Customer Reviews for

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

A Rare Treat

I recommend this book to everyone. Classified as a mystery, it transends any one genre with its psychological and spiritual overtones, class struggle, and battlefield scenes woven nicely into the dire circumstances of WWI Europe. And, oh yes, there is a mystery to be so...
I recommend this book to everyone. Classified as a mystery, it transends any one genre with its psychological and spiritual overtones, class struggle, and battlefield scenes woven nicely into the dire circumstances of WWI Europe. And, oh yes, there is a mystery to be solved. Jackie Winspear has created a believable,admirable character in Maisie Dobbs. The reader pulls for her while racing through the well-crafted story. Maisie Dobbs should move right to the bestseller list along with The Secret Life of Bees and The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Winspear was nominated for an Edgar, and won an Agatha for Maisie Dobbs. I'm looking forward to her next book, Birds of A Feather.

posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Great Book Club selection

Being the first it was loaded with back ground info on the characters. I would highly recommended starting with this book. That said World War 1 is such a large part of this book and for me the best part of the book. I wonder if the author has made her Psychologist an...
Being the first it was loaded with back ground info on the characters. I would highly recommended starting with this book. That said World War 1 is such a large part of this book and for me the best part of the book. I wonder if the author has made her Psychologist and Investigator business interesting enough for Maisie books to keep me buying. She is the perfect daughter, friend and associate that you just go ho-hum she's visiting again. I recommended it for a book club because there is so much to talk about and it would be one of those book you like or don't like. Makes for a lively discussion but Maisie herself does not interest me enough to read another.

posted by zarea on March 10, 2009

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Like a dose of Masterpiece Theatre!

    I'm not one for mysteries and not one for serials. I purchased this one to send to my mom, but as I was looking for an easy read and this one was in reach I cracked it open to take a gander. Well, it was a pleasant surprise! It didn't take long before I found myself engrossed in the life of Maisie Dobbs.

    As this is the first in the Maisie Dobbs series, it was light on the mystery and heavy on the "set up" and history for the series (which could be why I liked it so much). It also felt like I was reading an episode of Masterpiece Theatre--which I absolutely love. Maisie seems like somone I would have as a friend and Winspear's writing gave me strong images of WWI post-WWI England. Finally, the last two pages had me sobbing like a baby. Kudos Winspear for such a lovely story! I look forward to book #2.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2003

    Looking forward to more Maisie Dobbs

    Winspear has succeeded in making something new out of the mystery novel... the mystery behind the plot draws you in and keeps you turning the pages but this book also has soul. This originality comes through in its exploration of the ethics, almost the spirituality, that underlie the profession of private investigator. In a highly original combination, Winspear works Buddhism, philosophy, feminism, the history of WWI, and an ideal of personal growth into an enjoyable mystery story that not only drew me in but inspired me. Maisie Dobbs is written with a lot of heart. I'm looking forward to hearing more of her story.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2003

    Good Book!

    I recently read this book and enjoyed it very much. According to the book jacket, it is intended to be the first in a series. If so, I look forward to reading the next 'Maisie Dobbs.' The basic plot (serving girl gets educated by broad minded employer) may be a bit cliched, but given the time period and what happened to the social classes at that time, it comes off as believable. Part of what made this book interesting was the way Maisie's psychological situation was revealed to the reader.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A great start to a historical mystery series

    Maisie Dobbs takes place following World War I in London. It's an era that I didn't know much about, and so soaking in all of the atmosphere that Winspear so painstakingly researched was a revelation. Although I'm not much of a clotheshorse, I really enjoyed how the author described Maisie's clothes. My mother-in-law designs and makes antique clothes, and as I read this book, I thought of how much she would love this.

    I like how Maisie is so intelligent, yet she doesn't have all the answers. The way she mimics the posture of the person with whom she is talking to make them more comfortable with her fascinated me. Her mentor Dr. Maurice Blanche's psychological insights to Maisie, such as
    "Never follow a story with a question, Maisie, not immediately. And remember to acknowledge the storyteller, for in some way even the messenger is affected by the story he brings,"
    are illuminating, and useful to the reader.

    Maisie's straddling of two different classes of society- her father's working class and her benefactor's aristocratic one- makes for interesting conflict for her. Her father, a groom on the estate where Maisie is a maid, wants a better life for Maisie, yet fears losing her completely to her new life. Lady Rowan, her employer and benefactor, is an interesting character and I hope we get to see more of her in future books.

    And in the end, it was Enid, Maisie's fellow maid, who was the greatest influence on Maisie. Her words to Maisie about her duty to help the boys in the war effort may have had the deepest effect on Maisie's life.

    Maisie Dobbs starts in 1930, after Maisie has become a private investigator, and establishes the adult Maisie before taking us back to her childhood and the story of how Maisie got to where she is. It is a good technique because we are so invested in Maisie's adult life before we see how she got there.

    I felt that the author's take on the horrors of war resonated deeply. So much of what happened to the men and women who fought in war is universal and timeless. While techniques of war have changed greatly since World War I, the awful effects of it have not. I liked seeing war from a female point of view.

    But my favorite quote from the book has to do with reading, of course.
    "The feeling inside that she experienced when she saw the books was akin to the hunger she felt as food was put on the table at the end of the working day. And she knew she needed this sustenance as surely as her body needed fuel."
    That just might be my new Facebook quote.

    Since Maisie is a private investigator, there is a mystery to be solved, and mystery fans will be satisfied with this part of the story. But for me, the story of Maisie's life is what I felt most deeply about and I look forward to finding out more about her in the books to come.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    Maisie Dobbs

    Excellent! This is a book I would re-read and that doesn't occur often. The writing reminds me of Anne Perry, in her WW1 novels, and yet Winspear has a distinctive style all her own.

    Winspear has done a beautiful job of giving her characters breadth and depth, then again, I do think the Brits do a much better job of this as they take the time to introduce us to the charcter and allow us to discover the multi-dimensional personalites.

    The plot is also multi-dimensional which gives further reason for why the characters are present. I did enjoy the handling of the time periods.

    As I have already ordered the next couple of books in this series I obviously recommend it. If the next books are as captivating as this first one then I will be delighted.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2003

    Thoughtful Tale of WWI

    Maisie Dobbs is an interesting, well-researched story of WWI and the aftermath. I found it very enjoyable, and hope that the author does continue with the series. Maisie is complicated and empathetic -- an unusual, likeable heroine.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2013

    I always enjoy books featuring women who are portrayed as intell

    I always enjoy books featuring women who are portrayed as intelligent and logical and resourceful and . . . well, you get the idea.

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  • Posted May 28, 2013

    Enjoyed this 1st in the series book. It is well written and just

    Enjoyed this 1st in the series book. It is well written and just plain feels good to read. I now have some new character friends. Not boring, but relaxing to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Character development

    Very good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Historic

    I love a good mystery and history, this book has both. I liked this book because of the lead character and the time it is set in. I don't think I'm hooked on the series however. I may try #2 after some time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Excellent read

    Mysteries that reveal life's truths as Maisie Dobbs comes to terms with the facts she discovers in ber investigation.

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    I say 4 stars!!

    I always like British authors and stories and this series fits right in for my enjoyment!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A fun mystery

    The first novel by Jacqueline Winspear introduces us to Masie Dobbs, a detective/psychologist operating in London post the first World War. Masie shows a wit and intelligence that make this novel a pleasure to read...solving the crime is only the icing on the cake. Learning what what motivates her fellow characters and helping them along their live struggles is what gives this novel it's true soul. Well written, the beginning of an excellent series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Very original

    I loved the style of the writing. It is alot like Suzanne Arruda except it takes place in England.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    Good start of a series

    I think for a book that needed to set up a lot of exposition to get us into a new series the author does a good job linking that back around to her first case, especially as they appear completely unrelated. I would continue to look into the series to see the growth there.

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    Posted August 1, 2011

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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