Iowa City Public Library's Reviews > Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
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's review
Mar 25, 2010

bookshelves: andrea, fiction, mysteries
Read in December, 2004

The introductory novel in the mystery series featuring servant turned nurse turned private detective Maisie Dobbs in London 1929. The central case is related to the tragedies of World War I and their lingering effects on both British society and Maisie Dobbs. Rather than a straight-forward mystery, the middle of the book focuses on providing the background information about Maisie and Britain before and during WWI that is central to the series. The era comes alive through Winspear's engaging descriptions of Britain on the cusp of major social change, particularly the portrayal of Maisie Dobbs' rise from servant to professional.

Psychology is as important as physical evidence in her detecting. There are similarities to Precious Ramotswe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith) and Maisie Dobbs' approach to solving crime -- their shared goal is finding a resolution for each client that helps the client move forward rather than just know "whodunit."

The sequel, Birds of a Feather, featuring another WWI-related crime in 1929, is equally engaging. --Andrea

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