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“Startlingly original...A deft debut novel...Be prepared to be astonished at the sensitivity and wisdom with which Maisie resolves her first professional assignment.” —The New York Times
All right reserved.
Excerpted from Pardonable Lies
by Winspear, Jacqueline
Copyright © 2006 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.
Posted February 17, 2011
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The third Maisie Dobbs novel, Pardonable Lies, is a bigger book, and delves more deeply into Maisie's past and her personal life. When a man asks Psychologist/Private Investigator Maisie Dobbs to help him fulfill a deathbed promise to his wife to find out if their son, who was declared killed during World War I was really dead, Maisie takes the case.
Coincidentally, Maisie's friend Priscilla has come for a visit and asks Maisie to find out the circumstances behind her brother Peter's wartime death in France. Maisie and Priscilla both served in France during the war, and Maisie was wounded in an incident that caused her boyfriend to become brain damaged. He now lives in a permanent vegetative state in a hospital.
All this shakes Maisie, and she reluctantly takes the cases, and heads back to France to face her demons. The scene where Maisie is in the cemetery where so many men lost their lives during the war is emotionally powerful, and reveals a new level of depth to Maisie. All the horrors of war come rushing back, and Maisie is overcome with emotion.
I think many people who have faced trauma will understand Maisie's experience. Maisie has been presented as a character so in control of her emotions, this incident makes her more vulnerable.
Wisnpear ratchets up the tension in this novel as it appears that someone is trying to kill Maisie. Who and why this is happening is a puzzle, as there is more than one suspect.
The title, Pardonable Lies, refers to a few things. Maisie and her mentor Dr. Maurice Blanche have a falling out when Maisie discovers that he hid from her some aspects of his intelligence work during the war. This rift is important, and I wonder if it will permanently affect their relationship.
Maisie is very scrupulous, and her integrity is paramount to her. When she discovers two secrets related to Priscilla's brother and her client's son, she has to decide which is more important- protecting someone or telling the truth. Her internal struggle makes for a powerful story.
I'm enjoying getting to better know Maisie through these novels. In this one, we see Maisie struggle more with her emotions, having to face her past. I liked her friendship with Priscilla, unique because Maisie doesn't seem to have many friends her own age.
I also like getting historical context. Following World War I, when ships were no longer needed for battle, many of them were converted for pleasure travel. Although the world financial depression hurt the economy, travel to the Riviera, Africa and the Mediterranean became cheaper and easier. This opened up the world to many people who hadn't traveled much before.
Pardonable Lies gives us a deeper look at Maisie's life and I found it the strongest of the series so far. This series would be great for high school girls, Maisie is a terrific role model.
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Posted January 25, 2013
To be honest, I read the first two of the series via the library (on ebooks) but they didn't have the third. I guess it says something that I bought it!
Not great literature but I enjoy the view into post WWI England and Maisie and Billy are good company. The plots are well done but they are only part of the story. The development of the two characters, their lives and growth as people is part of it too.
However, I'll be getting book 4 at the library. These are a little light -- and are such quick reads -- that I'm not tempted to continue purchasing them at $10 a pop.
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Posted March 5, 2014
So much history related to WWI and it's aftermath included in this mystery novel. With several cases being investigated by the sleuth, Maisie Dobbs, the author juggles it all to make for a fascinating read! I had to reread this one after reading the sequels.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 23, 2012
Truly an outstanding series. This edition (#3 in the series) presents a more "polished," sensitive, and engaging Maisie. This an absolutely TERRIFIC read, the mystery is engrossing, and the book is hihly recommended!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2012
Posted June 18, 2012
A very well written book about Maisie's trials and tribulations and haunting ghosts of her war experiences. Quite a story which hung together very nicely. Enjoyed the exprience and the characters that seemed to come to life with every page. Not normally read this sort of thing, but it kept me turning the pages, and looking forward to picking the book up again and again. I highly recommend this experience to others.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Winspear, a masterful storyteller, sends her detective back to France to finally face all the bottled up feelings about her time there, her lost love, and the terrible loss of humanity that she witnessed there. Her involvement in at least two major cases are brought along with her other baggage on this trip, and their resolution brings to light two terrible wrongs, and while one remains hidden, the other opens a new world for her own relations.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2009
Posted August 9, 2008
I really wanted to enjoy Pardonable Lies, bit it wasn't to be. The plot was dull, the characters insipid, not one that I cared for, and the book was sooooo sloooow moving. I probably could have accepted all that if the flavor of the 1930s Deco period had been captured, but it wasn't. Read Christie's Hercule Poirot instead. I'd call Pardonable Lies a near miss.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2007
When things happen, they happen in threes. So Maisie Dobbs learns when she takes a case to help a child accused of murder, a sort of double case dealing with soldiers killed in the war, and trying to find out who was trying to kill her. The child accused of murder is a girl barely thirteen forced into street walking. Of the two soldiers one was the brother of Maisie's best friend and the other was the son of an MP who promised to settle the question of whether boy still lived or not. Lastly, the killer surfaced as Maisie began her investigations. Was it connected to the case. Talented Jacquenline Winspear has written a story that will keep you reading. You will thoroughly enjoy meeting Maisie and the other characters while stepping back in time. A series of subplots woven into the fabric of the whole make for a satisfying and pleasant read. A touch of the paranormal added to the mix of mystery and romance give it a flavor to set it apart from the ordinary mystery. Any reader will find this deserves the title, cozy, even though it doesn't follow all the rules. You'll be looking for other books by this very able author. I know I will.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2006
In 1930 psychologist sleuth Maisie Dobbs feels a bit overworked as she gets caught up with three situations. First she believes that thirteen yeas old Taunton farm girl Avril Jarvis is innocent of the murder the police accuse her of committing she sends her assistant Billy Beale to Taunton to gather information on the teen. Second, Sir Cecil Lawton asks her to help find the body of his son, Ralph, an RFC pilot shot down in 1917 behind enemy lines, but his body never came home his wife, who just died, extracted a deathbed vow from Cecil to bring their son home. Finally her Girton University friend Priscilla Partridge nee Evernden asks Maisie to look into the death of her brother Peter in France. Maisie reluctantly agrees her hesitation is personal as she hates having to go back to where she drove an ambulance in 1915 while working for the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and fell in love with Dr. Simon Lynch, whose war injuries left his mind and body incapacitated. --- The third Dobbs historical mystery (see MAISIE DOBBS and BIRDS OF A FEATHER) is a terrific entry as once again the heroine works on cases that involve people still traumatized by WWI over a decade after the hostilities ended. The key characters in the WWI cases still need healing. On top of looking back through time, Maisie also has the ¿modern day¿ case involving the teen farm girl. Life in 1930 England and to a degree via half-truth memories and the investigations of WW I England and France come vividly and freshly to life as Jacqueline Winspear spins a delightful tale. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2006
Posted August 24, 2005
Those who had the good fortune to read or hear the first story in Jacqueline Winspear's acclaimed Maisie Dobbs series (Maisie Dobbs 2003) were immediately won by an indomitable heroine. Many will remember that the year was 1929 and Maisie had a rather inauspicious beginning in her professional life - she worked as a housemaid. However, by dint of courage, determination and a supportive employer she is able to attend Cambridge. Soon after she volunteers as a nurse and serves in France during the Great War. Following that experience she becomes an investigator, tending to clients in postwar England. Little did she think she would return to France, especially to the site where she witnessed such carnage, but when she is hired by Sir Cecil Dobbs to investigate his son's death during the War she finds herself on fields of battle again. Sir Cecil's wife is dying and she does not believe their son actually died as his body has never been recovered. This is not the only perplexity facing Maisie - she has reason to question her friend and mentor, Maurice Blanche and feels compelled to prove the innocence of a teenage farm girl accused of murder. In a bonus interview on these audio books author Winspear refers to those who lost loved ones during the War by saying, '....I wanted to bring that spirit, that strength, to the character of Maisie Dobbs, along with a sense of a woman who has seen death of the most terrible kind, who has loved and lost, and who came of age when women showed extraordinary resolve.' She did all of this. Broadway and television actress Orlagh Cassidy offers a moving performance on the Unabridged Edition, while the author delivers an equaling affecting reading on the Abridged Edition. - Gail CookeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 19, 2005
Posted October 5, 2005
I loved this book. Read all 3 of this series within the same week. Thought Maisie Dobbs was good, but a bit dark and macbre. Thought Birds of a Feather was wonderful and Pardonable Lies is equally as good. Maisie, psychologist/investigator took on a case for Sir Cecil Lawton to discover if in fact his son had been killed in the airplane crash during WW one in France. Sir Cecil promised his wife on her death bed that he would try to find the truth re their son. At the same time, while doing some work for Scotland Yard, Maisie was brought in on a case involving a young girl accused of murdering a man. She felt the girl was innocent and asked that Sir Cecil, counsil at law, take her case in lieu of half of Maisie's fee. He agreed. Along with these 2 cases, her college friend Pris, now living with husband and 3 sons in France, asked if Maisie would investigate the death of her brother who was said to be killed in the war. Maisie's mentor, Maurice Blanche advised her not to take on the cases, but she did as she felt obligations on all fronts. As both men were said to be killed in France, it would be necessary for her to return there and face her own dragons of a war where she served as a nurse and her love was physically and mentally damaged. As she gets further involved in the cases, there are several threats to her life. What makes this such a compelling story is that Maisie is so skilled in her ability to analyze people and seek truth. She is so likeable, very intense and determined. In the end truth is discovered in areas she didn't even dream about, but she is able to bring about making positive spins so that all concerned are better off than before she took on these cases. VERY WORHTWHILE reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
In 1930 through Sir Julian Compton, Sir Cecil Lawton meets renowned psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs to ask a favor of her, regardless of her high fee. Nervous Cecil explains that his son Ralph served as a member of the Flying Corps, but died in 1917 in France. Cecil¿s wife Agnes believed her son lived in spite of the contrary evidence and turned to spiritualists as her mental state collapsed. Three months just before dying Agnes made Cecil vow on her deathbed to find Ralph. Though she believes this is a wild goose chase, Maisie agrees to make some inquiries although she admits she is not sure how to proceed. She is curious as to how Agnes reconciled her insistence that Ralph lives with the fact that he never came home to see her. Still she begins her inquiries into what happened to Ralph at his home while seeking a legal miracle worker to help embattled Avril Jarvis. Her efforts take Maisie full circle as the clues lead to her college friend Priscilla Evernden, whose lost brother served with Ralph. Meanwhile someone wants the investigation stopped, tampering with Maisie¿s car amongst other attempts to end her inquiries. --- The third Maisie Dobbs investigative tale is a fabulous historical mystery that brings to life two eras, 1930 through the heroine¿s lifestyle and 1917 through the case. The story line is fabulous to follow because of the cast especially the heroine as she digs deep into the past. Readers who appreciate an intelligent well written period piece detective story will enjoy this fine tale and its predecessors (see MAISIE DOBBS and BIRDS OF A FEATHER). --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 30, 2010
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Posted April 22, 2009
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Posted May 21, 2010
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Posted June 10, 2009
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