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Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,159 Ratings  ·  1,685 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 January 12th 2004)
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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 1,317 books — 3,349 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
28th out of 789 books — 894 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 02, 2009 Claire rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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
Oct 19, 2011 Alyson rated it it was ok
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
Aug 17, 2011 Lauren rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 20, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2011-reads
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
Aug 01, 2007 Mary rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 02, 2010 AnnaMay rated it really liked it
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
Aug 11, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
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
Feb 11, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
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
May 09, 2011 AlixJamie rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2010 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-novels
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
May 10, 2011 Leah rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
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
Ruthie Jones
Jan 16, 2015 Ruthie Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
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
Feb 25, 2014 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 20, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: maisie-dobbs
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
Tanja Berg
Jul 14, 2014 Tanja Berg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery, audio
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
Aug 06, 2010 Kelsey rated it really liked it
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
Jun 11, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing

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
Aug 01, 2011 Anna rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
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
May 22, 2009 Colleen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2009 Zinta rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 09, 2015 Sophie rated it really liked it
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
Ruby Rose Scarlett
Jul 02, 2013 Ruby Rose Scarlett rated it it was amazing
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
Madonna Valentine
Mar 31, 2016 Madonna Valentine rated it did not like it
This is a great book for anyone who has trouble sleeping. A page of this boring novel before bed is better than a sleeping pill.
Jul 24, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
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
Mar 04, 2016 Marlene rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

After feeling somewhat equivocal about the latest book in this series, A Dangerous Place, it was a real treat to go back to the “original” Maisie in this second book in the series, Birds of a Feather. This feels like the Maisie we first met in Maisie Dobbs and who set off on a grand adventure in Leaving Everything Most Loved It was good to spend time with her again, as part of this year’s Month of Maisie Readalong. After returning to Maisie’s roots, now I’m
Nov 11, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
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
Jun 15, 2015 Amanda rated it it was ok
I'm getting the impression that if you've read one Dobbs novel, you've read them all...
I loved this almost as much as the first Maisie Dobbs novel. What makes these stories great is a mixture of Maisie's personal story with the mystery at hand, as well as the historical background that Winspear creates. This series is quickly becoming my go-to when I just want to read a book I know I'll love.
Dec 22, 2015 Anwen rated it it was amazing
Having read the first book,I wasn't entirely sure how I felt. However the second book in the series has consolidated the fact that I do like this writer. Maybe it just takes time to get used to a protagonist who is part psychic, part nurse, part psychologist and all investigator: anyway, I warmed to Maisy Dobbs much more in this book, and was desperately hoping that Billy was not going to disappear unwarrantedly. A poignant tale of the harsh realities of war and of a very different time where va ...more
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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
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)

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