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Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  19,379 Ratings  ·  1,428 Reviews
In the third novel of this bestselling series, London investigator Maisie Dobbs faces grave danger as she returns to the site of her most painful WWI memories to resolve the mystery of a pilot's death.
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe. Every once in a while, a detective bursts on the scene who captures
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published August 10th 2005 by Macmillan Audio (first published January 1st 2005)
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Margaret H.
I just can't get behind these books. I keep reading them because I am a sucker for mysteries set in England between the two wars, and because Maisie is definitely a lovable character. I also enjoy them because Winspear has the good sense to describe in detail all the beautiful period clothing. The mysteries themselves, however, are thoroughly unsatisfying. I don't like Maisie's empathy method, where merely by mimicking people's posture, she suddenly knows their innermost thoughts. I don't like t ...more
Kathy Davie
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history
Third in the Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series revolving around Maisie, a detective using meditation and psychology to solve her cases. This story takes place over the summer of 1930 in England and France.

My Take
Another pip from Winspear. It's hard to believe that Winspear is a contemporary author writing today as she really brings this period to life. She really knows how to dig in and write so that I felt as though I was there in 1930 England. The evolution of the telephone. The manners,
#3 in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series, and this outing finds Maisie returning to Post-WWI France in a 2-fold mission to determine for a client that his son is, in fact, truely dead, and to help her friend to find out more about her brother's wartime activities.

While I liked this offering, I felt it was the weakest in the series so far. Maisie is beginning to grate. She's very unlikable IMO and has these strange new-agey powers that just don't mesh with the 1930's background. That being said, I s
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher, it’s interesting and delightful to see a writer’s craft develop. I believe I am witnessing that development of art and skill in Jacqueline Winspear. With each book in the Maisie Dobbs series, she is just better. The plots have seemed to have more “pizzazz” and the characters just get rounder and rounder. I really liked that this book was in three sections, with the first section set in England, the second in France, and the last back in England. As in the previous books, the linger ...more
Lynn Pribus
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in the series and they get better as they go. While I found the first too heavy on backstory,this one moves along At the end of the audio-book, there was a ten minute interview with the author who said she had always done non-fiction.

She was stuck in a traffic jam in London when Maisie walked up out of the underground and appeared to Winspear almost fully realized. There were scenes that came to her while she was writing the first book, that she knew belong in the second or th
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My fifth Masie Dobbs novel and the best so far containing some fantastic and intricate plotting as Masie investigates two cases at the same time, with red herrings, secrets and intrigue. (I don’t want to say too much about the actual story as it would spoil the experience of it unravelling as you read.)

Although I can’t confirm the veracity of the historical context and information, Jacqueline Winspear, as always, seems to do a fantastic job of creating 1930’s England, with references not only t
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I've now read seven of Winspear's Maisie Dobbs novels and, although I enjoyed all of them, this was one of the most satisfying.

Set in post WW1 Britain, Maisie was a battlefront nurse, injured during the war. The series takes us through her maturation and professional development as a psychologist and investigator. The strength of the series is the author's gift for recreating time and place. It doesn't take much imagination to stroll through post-war London and feel the pain of the families and
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Sue Drees
I have long intended to read this series, because it was recommended by a respected GR Friend.I was going to start with #1; but this book jumped out at me from the shelf in the library. How could I deny it a chance? (I hope that I don't regret starting at #3!)


As I had feared, I think I should not have started with Book 3 of this series. I cannot say much about this novel because it did not move me. As most of my friends know, I do enjoy mysteries, but
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 stars! Three stars for the "mystery" part of the book, but 4 stars for character development. No matter how painful it is, we must truly mourn and experience the grief that horrible events bring to our life. There's no use in running away, and Maisie finally learns that.
I am already a huge fan of the Maise Dobbs' series, but this 3rd book was absolutely perfect. The narrator was excellent and pleasing to listen to throughout.

This book has so many mysteries with links to each other that hte reader is "holding on for dear life" until the conclusion. I wasn't able to guess what would happen next - so had to keep listening!

I love the depth of Maisie's character. She is never silly or neglectful with her work or her personal life. Her past experiences of loss make
May 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shelly by: Garzon's list
While the writing was par for Winspear I heartily disliked the content of the story-line. Just fed up hearing about it in EVERY venue of Life! Live your life any way you want, it's called Free Agency and we ALL have it. Even me! That's why I'm allowed to say I don't agree! And as long as you are not standing up and telling me I have to say it's okay for you to make those choices I won't stand up and tell you those choices are wrong and will only bring you and yours unhappiness. I am DONE validat ...more
Nancy (essayist)
Probably 3.5 stars. I'm of two minds about this series. I love the time period, the historical detail, the setting, the mysteries, and the idea of a self-possessed, intelligent woman finding a way for herself. But there's always something depressing about these books, too. Certainly there's an elegiac tone, but it's almost as if Winspear has decided no one can ever be happy again in the wake of the war. I'm sure that's true for some, but all the joy just seems sucked out of this world. Just once ...more
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
I really like this mystery series. Love the setting and sense of place. Characters are well rounded and I like the way the author tells a story. This time we get to see Maisie grow as she confronts some ghosts from the past while on a visit to France. I had part of the mystery figured out but that didn't stop me from enjoying the story.

That being said, I didn't quite understand the psychic resolution. Did that come out of the blue or did I miss something at the beginning of the story? I went bac
This is the third in the Maisie Dobbs series, which I am enjoying. They are a light and easy read, which is sometimes just what my mind needs!! I'm not overly interested in the Eastern mystical elements of Maisie Dobbs novels, but I enjoy reading about the inter-World-War period and it's always nice to read a book with a strong female main character - although Maisie is not as strong in this one, since she has to deal with some demons from the past which leave her rather vulnerable.
The Lit Bitch
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had a love hate relationship with the Maisie Dobbs books over the years. I read the first one and just wasn’t overly impressed but I pressed on and read the second and again felt like I wasn’t connecting with the series in the way that I had hoped.

But I keep pushing myself to read them because not only do I love the covers but I love the time period! I love books set either during the Great War or in the years immediately following in England.

This should be a series that I fell in love wi
Joy H.
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Added 5/11/11
This was a good cozy mystery. There were parts that dragged a bit, but, all in all, the story was a good one. I find that some of author Winspear's sentences are too wordy. For example: "Tavistock opened the gate into a no-man's-land dividing two houses, and then to the back where, between the two gardens, a Cross of Sacrifice rose toward the dark clouds, ever watchful over a small walled cemetery." Winspear also gives a good deal of attention to the clothes which the characters are
Maisie Dobbs is hired to help a man honor his late wife’s final wish, even though her new client seems more interested in fulfilling an obligation than in finding out what really happened to the son he lost in the war. The case takes Maisie back through her own past when she revisits her early spiritualist investigations, her old school friends, and the days she spent as a nurse in WWI era France.

It always takes me some time to settle in to the style of a new Maisie book. They have a very differ
Yet another amazing read in this series!! And there was not just one person following and/or attempting to stop Maisie--permanently! I appreciate perhaps the most about Winspear's writing the fact that Maisie herself sometimes decides to evade the "whole truth" when all parties will be happier and better satisfied with their lives not knowing everything... That requires such courage. I don't know if I could do that. It would be a tough decision, and although Maisie agonizes, she is quite satisfi ...more
I picked this up on a whim because I thought I'd give Maisie Dobbs one more chance (I was really annoyed with the last book, but I really love historical mysteries and want to love this series). On the plus side, Maisie herself was a LOT less irritating and condescending this time around (in other words, I didn't want to punch her every five pages, like last time). Unfortunately, the new-age, woo bullshit is just utterly pervasive in this one, with Maurice babbling on philosophically to distract ...more
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maisie Dobbs is such a likable character. She's strong, discerning, compassionate and yet haunted by her experiences of WWI. I thought I was reading book 2 in the series but this is #3. Happily they can be read out of order without feeling like I missed something. Jacqueline's writing style makes me want more. On on this detective kick. I've recently watched a batch of Miss Marple movies too. Maybe it's my car getting stolen that makes me crave the detective inside me to develop. Or that escapin ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

As part of the lead in to March’s Month of Maisie Readalong I get to dip into the earlier tales of Maisie’s adventures in preparation for reading her newest story, In This Grave Hour, in the middle of Maisie month.

Pardonable Lies was Maisie’s third outing, and even though it is set in 1930, the clouds of World War II are already looming over the horizon. And even though the meat of her case here concerns the Great War now over a decade in the past, it is th
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, as usual. Love Maisie
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good read and more what I expect from the author and the characters. Maisie is growing and dealing with the baggage from her past during WWI all the while solving a couple of particularly gnarly problems.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maisie Dobbs is always entertaining.
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third in the series and another well done multi-layered story-telling going on. Winspear continues to weave multiple stories into a cohesive story line.
Ruth Lawton
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Maisie Dobbs story. I feel like I know her and have some understanding for her times and experiences. Brilliant
Kelly Holland
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dramatic outing for Miss Maisie Dobbs.
Martha Davis
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Maisie Dobbs hit as far as I’m concerned. I was worried the mystery portion of the story was a little far fetched but Winspear made it work. Not only did the mystery work but this chapter saw Maisie start to really heal and grow. And Pris was back. Yippeee.

Maisie travels to France to find out what happened to not only Ralph Lawton but also her good friend Priscilla’s brother Peter. While in France Maisie finally has to deal with the aftermath of her experiences in the war. It was a relie
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was nice to go back and actually experience for myself some of the events and relationships that are mentioned further on in the series. I enjoyed getting to see her relationship with the doctor develop and then fall apart, though I could have handled a little bit less angst about it. And now that I'm thinking along those lines, it dawns on me that when it comes to men, either in this book or further along in the series, Maisie Dobbs does not seem to have it all figured out. A lot of her self ...more
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.

“My child, when a mountain appears on the journey, we try to go to the left, then to the right; we try to find the easy way to navigate our way back to the easier path.” He paused. “But the mountain is there to be crossed. It is on that pilgrimage, as we climb higher, that we are forced to shed the layers upon layers we have carried for so lon
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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 14 books)
  • Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1)
  • Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs, #2)
  • 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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“My child, when a mountain appears on the journey, we try to go to the left, then to the right. We try to find the easy way to navigate our way back to the easier path.…. But the mountain is there to be crossed. It is on that pilgrimage, as we climb higher, that we are forced to shed the layers upon layers we have carried for so long. Then we find that our load is lighter, and we have come to know something of ourselves in the perilous climb…..Do not seek to avoid the mountain, my child. For it has been placed there at a perfect time. It will only become larger if you seek to delay or draw back from the ascent. ” 8 likes
“I believe it is to our detriment that age gives us a certain mistrust of those younger than ourselves, and we fail to see the strength within them to assume the burden of truth.” 2 likes
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