A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

Overview

Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit, and danger.

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 ...

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A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs Series #11)

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Overview

Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit, and danger.

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.

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.

And 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

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.

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.”
Kirkus Reviews
2015-01-08
Still reeling from personal tragedies, intrepid nurse-turned-private investigator Maisie Dobbs becomes embroiled in a murder case in Gibraltar on the eve of the Spanish Civil War. Following the death of her husband, Viscount James Compton, in a Canadian aviation accident and her ensuing miscarriage, Maisie traveled to India rather than return home to England, despite pleas from family and friends. Though she initially feels strong enough, both mentally and physically, to face London again in the spring of 1937, Maisie has a change of heart midvoyage and decamps in Gibraltar, a military garrison and an international outpost for those on both ends of the political spectrum. With nearby Spain on the brink of civil war, tensions run high, and support—both financial and in the form of ammunition—funnels steadily across the increasingly porous border. As often happens, Maisie stumbles—this time literally—upon a corpse and isn't satisfied with the seemingly cursory police investigation. The dead man is identified as Sebastian Babayoff, a photographer and member of the local Sephardic Jewish community. Maisie, immersing herself in Gibraltar life by staying in a rooming house rather than the posh tourist-oriented hotel, finds Babayoff's second camera near the crime scene and begins her own investigation. Winspear (Leaving Everything Most Loved, 2013, etc.) elegantly weaves historical events with Maisie's own suffering—the bombing of Guernica is particularly well-done—all while constructing an engaging whodunit. Fans of this long-running series will welcome Maisie's return in this 11th installment while feeling the pain of her losses as deeply as if they were their own.
Library Journal
10/01/2014
Unflappable psychologist/investigator Maisie Dobbs is on a spiritual quest in India when she receives a letter informing her that her father is fading. On the return home, she pauses in Gibraltar, which is overrun by refugees from Spain's civil war, and finds herself investigating the murder of a local Sephardic Jew. Maisie is getting even more popular, with recent books surging in sales; a 100,000-copy first printing and a nine-city tour.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062220554
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2015
  • Series: Maisie Dobbs Series , #11
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 216

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Winspear

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.

Biography

Lovers of British mysteries and historical novels will find something to appreciate in Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs books. Maisie, a housemaid-turned-student-turned-nurse-turned private investigator in early 20th-century London, manages to straddle Britain's class system by being a woman of exceptional "bearing" and intellect who happens to come from working-class stock. As an investigator, she's green, but sharp and ambitious. She's also surrounded by vividly sketched secondary players, such as her benefactor, Lady Rowan, and mentor Maurice Blanche.

In Winspear's first Maisie story, we learn the character's background: Forced by family circumstances to go to work as a housemaid at an early age, Maisie Dobbs' curiosity and intellect are noticed by her employer, Lady Rowan. Rowan takes care of her education, and she makes it to university – but the Great War interrupts her ambitions. She serves as a nurse in France, then returns to England and starts her career as a private investigator in 1929. Her first case seems like a simple investigation into infidelity; it grows into something larger when it leads realizes there's something amiss at a convalescent home for war veterans called The Retreat.

Winspear's talent didn't go unnoticed when her first novel was published in July 2003. Maisie Dobbs was named in "best" lists in both the New York Times and Publishers Weekly. It was also nominated in the best novel category for an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. There was an almost palpable sense of relief in the reviews, pleasant surprise that someone had offered not only a solid addition to the historical mystery genre, but had given it further depth and breadth. As an NPR reviewer put it, "[The book's] intelligent eccentricity offers relief."

Telling Maisie's stories using a warm third-person narrator, Winspear charms with her ability to convey the historical context surrounding her characters, particularly regarding the impact of the Great War. For this reason, and because her mysteries steer clear of graphic violence or sex, her books are often recommended for younger readers also. Far from hardboiled, Winspear's characters are very human, and she delivers a little romance and heartache along with the criminal wrongdoing.

Part of the appeal in Winspear's books also lies in her ability to bring a deeper, more philosophical atmosphere to the proceedings. Maisie is trained in Freudian psychology and is as interested in helping as she is in solving. A case referenced in the second Maisie story, Birds of a Feather, for example, "would not be filed away until those whose lives were touched by her investigation had reached a certain peace with her findings, with themselves, and with one another." Reading Winspear's Dobbs series may not bring inner peace, but there is something relaxing about spending time with her appealing characters.

Good To Know

Winspear also works as a creative coach. She writes on her web site, "As a coach I am engaged by those who want to establish clear intentions for their artistic endeavors, to support and encourage so that they sustain a level of energy and empowerment which is demonstrated in work that is rewarding, inspiring -- and finished!" Winspear also writes about international education.

Winspear loves outdoor pursuits such as horseback riding, hiking, sailing, and mountain biking; she's also an avid traveler, according to her web site bio.

In our interview, Winspear shared some fun facts about herself:

"My first ever job after college was as a flight attendant. I wanted to travel and could not afford it, so I decided to get myself a job where I could travel. I did it for two years and had great fun."

"My worst-ever job was in an egg-packing factory when I was 16."

"I love dogs, horses and generally all animals. I will always stop to check on stray dogs -- I once ended up in the emergency room with a tick embedded in me which had jumped off a dog I had rescued from a busy road. It was a deer tick, which carries Lyme Disease, so I wasn't taking any chances. Funnily enough, when I opened the only magazine in the emergency room, it was to a page carrying an article on tick bites and disease. It stated that you have six hours after the tick embeds itself, before it begins to release the bacteria that cause disease. I counted the hours from rescuing the dog, and by the time the doctor came in I was pleading, ‘Get this thing out of me!!!'"

"My favorite way to unwind is to go for a walk with my husband and the dog at the end of the working day, then we go to our local health club for a swim and to sit by the pool and read for a while. I love time with family and friends, but completely relish time on my own when I have no agenda to follow, no to-do's, just me and time alone."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jackie Winspear
    2. Hometown:
      Ojai, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 30, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Weald of Kent, England
    1. Education:
      The University of London’s Institute of Education
    2. Website:

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