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Pardonable Lies

(Maisie Dobbs #3)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  29,081 ratings  ·  2,171 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.

A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that h
Paperback, 359 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Picador USA (first published January 1st 2005)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  29,081 ratings  ·  2,171 reviews

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Margaret H. Willison
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: The young policewoman stood in the corner of the room. Plain whitewashed walls, a heavy wooden door, a wooden table with two chairs, and one small window with frosted glass rendered the room soulless. It was a cold afternoon and she had been in the corner since coming on duty two hours ago, her only company the rumpled and bent girl sitting in the chair that faced the wall. Others had come into the room to sit in the second chair: first Detective Inspector Richard Stratton with Detectiv ...more
I really like the idea of a young woman setting up an investigative agency in the 1930s and Maisie Dobbs is becoming more independent and confident as she sets about her cases. She is asked by the police to help them interview a young girl accused of murder and sets out to investigate her guilt or innocence. At the same time she is approached by an eminent KC who promised his wife on her death bed that he would confirm that their son, a pilot, was killed in the war. His wife had never accepted t ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Maisie Dobbs, book 3. I’m reading this series out loud to/with a friend.

This one seemed to have less humor than the first two books in the series, but it did have some, and it seemed to have a lot more intrigue, and intricate and fun multiple mysteries. I love the shades of gray in these books, with the characters and with their circumstances. There isn’t a lot of black and white, nor are there definite heroes and villains. I really appreciate that.

I’m thoroughly enjoying this series but now a
Kathy Davie
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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,
♥ Sandi ❣
3 stars

I was not impressed with this book of the series. I think the writing was probably as strong as the other books, but the story just seemed to be too full. There was just too much put into this book. Cut in about half would have been more pleasurable for me.

I did not like how part of the problems were brought to a close. I did not feel that enough time was given to each - they just seemed to be clipped short and closed. Other problems were well developed and kinda brought to close, but ma
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads, mysteries
#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
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
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
Pardonable Lies is part of an intriguing series by Jacqueline Winspear, featuring Maisie Dobbs, growing up as a housemaid and working her way through college at Cambridge. She later served during World War I as a nurse. At the conclusion of the war she opened a private investigation practice in 1929 in London. Coincidentally, in Pardonable Lies, Ms. Dobbs was researching the deaths of two soldiers during the Great War, one for a father that wanted to put to rest any chance of his son still being ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-read
A wonderful addition to a thoroughly delightful and enjoyable series.
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
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
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
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. ...more
Diane Challenor
I loved this book, I love the series can't wait to get into the next one. ...more
Book #3 in the Maisie Dobbs Series, Pardonable Lies is a BEAUT.

In this book, Maisie is juggling three mysteries:
Who killed Avril Jarvis' uncle?

What is the fate of Ralph Lawton, a pilot who was involved in a fiery plane crash? His deceased mother had believed him a survivor; his father wants Maisie to prove he is dead.

What is the fate of Peter Evernden? Peter is the brother of Maisie's best friend, Priscilla. Maisie, Priscilla says, while you are working on the first two questions could you fi
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pardonable Lies is the third book in the Maisie Dobbs series. The effects of World War I are still being felt in 1930. Maisie is asked to assist in finding two young men who never returned from the war – one for a client and one for a friend. She travels to France and relives the terrors she faced as a nurse working during the war. She also has an interesting case of a young girl accused of murder in London. I enjoy all the historical detail of these novels. I found it a little hard to believe t ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is book 3 in the Maisie Dobbs series. Maisie is a unique, young detective in 1930s England. She promotes herself as a psychologist and investigator and used to be a maid in a country estate as well as a nurse in WW 1. So, she's got all kinds of experience!

I enjoy the setting, the time period and the characters. If you like historical detectives or murder mysteries, I think you could like Maisie Dobbs.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
All I can add is that Maisie Dobbs is a very enjoyable series.
Barbara H
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Barbara H 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
Nancy (essayist)
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Austin Brooks
Aug 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
I tried.

I was miffed in the previous book which felt poorly planned. I was hoping this one was better, but it ended up being a book I loved to hate. Aside from the "solve by aura" approach, how every case has to do with her tragic past, and the clunky integration of spiritualism, I lost it with Maise. I get it, Dobbs, you were in a war 20 years ago. That is basically the only detail about your character. So maybe get a hobby or a cat and move on?

On the ground was a used band-aid. "I was a nurse
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Wow! This is the game changer, exactly when I knew I could love and binge this series. Taking place not long after WWI, but close enough to WWII looming, it has so much emotion and depth to all the stories and characters. I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

Also, this is the first audio with Orlagh Cassidy narrating this series, and I am so glad she is the narrator going forward. She brought these characters to life. I looked for every opportunity to listen to this book.
Susan needs more books, not really
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
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book this is!
I was so happy to get re-acquintated with Maisie Dobbs and her unorthodox methods, Billy, Maurice Blanche, and all their clients. I adore the setting in in-between-war London - England, and the story was both believable and thrilling. It is definitely not the typical mystery, but the research of the time, the portrait of the characters, and the setting is so convincing.
Leslie Raver
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another Maisie Dobbs book completed and thoroughly enjoyed. What I like about these books are the historical facts written into the story. An example of one in this book is the R-101. While it is a lite read, it’s one that captures your attention around the horrors of WWI and the survival of soldiers, their families and countries. I definitely recommend this series.
May 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Shelly by: Garzon's list
Didn't like it ...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

Other books in the series

Maisie Dobbs (1 - 10 of 16 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. ” 10 likes
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