Kate's Reviews > Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
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's review
Jul 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: litfic, mysteries
Read in July, 2010

I generally don't enjoy literary fiction, but the Maisie Dobbs series with one foot in mystery genre fiction and one foot in lit fic is an exception. Again we are dealing with issues of the First World War; again Maisie is working on herself as well as her job, and again the mystery is quite well done. The slight life-coachiness continues to irritate me but I'm getting over it.

My biggest question: why does Winspear insist on describing every darn thing Maisie wears just as soon as she shows up on the scene wearing it? It feels like one of those horrid stories we used to write in elementary school. Couldn't Maisie's clothing, if it is so important, show up slowly as she brushes away dirt or gets in a cab or something? The whole story stops as Maisie is at the doorstep or mirror, so we can get the whole description of her attire, and then the story can continue in the next paragraph. I LIKE hearing about clothes but this knocks me right out of the story into historical costume contemplation.

I've read few other books that mention the WWI white-feather thing - LM Montgomery's Rilla of Ingleside and I think Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series mentions it too, and it was fascinating to get more historical background about it.

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