Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs Series #4)

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Overview

Maisie Dobbs investigates the mysterious death of a controversial artist—and World War I veteran—in the fourth entry in the bestselling series.

London, 1931. The night before an exhibition of his artwork opens at a famed Mayfair gallery, the controversial artist Nick Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police rule it an accident, but Nick's twin sister, Georgina, a wartime journalist and a infamous figure in her own right, isn't convinced.

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New York, NY 2006 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Signed by author. Tight binding with clean text. New. First edition with full number line. Signed by author ... on title page. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 322 p. Maisie Dobbs Mysteries (Hardcover). Audience: General/trade. Maisie Dobbs investigates the mysterious death of a controversial artist--and World War I veteran--in the fourth entry in the bestselling series set in 1931 London. Read more Show Less

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Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs Series #4)

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Overview

Maisie Dobbs investigates the mysterious death of a controversial artist—and World War I veteran—in the fourth entry in the bestselling series.

London, 1931. The night before an exhibition of his artwork opens at a famed Mayfair gallery, the controversial artist Nick Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police rule it an accident, but Nick's twin sister, Georgina, a wartime journalist and a infamous figure in her own right, isn't convinced.

When the authorities refuse to consider her theory that Nick was murdered, Georgina seeks out a fellow graduate from Girton College, Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, for help. Nick was a veteran of World War I, and before long the case leads Maisie to the desolate beaches of Dungeness in Kent, and into the sinister underbelly of the city's art world.

In Messenger of Truth, Maisie once again uncovers the perilous legacy of the Great War in a society struggling to recollect itself. But to solve the mystery of Nick's death, Maisie will have to keep her head as the forces behind the artist's fall come out of the shadows to silence her.

Following on the bestselling Pardonable Lies, Jacqueline Winspear delivers another vivid, thrilling, and utterly unique episode in the life of Maisie Dobbs.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Set in 1931 London, Jacqueline Winspear's fourth mystery featuring Maisie Dobbs (Pardonable Lies et al.) finds the intrepid psychologist and investigator up against her most baffling case yet -- the allegedly accidental death of a controversial artist.

Just hours before celebrated British painter Nick Bassington-Hope is scheduled to open a much-anticipated exhibit of his latest work at the renowned Mayfair gallery, he's found dead. The local police rule the death accidental, as all the evidence points to a fall from a scaffold. But Bassington-Hope's twin sister, Georgina, isn't so sure -- in fact, she's certain that someone killed her brother. After being recommended by a Scotland Yard inspector, Dobbs is hired to get to the bottom of the artist's untimely death. But even as her personal life suffers tragedy after tragedy -- her longtime potential beau abruptly ends their "courtship," and her trusted assistant's young child dies of diphtheria -- Dobbs perseveres on and eventually uncovers disturbing secrets surrounding the brilliantly talented artist who could "touch the truth," secrets that some people would kill to keep from being revealed…

Fans who enjoy meticulously researched historical mystery sagas like Sandra Scoppettone's Faye Quick novels (set in 1943 New York City) and Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy (taking place in 1937 Berlin) will absolutely devour Winspear's Maisie Dobbs novels, which immerse readers in a richly described post-WWI England struggling with widespread unemployment, poverty, and political upheaval. Featuring an intuitive, compassionate, and downright endearing protagonist, these historical whodunits are simply irresistible. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Broadway and television veteran Cassidy continues the subtle, sharp vocal performance that earned her awards for the audio version of Winspear's last Maisie Dobbs mystery, Pardonable Lies. There's a lovely, old-fashioned lilt to Cassidy's reading, reminding listeners of the period (it's now 1931 in an England haunted at every level by the war that officially ended 14 years before). There's still a class battle going on, one that Maisie has straddled because of her unique background: a child of London's working class, put into service at 14, then rescued by a patroness who recognized her intelligence and sent her to study at Girton, Cambridge University's pioneering college for women. So Maisie can treat her working-class East London assistant with the same ease and understanding as she handles her current client a woman from a wealthy, eccentric family whose twin brother, an important artist, was killed in a supposed accident. The bonus interview at the end with Winspear makes listeners realize how similar a mindset Maisie and the author possess. Cassidy and Dobbs are a match made in audio heaven. Simultaneous release with the Holt hardcover (Reviews, June 19). (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This fourth installment in the Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series (after Pardonable Lies) finds our fearless psychologist/inquiry agent investigating the death of artist Nick Bassington-Hope. According to Detective Inspector Stratton, Nick's fall from a set of scaffolding was merely a tragic accident. Nick's twin sister, Georgina, however, insists he was murdered and hires Maisie to discover the truth. Maisie soon finds herself moved by Nick's powerful, often discomforting re-creations of his wartime experiences. But where is the painting on which he was working when he died? Maisie's probing questions and careful listening skills bring her close to danger as she uncovers a series of events leading back to World War I. Meanwhile, her relationship with Andrew Dene slowly unravels as Maisie realizes her work means more to her than he does. The mystery itself is rather transparent, but what makes this book delightful is how Winspear shows Maisie's emotional development amid the bitter legacy of the Great War. Her growing fan base should enjoy this latest entry. Strongly recommended.-Laurel Bliss, Princeton Univ. Lib., NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"In Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear has given us a real gift. Maisie Dobbs has not been created--she has been discovered. Such people are always there amongst us, waiting for somebody like Ms. Winspear to come along and reveal them. And what a revelation it is!"--Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

"Maisie is a sleuth to treasure."--The New York Times Book Review

"Worth cheering about . . . [Winspear] keep[s] her series about the astonishing Maisie Dobbs alive and as fresh as new paint."--Chicago Tribune

"When people ask me to recommend an author, one name consistently comes to mind: Jacqueline Winspear. . . . What makes Winspear so special is her ability to write convincing historical fiction. Going beyond the correct details about headgear and slang from the 1920s and 1930s, she convincingly captures the interior lives of her characters. . . . Wonderful."--USA Today

"Maisie Dobbs, Winspear's brilliant psychological investigator, returns for her fourth adventure. . . . Definitely more of a political and psychological read than a simple whodunit."--Daily News

"What makes this book delightful is how Winspear shows Maisie's emotional development amid the bitter legacy of the Great War. Her growing fan base should enjoy this latest entry. Strongly recommended."--Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805078985
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Series: Maisie Dobbs Series , #4
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of three previous Maisie Dobbs novels, Maisie Dobbs, Birds of a Feather, and Pardonable Lies. Maisie Dobbs won the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity Awards, and Birds of a Feather won the Agatha Award. Originally from the U.K., Winspear 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:

Read an Excerpt

Messenger of Truth

A Maisie Dobbs Novel
By Winspear, Jacqueline

Picador

Copyright © 2007 Winspear, Jacqueline
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312426859

Prologue
Romney Marsh, Kent, Tuesday, December 30th, 1930 
The taxi-cab slowed down alongside the gates of Camden Abbey, a red brick former mansion that seemed even more like a refuge as a bitter sleet swept across the gray, forbidding landscape.
 
“Is this the place, madam?”
 
“Yes, thank you.”
 
The driver parked in front of the main entrance and, almost as an afterthought, the woman respectfully covered her head with a silk scarf before leaving the motor car.
 
“I shan’t be long.”
 
“Right you are, madam.”
 
He watched the woman enter by the main door, which slammed shut behind her.
 
“Rather you than me, love,” he said to himself as he picked up a newspaper to while away the minutes until the woman returned again.
 
 
The sitting room was warm, with a fire in the grate, red carpet on the stone floor and heavy curtains at the windows to counter draughts that the ancient wooden frame could not keep at bay. The woman, now seated facing a grille, had been in conversation with the abbess for some forty-five minutes.
 
“Grief is not an event, my dear, but a passage, a pilgrimage along a path that allows us to reflect upon the past from points of remembrance held in the soul. At timesthe way is filled with stones underfoot and we feel pained by our memories, yet on other days the shadows reflect our longing and those happinesses shared.”
 
The woman nodded. “I just wish there were not this doubt.”
 
“Uncertainty is sure to follow in such circumstances.”
 
“But how do I put my mind at rest, Dame Constance?”
 
“Ah, you have not changed, have you?” observed the abbess. “Always seeking to do rather than to be. Do you really seek the counsel of the spirit?”
 
The woman began to press down her cuticles with the thumbnail of the opposite hand.
 
“I know I missed just about every one of your tutorials when I was at Girton, but I thought . . .”
 
“That I could help you find peace?” Dame Constance paused, took a pencil and small notebook from a pocket within the folds of her habit and scribbled on a piece of paper. “Sometimes help takes the form of directing. And peace is something we find when we have a companion on the journey. Here’s someone who will help you. Indeed, you have common ground, for she was at Girton too, though she came later, in 1914, if my memory serves me well.”
 
She passed the folded note through the grille.
 
Scotland Yard, London, Wednesday, December 31st, 1930 
“So you see, madam, there’s very little more I can do in the circumstances, which are pretty cut and dried, as far as we’re concerned.”
 
“Yes, you’ve made that abundantly clear, Detective Inspector Stratton.” The woman sat bolt upright on her chair, brushing back her hair with an air of defiance. For a mere second she looked at her hands, rubbing an ink stain on calloused skin where her middle finger always pressed against the nib of her fountain pen. “However, I cannot stop searching because your investigations have drawn nothing. To that end I have decided to enlist the services of a private inquiry agent.”
 
The policeman, reading his notes, rolled his eyes, then looked up. “That is your prerogative, of course, though I am sure his findings will mirror our own.”
 
“It’s not a he, it’s a she.” The woman smiled.
 
“May I inquire as to the name of the ‘she’ in question?” asked Stratton, though he had already guessed the answer.
 
“A Miss Maisie Dobbs. She’s been highly recommended.”
 
Stratton nodded. “Indeed, I’m familiar with her work. She’s honest and knows her business. In fact, we have consulted with her here at Scotland Yard.”
 
The woman leaned forward, intrigued. “Really? Not like your boys to admit to needing help, is it?”
 
Stratton inclined his head, adding, “Miss Dobbs has certain skills, certain . . . methods, that seem to bear fruit.”
 
“Would it be overstepping the mark if I asked what you know of her, her background? I know she was at Girton College a few years after me, and I understand she was a nurse in the war, and was herself wounded in Flanders.”
 
Stratton looked at the woman, gauging the wisdom of sharing his knowledge of the private investigator. At this point it was in his interests to have the woman out of his hair, so he would do and say what was necessary to push her onto someone else’s patch. “She was born in Lambeth, went to work in service when she was thirteen.”
 
“In service?”
 
“Don’t let that put you off. Her intelligence was discovered by a friend of her employer, a brilliant man, an expert in legal medicine and himself a psychologist. When she came back from Flanders, as far as I know, she convalesced, then worked for a year in a secure institution, nursing profoundly shell-shocked men. She completed her education, spent some time studying at the Department of Legal Medicine in Edinburgh and went to work as assistant to her mentor. She learned her business from the best, if I am to be honest.”
 
“And she’s never married? How old is she, thirty-two, thirty-three?”
 
“Yes, something like that. And no, she’s never married, though I understand her wartime sweetheart was severely wounded.” He tapped the side of his head. “Up here.”
 
“I see.” The woman paused, then held out her hand. “I wish I could say thank you for all that you’ve done Inspector. Perhaps Miss Dobbs will be able to shed light where you have seen nothing.”
 
Stratton stood up, shook hands to bid the woman good-bye and called for a constable to escort her from the building. As soon as the door was closed, while reflecting that they had not even wished each other a cordial Happy New Year, he picked up the telephone receiver and placed a call.
 
“Yes!”
 
Stratton leaned back in his chair. “Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve got rid of that bloody woman.”
 
“Good. How did you manage that?”
 
“A fortuitous move on her part—she’s going to a private investigator.”
 
“Anyone I should worry about?”
 
Stratton shook his head. “Nothing I can’t handle. I can keep an eye on her.”
 
“Her?”
 
“Yes, her.”
 
Fitzroy Square, London, Wednesday, January 7th, 1931 
Snow had begun to fall once again in small, harsh flakes that swirled around the woman as she emerged from Conway Street into Fitzroy Square. She pulled her fur collar up around her neck and thought that, even though she did not care for hats, she should have worn one this morning. There were those who would have suggested that the almost inconsequential lack of judgment was typical of her, and that she probably wanted to draw attention to herself, what with that thick copper-colored hair cascading in damp waves across her shoulders—and no thought for propriety. But the truth was that, despite drawing glances wherever she went, on this occasion, rather like yesterday morning, and the morning before, she really didn’t want to be seen. Well, not until she was ready, anyway.
 
She crossed the square, walking with care lest she slip on slush-covered flagstones, then halted alongside iron railings that surrounded the winter-barren garden. The inquiry agent Dame Constance had instructed—yes, instructed her to see, for when the abbess spoke, there was never a mere suggestion—worked from a room in the building she now surveyed. She had been told by the investigator’s assistant that she should come to the first-floor office at nine on Monday morning. When she had canceled the appointment, he had calmly suggested the same time on the following day. And when, at the last minute, she had canceled the second appointment, he simply moved the time by twenty-four hours. She was intrigued that an accomplished woman with a growing reputation would employ a man with such a common dialect. In fact, such flight in the face of convention served as reassurance in her decision to follow the direction of Dame Constance. She had, after all, never set any stock by convention.
 
It was as she paced back and forth in front of the building, wondering whether today she would have the courage to see Maisie Dobbs—and lack of pluck wasn’t something that had dogged her in the past—that she looked up and saw a woman in the first-floor office, standing by the floor-to-ceiling window looking out across the square. There was something about this woman that intrigued her. There she was, simply contemplating the square, her gaze directed at first up to the leafless trees, then at a place in the distance.
 
Sweeping a lock of windblown hair from her face, the visitor continued to watch the woman at the window. She wondered if that was her way, if that window was her place to stand and think. She suspected it was. It struck her that the woman in the window was the person she had come to see, Maisie Dobbs. Shivering again, she pushed her hands deep inside the copious sleeves of her coat, and began to turn away. But then, as if commanded to do so by a force she could feel but not see, she looked up at the window once more. Maisie Dobbs was staring directly at her now, and raising her hand in a manner so compelling that the visitor could not leave, could do nothing but meet the other woman’s eyes in return. And in that moment, as Maisie Dobbs captured her with her gaze, she felt a warmth flood her body, and was filled with confidence that she could walk across any terrain, cross any divide and be held steady; it was as if, in lifting her hand, Maisie Dobbs had promised that from the first step in her direction, she would be safe. She began to move forward, but faltered as she looked down at the flagstones. Turning to leave, she was surprised to hear a voice behind her, petitioning her to stop simply by speaking her name.
 
“Miss Bassington-Hope . . .”
 
It was not a sharp voice, brittle with cold and frozen in the bitter breath of winter, but instead exuded a strength that gave the visitor confidence, as if she were indeed secure.
 
“Yes—” Georgina Bassington-Hope looked up into the eyes of the woman she had just been watching in the window, the woman to whom she had been directed. She had been told that Maisie Dobbs would provide a refuge wherein to share her suspicions, and would prove them to be right, or wrong, as the case may be.
 
“Come.” It was an instruction given in a manner that was neither sharp nor soft, and Georgina found that she was mesmerized as Maisie, holding a pale blue cashmere wrap around her shoulders, stood unflinching in windblown snow that was becoming an icy sleet, all the while continuing to extend her hand, palm up, to gently receive her visitor. Georgina Bassington-Hope said nothing, but reached out toward the woman who would lead her across the threshold and through the door alongside which a nameplate bore the words maisie dobbs, psychologist and investigator. And she instinctively understood that she had been directed well, that she would be given leave to describe the doubt-ridden wilderness in which she had languished since that terrible moment when she knew in her heart—knew before anyone had told her—that the one who was most dear to her, who knew her as well as she knew herself and with whom she shared all secrets, was dead.
 
Copyright © 2006 by Jacqueline Winspear

Continues...

Excerpted from Messenger of Truth by Winspear, Jacqueline Copyright © 2007 by Winspear, Jacqueline. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Reading Group Guide

About this Guide

The following author biography and list of questions about Messenger of Truth are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Messenger of Truth.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 40 )
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  • Posted June 24, 2014

    Messenger of Truth is the fourth book in the Maisie Dobbs series

    Messenger of Truth is the fourth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. When the death of controversial artist Nicholas Bassington-Hope, from a fall whilst setting up his latest exhibition, is ruled as accidental, his twin sister Georgina is unconvinced. Georgina, an outspoken journalist, seeks out the help of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. In the course of her investigations, Maisie meets the bohemian Bassington-Hope family, Nick’s fellow artists from the colony at Dungeness, his promoter, gallery owner Stig Svenson, and the collector who is determined to own all of his work, wealthy American Randolph Bradley. And while all the evidence points to an unfortunate fall, Maisie soon finds that plenty of possible motives exist for Nick’s murder. Nick was known for including real people in his paintings, careless of whom it might upset. Did his latest masterpiece, secreted away in an unknown lockup, offend the wrong person? Or did he fall foul of his younger brother’s contacts with the underworld? Was Randolph looking to increase the value of his collection (as the death of an artist is bound to do), or annoyed that he refused to sell the masterpiece?  What were his artist friends, of late noticeably wealthier, hiding? Were the recent quarrels with his siblings relevant? Maisie is left to determine the true story alone, as Billy Beale has problems of his own. DI Stratton is being less than helpful and things come to a head with Maisie’s suitor, Andrew Dene. This instalment touches on war artists, war propaganda, the atrocities of war, the scourge of childhood diseases, and the loss of art works to richer countries. Stolen heirloom diamonds, European works of art and smugglers all feature as Maisie delves into the world of art. Winspear develops her main characters further and gives the reader an original plot with enough twists to keep the pages turning. Winspear uses some wonderfully descriptive prose: her depiction of the converted railway carriage is particularly evocative. This is another excellent mystery that skilfully conjures the feel of post-war England and her inhabitants. Fans will look forward to the next book in the series, An Incomplete Revenge. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    As usual, a superb mystery with an interesting cast of character

    As usual, a superb mystery with an interesting cast of characters ............... Maisie never disappoints!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    maisie dobbs ...

    just gets better and better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    I just love maisie

    She has such courage not just in doing her job but also in seeing herself and her own faults and vulnerabilities. She is ahead of her time, forging new roads for other young women to follow. I do hope she finds love, some onexeho is willing to let her continue with her work, maybe someone that will share in her adventures, some one who is secretly very rich and who has no problem letting her be who she is.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    A bit too slow for my tastes

    Set in London after the Great War, Maise Dobbs has quite a mystery on her hands. Nicholas Bassingon-Hope, upcoming artist, has fallen to his death. His sister Georgina feels in her heart that her twin brother has been murdered and when the police do not believe her, she turns to Maisie. Without any clues to point to murder, Maisie takes the case, determined to bring peace to the Bassington-Hope family one way or the other.

    Before I write anything else, I have to state how much I LOVE this cover. It is so creative and looks a-mazing in person. I love reading mysteries that are also historical fiction because the mysteries are solved without any fancy technology. It just seems like good detective work. Maisie is so smart and analytical. It reminded me a bit of when I was younger and I was reading Nancy Drew. While I appreciated the writing and the backdrop of the story, the plot was a bit slow for my tastes. I felt like clues were being uncovered and the relevance wasn't explained to the reader until the big unfolding at the end. For me, this meant I didn't feel any excitement from the mystery. I didn't feel driven to turn each page. I also didn't connect or like Maisie very much. She appeared to be a character that was a bit to polished and judgmental for my tastes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended--a relaxing and fun read.

    I love historical fiction and mysteries, and Maisie Dobbs fits the bill. The WWI background is very interesting and with this book the author moves into the Thirties--another interesting era. The reader can't help but like Maisie Dobbs and her personal journey. She kept the reader guessing until the end with this book. She's easy to read, so sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Detective Series

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is part of a series that the reader should begin by reading the first book, Massie Dobbs. I have read all the books in the series. The author brings in history, good writing and an English mystery.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Maisie finds the Truth about a lot of Things

    From Maisies' first meeting with the parents of a missing son, to the end- she learns the "truth" about the case, her own relationships with her mentor, friends, and father. This, most recent publication from Ms. Winspear has widened our view of Maisie's world. Her case maps lead her and Billy Beales to an exciting conclusion to capture the antagonist and expand her relationship with the new Detective Inspector. The characters are sensitive and real, and set in the era before WWII. The setting lends insight to Maisie's character and actions as a woman in business for herself in that time. This book was a very satisfying read and I can't wait for the new one!

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    New Series for me

    First part of a series that is charming and educational. I'm not as conversant in WWI as I am with WWII and the whole British caste system which Maisie overcomes. So, I'm fascinated with something new and will keep buying the books until I catch up. Certainly good writing style and keep me interested enough to say I'll buy the other books.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Satisfying good read

    This is a welcome addition to the series of Maisie Dobb stories. It is enjoyable to see Maisie's character develop as the series goes on. The characters are believable and realistic in their reactions and motives. The plot is unpredictable,and the ending is very satisfying. The historical element adds a bonus interest to the mystery, learning about England following the "Great War". Hope the author keeps on going!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    I can't stop reading the Masie Dobbs series!!

    Maisie Dobbs is a modern woman even by 2009 standards. I always learn quite a bit of history through her mysyeries- this novel centers around the art world in post WWI

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Jacqueline Winspear is an Incredable writer

    I am captivated by all of her books. They are hard to put down and are a great reread.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2006

    Another Hit

    I have read all of the Maisie Dobbs books and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one. They just keep getting better and better. Winspear's description of post war England if fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2006

    A TELLING PORTRAIT OF POSTWAR ENGLAND

    Those who had the good fortune to read or hear the first story in Jacqueline Winspear's acclaimed series (Maisie Dobbs 2003) were immediately won by an indomitable heroine. Believe those were close to the words I wrote at that time and I've not changed my mind - not one whit. Voice performer Orlagh Cassidy narrated the second in the series, Pardonable Lies, and for this she won and AudioFile Earphones Award. She gives another award winning performance with her narration of Messenger of Truth. She has that rare ability to give life to individual characters with a vocal nuance, and perfectly capture the accents of 1930s England. She's a pleasure! As many will remember Maisie is an investigator and in this, the fourth in the Maisie Dobbs series, she's retained to investigate the death of well known artist Nick Bassington-Hope. Nick died when he fell while hanging one of his works of art for an exhibition relating to the Great War. The question is, was his death an accident or was it planned by someone who pushed him as he worked? Maisie is hired by Nick's sister who isn't willing to accept Scotland Yard's decision that it was an accident. This investigation takes Maisie, who came from humble beginnings as a housemaid, into a strata of society with which she is not familiar. The author's portrait of postwar England is well worth the listen the mystery is frosting on the cake. - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2006

    An excellent exhilarating whodunit

    In 1930 in a Mayfair gallery in London, artist Nick Bassington-Hope falls to his death. Scotland Yard does a perfunctory inquiry before officially declaring that a tragic accident occurred. However, Nick's twin sister, journalist Georgina Bassington-Hope believes her controversial sibling was murdered. When the police ignore her, she decides to enlist the help of a private sleuth.------------------ Georgina asks fellow Girton College alumni, investigator Maisie Dobbs to look into her brother¿s demise. Maisie agrees, but soon finds herself looking closely at Nick¿s record during WWI, which leads to the beaches of Dungeness in Kent. However, an unknown adversary wants Maisie to end her inquiries or else. The threats and attempts on her life make the obstinate psychologist sleuth even more determined to uncover the truth because she believes Georgina¿s theory is right.----------------- Maisie Dobb¿s fourth historical mystery (see PARDONABLE LIES) is an excellent exhilarating whodunit that brings to life England between the two great wars. Maisie is at her best as she follows clues that lead her to Nick¿s activities during WWI. The support cast brings out the era as well as the best in the female sleuth. Fans of the series or anyone who appreciates a strong historical detective thriller will want to read the Maisie Dobb¿s novels, which are some of the best.---------------- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted April 22, 2009

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    Posted June 10, 2009

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    Posted May 4, 2013

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    Posted November 24, 2010

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    Posted January 27, 2011

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