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An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs #5)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  13,945 Ratings  ·  1,121 Reviews
In her fifth outing, Maisie Dobbs, the extraordinary Psychologist and Investigator, delves into a strange series of crimes in a small rural community

With the country in the grip of economic malaise, and worried about her business, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment from an old friend to investigate certain matters concerning a poten
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Picador (first published 2008)
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I wonder what it is about this series of books that makes me keep on reading even though I am not totally enthusiastic about them! I find Maisie an odd character, not particularly likeable and even a little cold. This book also irritated me with more information than I really needed about gypsies and the author's romanticising of them. Nevertheless the mystery was good, the story was interesting and the post World War One setting was delightful. That may be the secret. I do enjoy all the histori ...more
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2009-list
My favorite Maisie Dobbs novel yet.

I have a notion that Jacqueline Winspear creates her plots the same way Maisie Dobbs solves her mysteries - by sketching out a map containing each clue onto a large canvas until she can see how all the pieces fit together. What I find wonderful about a Winspear mystery is that her canvas doesn't just include who did it, with what, where and when. I suspect it is painted in colors to reflect the season and the clothes Maisie wears, and I'd guess that the overar
Maisie leaves London and heads to Kent in the middle of hopping season to undertake some investigations into a brickworks and the surrounding village.

While I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series (if you're completely unfamiliar, think post-WW1 solo female detective, a former nurse with painful history), there are several elements to the series that don't click with me - Maisie's psychic abilities are up there (I like fantasy, I just don't like psychics in historical fiction), as is her overly formal t
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2011-reads
By far my favorite Maisie Dobbs installment since the very first book.

I was beginning to wonder how much longer I could stomach Maisie with her psychic abilities, her coldness and her all around off-putting-ness. It's very rare that I will continue with a series in which the main character annoys me so very much, but in the case of this series, I'm willing to put up with her because I do like the style of Winspear's writing, the time period, the slow plotting, and the issues that the mysteries b
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Incomplete Revenge is the fifth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. James Compton, son of Maisie’s long-time patron, Lady Compton, is in the process of purchasing a large estate at Heronsdene, Kent for the family company, but some incidents of petty crime, vandalism and small fires in the area are cause for concern, so Maisie is engaged to conduct enquiries. It is early autumn of 1931, and as these cases all seem to occur during the hop harves ...more
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy mystery series readers
Recommended to Betty by: review book
I was very taken with this book I loved the many textures and the fullness of characters, the setting of the late 1930s interspersed with a background story from WWI. I had never read a Maisie Dobbs story before but am fast becoming a new fan! Quite aside from the many mysterious happenings, I enjoyed learning of hop-picking, and the rich fullness of gypsies and gypsy lore.

Jacqueline Winspear has a very fluid voice in telling the story, understands the nuances in people, fear, hope, revenge, for
These aren't bad... after all, I keep reading them! But there are several things about them that I find annoying.

I am uncomfortable with the mixture of "sixth sense" and pretentious academic psychology that Maisie supposedly combines to solve her cases. The review at the end, when she returns to the sites she visited during the case, seems to me a contrived device that is essentially pointless. Perhaps I also prefer my mysteries less cerebral.

In this particular book, a specific annoyed me. App
3.5 stars, really, because these books are the ultimate "comfort read" for me.

Many of us find comfort in the familiar: meeting a character again and again, and hopefully, if the author gets it right, there is character development along with new plot lines. Winspear does it right.

At the same time, there is always a minor flaw in these novels, in that Winspear always seems to withhold a vital piece of information that helps the reader resolve the mystery. An ideal mystery should offer all the s
Rachel Morrill
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to see that I only got this book 8 days ago, and I already finished it this afternoon. I really enjoyed it! I believe this is the 4th or 5th book about the same main character, and I read the one previous to this one just a couple weeks ago. I don't know if I enjoyed this one more on its own, or if it's the fact that I care more about the main character by now. Either way, I am looking forward to reading more Maisie Dobbs books!

One thing both the books I've read by Jacqueline Win
Sydney Young
They say that Trees in a forest are connected in ways we humans don't detect. Is it possible that connection lives on in books and humans, by the spores of the paper coming from that forest? I feel this book so keenly, speaking to me about prejudice and world hate today. Wow, I did not expect this. I'm so glad I came back to this series.
Charlene Intriago
This time Maisie is investigating a land purchase near the village of Heronsdene in Kent for the company of family friend James Compton. There have been some thefts and in particular some fires that need to be explained before the Compton company will buy the estate. Set in the fall of 1931, Londoners and gypsies are descending on the village to work alongside the locals to pick hops. The locals are not the friendliest of folks and Maisie senses something is amiss when she first gets there. They ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy the character of Maisie Dobbs and find the mysteries that she investigates to be quite interesting, however, as I have noted in other reviews of this series, the author leaves me feeling a little flat. Sometimes I realize the mystery has been resolved well after the resolution because it just happened between breakfast and tea with no outstanding prose. I will keep reading the series, though. Love the character and backdrop of 1930's England.
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Winspear's a standing favorite of mine, and her latest doesn't disappoint. She captures the emotional resonance of the interwar period so perfectly, and Maisie is one of the most fully realized characters in mystery today. There's a thread of sensitivity and grace threaded through this series that makes it one to return to time and again - more than a mystery, it's an exploration into the mental challenges of grief, loss, and finding your way again in "the afterwards."
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars This was an excellent read and got me out of the funk I have been in and the mini reading slump I have been in over the past week. I do love the Maisie Dobbs books, even without the historical mystery element, they have a different and refreshing feel to other crime novels. Yet again the events in this story relate back to the Dirst World War despite it being 1931 but I have to say yet again it worked. I also like the way each case is wrapped up by revisiting elements of the mystery. A ...more
Mal Warwick
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series is always a refreshing change from the blood and guts that are common fare in most other detective fiction. Maisie, who bills herself as a “Psychologist and Investigator,” is unlike any other protagonist in crime fiction. There’s nothing the least bit hard-boiled about her. Operating in London and points south, Maisie works under the ever-present pall of World War I. Though it’s now the 1930s, Maisie’s service as a nurse at a casualty clearing station ne ...more
First Sentence: The old woman rested on the steps of her home, a caravan set apart from those of the rest of her family, her tribe.

An old friend hires investigator Maisie Dobbs to investigate matters relating to a potential land purchase. Petty thefts have been blamed on London boys there to help pick hops, but the residents also distrust the Gypsies who are there. Maisie has discovered small fires which have occurred each year but no one reported them to the fire departments or police. A family
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: female sleuths, mystery,
This is definitely my favorite so far of the series. Especially considering I found the last one to be most depressing. Hope seems to be returning to Maisie's world, despite her suffering one more loss in this book. And the portent of WWII looms in the not so distant future.

Winspear's books are very much a recommended read, and as I have now caught up with the books so far published, I shall sit here and sulk until another comes out...

For those who know a little as I do about the Depression era
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually prefer my mysteries set in the here and now, but Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, set in post WWI England is an exception. It presents the devastation of war in vivid terms constantly reminding me why I am a pacifist, at the same time giving hope as Maisie keeps growing beyond her terrible war traumas. This is the fifth book in the series, but it gives enough background to understand Maisie so it can be read on its own. Maisie is called to investigate a series of fires in the ...more
May 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This is the 5th of the Maise Dobbs books and I think it may be the best of the series since the first one. Winspear manages to weave multiple themes, but with so much grace that they never feel forced or crowded. I was particularly impressed with the material about gypsies and the subplot about the effect of war on our humanity. The narrator, Orlagh Cassidy, does a wonderful job. In an interview on one of these audiobooks, Winspear says that she was a nonfiction writer prior to doing the first M ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this series on audio is a wonderful experience. The narrator brings the characters to life, and really gets me inside Maisie, who is developing into a softer, more rounded character, now able to accept her faults and shortcomings as well as her skills and abilities. So glad there are still several books ahead of me!
Genine Franklin-Clark
A series that makes me think, ponder, learn, feel. It's a good thing, Martha.
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is my favorite Maise Dobbs book so far. Maybe it 's the gypsies or perhaps the fresh air in the countryside where they are harvesting hops.
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Next to the original Maisie Dobbs, this is the best of the series in my opinion. A wonderful tale giving us more history of the English countryside and its gypsy population.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is billed as a mystery series, but is much more historical fiction and a study of people and their relationships. The books are very well written with a continuing heroine who served as a nurse during World War I. She lives in London and works as a psychologist and private investigator. I like this series.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martha Davis
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I've said this about the other Maisie Dobbs books but this really is my favorite so far. The mystery was very complex and interesting. We got to know more about Maisie family history. Maisie was able to release some of the pain of her past and embrace her future. And Pris was back.

I always knew there was something in Maisie's past that gave her her gift and sure enough she does. Her gypsy grandmother must have passed on more than just Maisie's jet black hair. It was nice to see Maisie get
Laura Edwards
This book is really more a 3.5. Definitely the best of the whole series thus far. The main reason I knocked off half a star happens near the beginning. Of course, Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, just happens to excel at tapestry. Does the woman flub up at anything? She comes off as just a little too perfect at times. I'd like to see a few more humanistic and fallible touches to Maisie's character, though I do think Winspear is trying to move in that direction.

The interweaving of th
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Maisie's latest job should be fairly straightforward: James Compton, the son of Maisie's earliest supporter, is interested in making a large land purchase in Heronsdene. The time is right and the purchase would be very advantageous to Compton Corporation. But James has concerns about the landowner and wants Maisie to do a bit of poking before the deal goes through.

Maisie figures it'll be a quick and easy assignment but when two young boys are arrested for allegedly breaking into the very same l
James Zarzana
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In her fifth Maisie Dobbs novel, An Incomplete Revenge, Jacqueline Winspear again reveals why she writes such intriguing mysteries. The plot hangs on a series of mysterious break-in robberies and fires in a small town in Kent, but the novel delivers much more. Maisie is hired to find out about the town and its brick factory before a client buys the works. She has no idea that she will be drawn into a complex investigation of wartime deaths and closely-guarded village secrets.
Winspear’s streng
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
According to Goodreads, two stars means "it's okay." I've been feeling that way about a lot of books lately, and I kind of wish that "okay" was three stars, not two, but so it goes.

I tried the first Maisie Dobbs book and was bored. This one was a book club pick, and it's the fifth in the series, so I thought it was worth another try. I do like historical mysteries, this particular time period as well.

But I was still bored. I've noticed that certain British authors make such a fetish of stiff-upp
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "An Incomplete Revenge" (Maisie Dobbs) by Jacqueline Winspear 1 2 Jul 20, 2013 07:42AM  
book signing 1 16 Feb 13, 2008 12:07PM  
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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)
  • Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs, #3)
  • Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs, #4)
  • 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)
“The heart does not know chronos time, Maisie.” 3 likes
“The depression we find ourselves in here, and which is causing havoc in America, is allowing people to give weight to that which divides them, rather than to the shared experiences and elements of connection they see mirrored in their fellow man.” 1 likes
More quotes…