A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs Series #11)

A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs Series #11)

3.8 40
by Jacqueline Winspear
     
 

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Four years after she set sail from England, leaving everything she most loved behind, Maisie Dobbs at last returns, only to find herself in a dangerous place . . . 

In Jacqueline Winspear‘s  powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy, a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads Maisie into a web of lies, deceit,

Overview

Four years after she set sail from England, leaving everything she most loved behind, Maisie Dobbs at last returns, only to find herself in a dangerous place . . . 

In Jacqueline Winspear‘s  powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy, a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads Maisie into a web of lies, deceit, and peril.

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability—and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England; her aging father Frankie Dobbs is not getting any younger.

But on a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn’t ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, “You will be alone in a most dangerous place,” she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.

Yet the danger is very real. Days after Maisie’s arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar’s Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on “the Rock”—arguably Britain’s most important strategic territory—and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

Editorial Reviews

starred review Booklist
“This eleventh entry in the Maisie Dobbs series, with enough backstory to stand alone, shows the same meticulous research that grounds these books so firmly in their time and place, along with moving life changes that further humanize the intrepid protagonist. Another winner from Winspear.”
Marilyn Stasio
“The latest installment of Jacqueline Winspear’s consistently interesting series….[Maisie’s] drawn into a climate of political intrigue that repels her-but keeps the rest of us avidly reading.”
Bobbi Dumas
“Maisie would be interesting enough as a combination psychologist, empath and detective, but Winspear endows her with a rich backstory….With the clouds of war gathering, we can only expect that the British government will have uses for such a clever and effective woman....Interesting times ahead.”
USA Today
“With clarity and economy, Winspear lays the historical groundwork….The setting matters, but what may matter more is the lovely, sometimes poetic way Winspear pushes her heroine forward….May she shine on the literary scene for many books to come.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A gripping and moving story, filled with fully realized characters and spare but stylish prose….As always, Maisie—one of the most complex and admirable characters in contemporary fiction—fulfills expectations. And Winspear continues to dazzle as she once again excels in and transcends the genre.”
Nora Levine
“A welcome addition to the series….It’s an understatement to note that Ms. Winspear, as usual, has made excellent use of her background research.”
The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
…the latest installment of Jacqueline Winspear's consistently interesting series…Try as she might to concentrate on a murder case, [Maisie's] drawn into a climate of political intrigue that repels her—but keeps the rest of us avidly reading.
Publishers Weekly
05/18/2015
Maisie Dobbs suffers a surplus of tragedy in Winspear's 11th novel featuring the London investigator and psychologist (after 2013's Leaving Everything Most Loved). Following an enigmatic preface set in 1937 Gibraltar, in which Maisie is under surveillance after discovering a corpse, the action flashes back to 1934. Within just a few pages, spanning several years, Maisie is engaged, married, and widowed, and gives birth to a dead child. It's no wonder that the still-fresh wounds keep her from returning home to England as she tries to find the resolve to carry on and "find the person she used to be." Back in the present, Maisie literally stumbles over the corpse of photographer Sebastian Babayoff while on an evening stroll, possibly disturbing the killer before he could complete the robbery that the local police believe to have been his motive. Taking a different view, Maisie comes to conclude that the dead man captured an image on his camera that was dangerous to others. The plot works better as a historical novel depicting pre-WWII turmoil than as a whodunit. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Mar.)
Library Journal
03/15/2015
Admirers of Winspear's Agatha Award-winning series may be surprised that this 11th installment jumps the psychologist/private investigator's narrative forward several years. At the close of 2013's Leaving Everything Most Loved, Maisie was at a crossroads, shuttering her London office and preparing a journey to India while weighing a marriage proposal from her dashing lover, James Compton. The new book opens four years later in 1937, with a now-widowed Maisie devastated by James's tragic death and her ensuing miscarriage. Reluctant to return to England, she's temporarily taken refuge in Gibraltar, a military outpost and hotbed of geopolitical intrigue. There she stumbles upon the body of a murdered photographer and steps into a mystery touching the local Sephardic Jewish community and nearby turmoil of the Spanish Civil War. Within the tumult, the always introspective Maisie uses her work to regain a measure of inner peace. VERDICT After hinting at change for several books, the series finally appears to have passed a crucial turning point as it nears the precipice of World War II. While some readers may wonder at the way Winspear handled her heroine's doomed offscreen marriage, many will embrace the arresting period detail and emotional resonance of seeing a new, if heartbreaking, chapter of Maisie's life unfold. [See Prepub Alert, 9/8/14.]—Annabelle Mortensen, Skokie P.L., IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062220561
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/23/2016
Series:
Maisie Dobbs Series , #11
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
28,174
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other national bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Ojai, California
Date of Birth:
April 30, 1955
Place of Birth:
Weald of Kent, England
Education:
The University of London¿s Institute of Education
Website:
http://www.jacquelinewinspear.com

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A Dangerous Place 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WWI is over, the world is different, and so is Maisie. Pick up a new time and enjoy the characters in new settings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a major disappointment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was wonderful reading this well-crafted addition to the Maisie Dobbs series. This story picks up four years after we last saw Maisie, and naturally fills in what we've missed. Now Maisie jumps at a chance to put her detective skillls to use when she discovers a dead body in Gibraltar. It starts as a way for Maisie to avoid the events of her own life, but eventually works her way back to helping the dead man's family move forward. Maisie continues to change and develop over the course of the series. The backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and pre-WWII are seemlessly woven into the story too. I'm looking forward to seeing where Maisie heads next on her journey!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After such a long wait, this is a welcome update to Maisie Dobb's story. I've read other authors who write of similar female detectives of the same time period and have found Jacqueline Winspear's writing to be far and above. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have eagerly awaited this new Maisie Dobbs book, but I found it a bitter disappointment. Frankly, this book could have used a better editor, to keep the author better concentrated on Maisie's strong points. Not only does Maisie seem to be lost, but so does the author. There are few of the sharp insights for which the character is noted. At one point she dips to invoking what Billy might have said to her, had he still be around. There are flashes of the brilliant detective, but they are few and far between. And while not giving away the ending, I found it very unsatisfying. Unless the next book gets rave reviews, I won't be wasting my money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of the Massie Dobbs series from the beginning. But the latest in the series is very slow and tedious to read. Massie's husband James dies tragically . She travels to India and ends up in Gibraltar. While there she becomes involved in a murder. I finished the book but it was very slow and dragged. Very disappointing. Massie the main character was annoying. Ms. Winspear did not make Massie very interesting and the plot was boring. Is the author leading into WW II?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Between reading about her what to wear decisions, her walks to the coffee shop and her repacking of her bag I thought I would expire of boredom. A truly interesting character shows insecurities,fears and deep emotions toward the others in a book. Maisie is portrayed as a perfect yet glacial person.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
“Memories come out of nowhere, sometimes, don’t they? Like a splinter long in the finger finally rises to the surface. Pluck it out, and the pain goes – and you realise there has been discomfort all along, but you have lived with it”. A Dangerous Place is the eleventh book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and private investigator, is on the island of Gibraltar. It is 1937, and across the water, the Spanish Civil War is being fought. Maisie has stopped over in Gibraltar on her way home from India, feeling unprepared to face family and friends in England after the recent tragic events of her life. But soon after she arrives, she stumbles across a body on a dark path during an evening walk: Sebastian Babayoff, a Sephardic Jew, a photographer, has just been beaten to death. The Police dismiss the case as an opportunistic robbery by one of the many refugees on the island, but Maisie is not convinced. She decides to investigate. “She’d been feeling as if all meaning in her life had perished when she discovered Babayoff’s body. Perhaps she would find the person she used to be, before tragedy struck her a second time, cutting deeper into her soul, a still-open wound more livid than anything left by the war. Now she was in business – and that responsibility to another would give her a reason to live”. Maisie’s investigations, without Billy Beale’s capable assistance, see her meeting quite an array of people: a professor of philosophy and politics; a café owner; a shopkeeper; a bereaved sister; a fisherman’s niece; a carpenter; and none of these is quite what they first seem to be. She finds herself the subject of covert observation, and encounters a certain ex-Special Branchman she would rather avoid. Winspear’s plot has plenty of twists and turns and Maisie interviews quite a few witnesses who are practiced at evasion and determined to keep their secrets. This episode of Maisie’s life is set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and its effect on nearby countries. Winspear rather quickly disposes of the events of years since Maisie’s decision to go to India, her decision to marry, her marriage, impending motherhood and widowhood, not unsympathetically, but somewhat cursorily, perhaps because Maisie’s forte is private investigation. It will be interesting to see where Winspear takes her heroine next. Captivating crime fiction. 4.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a fan of Winspear's latest.  I found it a bit disappointing.  Winspear throws out a tidbit of happiness for Maisie and quickly crumples it away. Maisie's been angst riddled for a while now. No longer enjoyable to read.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
I have greatly missed Maisie Dobbs, and this novel skipped a chunk of her life, but then filled in snippets here and there. The story begins tragically for Maisie, and her grief and sorrow follow the whole story. Winspear does an excellent job incorporating the pain and sorrow into the thread of the story. Maisie embarks from India to England, but leaves the ship in Gibraltar for personal reasons only to discover the body of a murdered man. The story follows the raging war with different factions in Spain, and the intrusion of Italy and Germany into the moray. This battle brings back painful memories for Maisie as she must learn to follow the teaching of her mentor, Maurice. Winspear builds elaborate settings, but her characters lack of depth of personality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first, I was a bit dismayed by what the author had imposed on Maisie. But I highly recommend persevering through the first chapters. I think Maisie's sojourn in Gibraltar is a brilliant way to present the Spanish Civil War & the looming inevitability of WWII. As always the author brings to her tale a great compassion, wisdom & the ability to hold the complexities of inner struggles together with the contradictions of powerful forces. By the end I was right there with Maisie - and as always - hungry for more!
ShinerD More than 1 year ago
I love the Maisie Dobbs series and for me this was one of the best.  Trying not to give anything away, it is a welcomed departure from the usual and like any good character, she continues to develop and work through her struggles. I liked the ending and am looking forward to seeing where she goes from here,
Anonymous 12 months ago
We follow Maisie as she is trying to overcome deep grief. This is a novel of intrigue and shattering tragedy. Maisie begins to piece her life together while reprising her former careers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
olemoney More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finally just stopped reading. It was OK. Not a really bad read, but I felt like I was just wasting time trying to finish the book. None of the characters or the story grabbed me and made me want to hang in there. I read about a third of the book and quit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Maisie Dobbs has led an interesting and varied life throughout the eleven prior novels in this popular series, but now in another chapter of her life she is at a crossroads. Having at last married James Compton and gained a title, becoming pregnant, only to then become a widow when her husband crashes to the ground in Canada while flying a developmental fighter and losing the child as a result. She naturally is deeply depressed. So she goes off to Boston and then India to escape and perhaps gain some composure. But pressure from her stepmother forces her to book passage back to England, a home she does not feel able to face. As a result of her ambivalence on returning, she gets off the ship in Gibraltar, the last stop before reaching the British Isles. There she begins to regain something of her old self, when she trips over the body of a murdered photographer while walking. Consequently, she becomes embroiled not only in investigating the murder, but learning of the consequences of the Spanish Civil War just across the border, of the intrigues, spies and intelligence agents operating on the Rock. Working once again, Maisie begins to approache her old self. She even crosses the border into war-torn Spain to cut though the deceptions and artifices surrounding the murder. Each novel in the series has brought us new insights into Maisie’s character, and this latest effort, now making a even dozen novels, brings the reader even deeper into her mind and psyche. The descriptions of the battles in Spain may not be another Sun Also Rises, but they serve the plot well and give rise to another objective for Maisie to accomplish before returning home. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read and reread all of this series. Characters, plot, emotions, people to care about, and stories that just have to continue are hallmarks of these outstanding tales.
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
A Dangerous Place, the eleventh Maisie Dobbs novel by Jacqueline Winspear, opens four years after the close of Leaving Everything Most Loved. In that story, she traveled to India to find peace for her soul, to find answers to questions, including James’ heartfelt proposal. Maisie was born of a different class than her aristocratic sweetheart so she had to come to terms with that complex issue. But the first chapter is devastating to long-term readers like me. Told in letters, I cried for Maisie and her heartbreak, and I longed to reach out to other readers I know. It’s shocking, saddening, but somehow, I did not feel manipulated or cheated, though I easily could have. If eyes were windows into the heart of a human being, then hers were locked tight, as if a portcullis had come down across her soul. Her father-in-law, Lord Julian Compton, has friends in high places so when he sends someone to find Maisie after she delays her journey in Gibraltar on her way back to England from Canada, she is perceptive enough to realize it. She is an investigator after all. And a gifted one at that. Maisie stumbles upon a murder and begins to investigate, thus drawing the attention of the British Secret Service, a group she briefly worked for and, I suspect, want to recruit her once again. She creates case maps to help her solve her mysteries and this brings back happy memories with Billy, her beloved and trusted assistant. Work helps to heal her broken heart. It was as if the act of searching, of fingering the facts and mulling over suppositions, would help her excavate something inside herself. I love how simply Maisie lives in her daily existence, much like I do. She travels lightly, eats very simply but deliciously, and meditates daily. She also walks everywhere. As in all the novels, the second world war looms ominously over the entire series, like a stifling blanket. I fear for so many of its characters after all they have been through, especially Priscilla, Maisie’s dear old friend who lost three brothers in the first war and now raises three sons of her own. Maisie heals by giving, in both her work in solving a mystery and also by volunteering; she was once a nurse in the first war. Maisie is, above all, resilient. She is afraid to return to England and needs to find peace in her own way, much like she did when she traveled to India. But, like her family, I worry for her. I don’t like to see her alone. The book’s title refers literally to Gibraltar, where Maisie has stopped on her way back home to England, close to Spain’s civil war. But it also alludes to Maisie’s state of mind. It’s a fragile, tenuous existence and she must tread very carefully. No, she had to keep going, to cast out her line to the next island, and the next, and the next, until the ocean was crossed and she found herself once more on firm and steady ground. The sounds and scents in this book are vivid. Lavender beeswax, the drone of an aeroplane, the destructive landscape of Spain. Amid the chaos of war (and a larger war brewing around them), the characters find solace in the simple things: milky coffee, pastries, a clean and spare room. I love the tactile atmosphere that Winspear conveys. This series must be read in order or you will not understand or follow anything. More a complex portrait of an extraordinary yet ordinary English woman between the wars than a mystery, it’s a rewarding and beautiful series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DrPepperGirl More than 1 year ago
The long anticipated Maisie Dobbs book #11 is not a letdown. I love to follow the train of thoughts of Maisie. After her retreat to India, the short-lived happiness with James, the heart-broken Maisie found herself staying in Gibraltar as a temporarily refuge before returning to Britain. Here in Gibraltar, Maisie once again got tangled up in a case that, indirectly, helped Maisie to regain her strength and courage to prevail and to live on. I have read reviews about readers are disappointed at the missing of details of Maisie's life during the time she spent in India before marrying James and the time she spent in Canada as a married woman. I myself think the omission of details is ok. Ms. Winspear did include just about right amount of details throughout, either as Maisie's recollections or reflections upon her life, and with a bit of imagination, I could totally follow Maisie's happiness and despair that she has experienced. The case that Maisie worked on in "A Dangerous Place" is not as intense as those in the previous publications. What makes "A Dangerous Place" stands out is the inner turmoils Maisie experienced, but not the case itself though the case is interesting enough. The backdrop is about the Spanish civil war. Maisie has always been a complicated character since the very first book. True enough, and I have to admit, it's depressing to learn that my most loved character has endured enough hardships and the book does not seem to point Maisie to a "happier" direction (i.e. settled down with family, and lived happily ever after that kind.) But this is what I like about Maisie: the character seems real, nothing is sugar-coated. I truly enjoyed the entire reading experience, and definitely would recommend the title to my friends.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
A Dangerous Place is the 11th book in the series, and we pick up the story in 1937, four years after the last book ended. Maisie and her husband James are living in Canada, where James is working on planes for the government. After a tragedy, Maisie decides to return to India to heal. When her stepmother wires Maisie asking her to return home to England, Maisie decides to go, but ends up in Gibraltar, a British garrison town off the coast of Spain. Maisie discovers the dead body of a photographer, a Sephardic Jew, and feeling that the police aren't interested in finding the killer, Maisie uses her skills to solve the murder, and gets involved in a dangerous political situation. Winspear always does a great deal of research for her books, and in this one, we learn a great deal about the Spanish Civil War, including the bombing of a marketplace in Guernica, where many women and children were killed by fascist forces. For someone who doesn't know much about the politics in Spain at this time, it is enlightening. Since Maisie is alone in Gibraltar, we don't see many of our favorite characters from previous books- no Billy, no Priscilla, no Lady Rowan. I have to admit I miss Maisie's interactions with the characters I have grown to like. The only one who makes an appearance is Inspector MacFarlane, Maisie's sometimes nemesis, sometimes reluctant police partner. At the end of the story, Maisie assists some nurses who are traveling to care for the men fighting the civil war. This part was most interesting for me, as Maisie seemed to come out of her funk, and was at her best organizing the makeshift hospital and helping the nurses care for the men under difficult conditions. It was a welcome callback to Maisie and her nursing days in France. We'll have to wait until next year's book to find out if Maisie returns home and resumes her life as a private investigator. I can't say that this one was my favorite in the Maisie Dobbs series, but as always, I learned something about a time and place I knew little about, and that is always a good thing.