Customer Reviews for

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Series #3)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A more vulnerable Maisie

The third Maisie Dobbs novel, Pardonable Lies, is a bigger book, and delves more deeply into Maisie's past and her personal life. When a man asks Psychologist/Private Investigator Maisie Dobbs to help him fulfill a deathbed promise to his wife to find out if their son, ...
The third Maisie Dobbs novel, Pardonable Lies, is a bigger book, and delves more deeply into Maisie's past and her personal life. When a man asks Psychologist/Private Investigator Maisie Dobbs to help him fulfill a deathbed promise to his wife to find out if their son, who was declared killed during World War I was really dead, Maisie takes the case.

Coincidentally, Maisie's friend Priscilla has come for a visit and asks Maisie to find out the circumstances behind her brother Peter's wartime death in France. Maisie and Priscilla both served in France during the war, and Maisie was wounded in an incident that caused her boyfriend to become brain damaged. He now lives in a permanent vegetative state in a hospital.

All this shakes Maisie, and she reluctantly takes the cases, and heads back to France to face her demons. The scene where Maisie is in the cemetery where so many men lost their lives during the war is emotionally powerful, and reveals a new level of depth to Maisie. All the horrors of war come rushing back, and Maisie is overcome with emotion.

I think many people who have faced trauma will understand Maisie's experience. Maisie has been presented as a character so in control of her emotions, this incident makes her more vulnerable.

Wisnpear ratchets up the tension in this novel as it appears that someone is trying to kill Maisie. Who and why this is happening is a puzzle, as there is more than one suspect.

The title, Pardonable Lies, refers to a few things. Maisie and her mentor Dr. Maurice Blanche have a falling out when Maisie discovers that he hid from her some aspects of his intelligence work during the war. This rift is important, and I wonder if it will permanently affect their relationship.

Maisie is very scrupulous, and her integrity is paramount to her. When she discovers two secrets related to Priscilla's brother and her client's son, she has to decide which is more important- protecting someone or telling the truth. Her internal struggle makes for a powerful story.

I'm enjoying getting to better know Maisie through these novels. In this one, we see Maisie struggle more with her emotions, having to face her past. I liked her friendship with Priscilla, unique because Maisie doesn't seem to have many friends her own age.

I also like getting historical context. Following World War I, when ships were no longer needed for battle, many of them were converted for pleasure travel. Although the world financial depression hurt the economy, travel to the Riviera, Africa and the Mediterranean became cheaper and easier. This opened up the world to many people who hadn't traveled much before.

Pardonable Lies gives us a deeper look at Maisie's life and I found it the strongest of the series so far. This series would be great for high school girls, Maisie is a terrific role model.

posted by bookchickdi on February 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I Enjoy This Series

To be honest, I read the first two of the series via the library (on ebooks) but they didn't have the third. I guess it says something that I bought it!

Not great literature but I enjoy the view into post WWI England and Maisie and Billy are good company. The plo...
To be honest, I read the first two of the series via the library (on ebooks) but they didn't have the third. I guess it says something that I bought it!

Not great literature but I enjoy the view into post WWI England and Maisie and Billy are good company. The plots are well done but they are only part of the story. The development of the two characters, their lives and growth as people is part of it too.

However, I'll be getting book 4 at the library. These are a little light -- and are such quick reads -- that I'm not tempted to continue purchasing them at $10 a pop.

posted by Black_Cat_Lover on January 25, 2013

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  • Posted February 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A more vulnerable Maisie

    The third Maisie Dobbs novel, Pardonable Lies, is a bigger book, and delves more deeply into Maisie's past and her personal life. When a man asks Psychologist/Private Investigator Maisie Dobbs to help him fulfill a deathbed promise to his wife to find out if their son, who was declared killed during World War I was really dead, Maisie takes the case.

    Coincidentally, Maisie's friend Priscilla has come for a visit and asks Maisie to find out the circumstances behind her brother Peter's wartime death in France. Maisie and Priscilla both served in France during the war, and Maisie was wounded in an incident that caused her boyfriend to become brain damaged. He now lives in a permanent vegetative state in a hospital.

    All this shakes Maisie, and she reluctantly takes the cases, and heads back to France to face her demons. The scene where Maisie is in the cemetery where so many men lost their lives during the war is emotionally powerful, and reveals a new level of depth to Maisie. All the horrors of war come rushing back, and Maisie is overcome with emotion.

    I think many people who have faced trauma will understand Maisie's experience. Maisie has been presented as a character so in control of her emotions, this incident makes her more vulnerable.

    Wisnpear ratchets up the tension in this novel as it appears that someone is trying to kill Maisie. Who and why this is happening is a puzzle, as there is more than one suspect.

    The title, Pardonable Lies, refers to a few things. Maisie and her mentor Dr. Maurice Blanche have a falling out when Maisie discovers that he hid from her some aspects of his intelligence work during the war. This rift is important, and I wonder if it will permanently affect their relationship.

    Maisie is very scrupulous, and her integrity is paramount to her. When she discovers two secrets related to Priscilla's brother and her client's son, she has to decide which is more important- protecting someone or telling the truth. Her internal struggle makes for a powerful story.

    I'm enjoying getting to better know Maisie through these novels. In this one, we see Maisie struggle more with her emotions, having to face her past. I liked her friendship with Priscilla, unique because Maisie doesn't seem to have many friends her own age.

    I also like getting historical context. Following World War I, when ships were no longer needed for battle, many of them were converted for pleasure travel. Although the world financial depression hurt the economy, travel to the Riviera, Africa and the Mediterranean became cheaper and easier. This opened up the world to many people who hadn't traveled much before.

    Pardonable Lies gives us a deeper look at Maisie's life and I found it the strongest of the series so far. This series would be great for high school girls, Maisie is a terrific role model.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2012

    Nicely done...

    A very well written book about Maisie's trials and tribulations and haunting ghosts of her war experiences. Quite a story which hung together very nicely. Enjoyed the exprience and the characters that seemed to come to life with every page. Not normally read this sort of thing, but it kept me turning the pages, and looking forward to picking the book up again and again. I highly recommend this experience to others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Great installment in the series

    Mazie is a great character in interesting settings wtih involving plots. Keep writing, Ms. Winspear!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2007

    Pardonable Lies

    When things happen, they happen in threes. So Maisie Dobbs learns when she takes a case to help a child accused of murder, a sort of double case dealing with soldiers killed in the war, and trying to find out who was trying to kill her. The child accused of murder is a girl barely thirteen forced into street walking. Of the two soldiers one was the brother of Maisie's best friend and the other was the son of an MP who promised to settle the question of whether boy still lived or not. Lastly, the killer surfaced as Maisie began her investigations. Was it connected to the case. Talented Jacquenline Winspear has written a story that will keep you reading. You will thoroughly enjoy meeting Maisie and the other characters while stepping back in time. A series of subplots woven into the fabric of the whole make for a satisfying and pleasant read. A touch of the paranormal added to the mix of mystery and romance give it a flavor to set it apart from the ordinary mystery. Any reader will find this deserves the title, cozy, even though it doesn't follow all the rules. You'll be looking for other books by this very able author. I know I will.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 13, 2011

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