A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs Series #11)

A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs Series #11)

4.0 33
by Jacqueline Winspear

View All Available Formats & Editions

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 is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England: her aging father, Frankie Dobbs, is not

…  See more details below


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 is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England: her aging father, Frankie Dobbs, is not getting any younger.

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. In the British garrison town at the southern tip of Spain, Maisie becomes enmeshed in the murder of Sebastian Babayoff, a photographer and member of Gibraltar's Sephardic Jewish community. Meanwhile, at a crossroads between her past and her future, she must choose a direction, knowing that England is for her, an equally dangerous plance, but in quite a different way.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”

Called home to England by her father's health crisis, Maisie Dobbs makes an impulsive decision. She disembarks at Gibraltar. As the ship captain warns, she is about to be very alone in a very dangerous place. With the Spanish Civil War being fiercely waged just over the border, Britain's strategic territory now teems with secret international agents and political intrigue. The brutal murder of a Sephardic Jew photographer draws Maisie into an investigation that few seem eager to solve. Once again, a historical whodunit triumph from the Agatha award-winning author. Editor's recommendation.

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
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
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

Read More

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Maisie Dobbs Series, #11
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

A Dangerous Place 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 33 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
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
a major disappointment
cloggiedownunder 11 months 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 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.
tedfeit0 25 days 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 26 days 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 4 months 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 7 months ago
DrPepperGirl 12 months 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a spell-binder. It might be the author but the book is slow in the beginning and does not hold your interest. Maybe you need to read all the books in the series.
Twink More than 1 year ago
A Dangerous Place is the latest (#11) entry in Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.  The opening first pages of A Dangerous Place were quite jarring - a great tragedy has befallen Maisie. I won't spoil it for you, but this loss devastates her. (And truly this reader as well - I'm saddened  at this turn of events.) So much so,  that she has no desire to return to England - instead she only gets as far as Gibraltar. It's 1937 and the Spanish Civil War is underway. I've always enjoyed the slow building and piecing together of clues on the road to the final reveal in Winspear's novels. The path is never a straight line from A to B which is of course what makes a great mystery. In A Dangerous Place the route to the end is quite roundabout and busy - a bit too much in my opinion. Winspear has grown the series - and Maisie - with new directions taken in the past few books. There is of course a dead body in A Dangerous Place (every mystery needs one!) But, the ensuing investigation is a political cat and mouse game with watchers watching the watched. And sadly, I became tired of it. What I really enjoyed was what I have enjoyed in previous Maisie books - the slow coming to answers with interviews, visits and Maisie's case map. This is still present in A Dangerous Place. But what I didn't like was the political cat and mouse games and the duplicity of almost every character. It was, well, just too much. This may just be my bias - I am not a 'spy novel' fan. Winspear's descriptions of time and place are excellent. Maisie walks the streets of Gibraltar many times - I could vividly picture the old women mending their nets, Mr. Solomon's haberdashery and Mr. Salazar's cafe, as she visits these locations many times. (And it's always fun to see a mention of a place in Canada that I'm familiar with - however brief!) It's always interesting to see why or when a title was chosen for a book. This one has a great quote from Albert Einstein in the epigraph....."The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."  And this completely defines Maisie - she is one of the people who 'do'. This quality is one of the main reasons I have come to enjoy this character so much - her determination, her intellect, her compassion, her curiosity and her inability to let injustice go unnoticed. "...he taught me about duty, about doing all in our power to bring a sense of...a sense of rest and calm to those left behind. I was - I am, I suppose - an advocate for the dead." I found the ending quite satisfying - it was a 'return to roots' for Maisie. I will be very curious to see where Winspear takes her character from here. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series - this is a character and author that I do quite like. A Dangerous Place is a good read (here's an excerpt for you) but isn't my favourite in the series. Readers new to this author will want to start at the beginning to fully come to appreciate this characte
Henry_McLaughlin More than 1 year ago
I’ve shared that among my favorite authors is Jacqueline Winspear and her Maisie Dobbs series. So it was with great anticipation I opened Winspear’s newest novel, #11 in the series, A Dangerous Place. My first reaction—now for something completely different… The beginning feels like a cheat at first read. Several years have passed in Maisie’s life since the last novel, Leaving Everything Most Loved. In the first 20 pages we learn that Maisie married, moved to Canada, became pregnant, lost her husband in a plane crash, lost the baby, and went to India. This information is presented very quickly and I found myself wishing for another book just to give us these years as a story, not a summary. But, if we’re patient, it turns out to be worth it. The story opens in 1938 with Maisie on the island of Gibraltar on her way back to England. But she stumbles into a murder when she finds the victim, Sebastian Babayoff. The explanation given by the police doesn’t sit quite right with our Maisie and soon her investigative skills, which have lain dormant, propel her into the victim’s life and family. The backdrop of the story is the Spanish Civil War and the militaristic stirrings in Germany and Italy. Quickly, Maisie is swept up in international intrigue with spies and agents and gunrunners galore. And someone—several someones actually—have taken a particular interest in her. Winspear does her usual excellent job of keeping all this activity humming along, casting doubts, revealing clues, and sweeping us into this new adventure. An adventure that leads Maisie into Spain and smack dab into the civil war.  There the memories of her own experiences in World War I trigger times of reflection and meditation where Maisie ponders her past, her present, and her future. This is all done with in the context of the story and never bogs it down. And we experience with Maisie the grief of the loss of her husband and child and the resolution of where she will go next which is a surprise. Once again, Winspear creates a setting that is a dynamic character in the story, one that interacts with Maisie and moves her emotionally and spiritually to confront her own doubts and fears. The setting and the characters bring Spain and multi-cultural Gibraltar to life. As always, Winspear’s research flows naturally through the story, never interfering with Maisie’s adventure, and enhancing our understanding of the world of Maisie Dobbs. This is an excellent addition to the Maisie Dobbs series and I give it 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book from about the middle of the tale and the action that follows with Maisie's sharp analysis and evaluation. BN should have the book in LARGE print !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Floramae More than 1 year ago
I look forward to the next Maisie Dobbs Book. Not only very enjoyable and interesting but they give me grater understanding of the eras they describe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay, so. My sixteen year old friend has started drinking alcohol behind her familys backs. She took me to the bathroom yesterday and showed me a beer bottle she had hidden in her huge purse. She asked me to drink some. I didnt, of course. But she asked me to lie for her. I said no. She got mad, threw the bottle away, and stormed out. But an hour later i saw her in there again searching for the bottle. Im afraid to tell her family or the counseler. What should i do? Im worried about her. ~ pokemon girl