to keep re
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Lesley
This book is better than the first with the writing style a bit more fleshed and the characters more developed. However, it still seems quite stilted, lacking nuance and emotion, or at least these seem lumpy when attempted. I did find myself wanting to know what happens, not just with the crime in this book, but also to Maisie herself. And I guessed fairly early on what the motive might be. But the mysticism is wrong and distracting, and it's annoying that she always seems to have the right take ...more
Bridget
I must admit that I listened to an audio version of this book, rather than having read it. This is partly because, after surgery, the painkillers I've been taking have made it hard to actually read - words and letters seem to swirl on the pages! So I listened to this book, and admittedly missed portions when I would doze off, but I did get most of it.

This is the second Maisie Dobbs story I've tried, and I really enjoyed it. In this installment, Maisie and her assistant, Billy Beale, are investig
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Sarah
I really enjoyed this novel. The mystery was not one that I figured out before the end, which is my standard for a good mystery. I am glad that I continued past the fist book in the series, which provided the necessary background, but was light on the mystery portion.
I still get a little weirded out by the mantras that she repeats to herself and the way she has to feel the energies of things. I dislike how Winspear casts that attitude in a negative light by attributing the same "weirded out" fee
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Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK.

She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a li
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More about Jacqueline Winspear...

Other Books in the Series

Maisie Dobbs (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1)
  • Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs, #3)
  • Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs, #4)
  • An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs, #5)
  • Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, #6)
  • The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7)
  • A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8)
  • Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9)
  • Leaving Everything Most Loved (Maisie Dobbs #10)
  • A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs, #11)
Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs, #3) The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7) Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs, #4) An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs, #5)

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“Never judge a journey by the distance...” 4 likes
“But for Maisie the case notes would not be filed away until those whole lives were touched by her investigation had reached a certain peace with her findings, with themselves, and with one another - as far as that might be possible.” 1 likes
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