A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs Series #8)

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs Series #8)

by Jacqueline Winspear

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780749040048
Publisher: Allison & Busby, Limited
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Series: Maisie Dobbs Series , #8
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 698,326
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

Hometown:

Ojai, California

Date of Birth:

April 30, 1955

Place of Birth:

Weald of Kent, England

Education:

The University of London¿s Institute of Education

What People are Saying About This

Tom Nolan

“The combination of period detail and intricate storytelling makes A Lesson in Secrets seem distant enough to be romantic but sufficiently modern to engage our sympathies.”

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A Lesson in Secrets 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
We've followed Maisie from her days as a maid in Lady Rowan Compton's estate, through her schooling and tutelage under the brilliant Dr. Maurice Blanche, her WWI service as a nurse in France, opening up her own private investigations/psychologist office, and now working undercover for the British secret intelligence as a university instructor in the current novel. Maisie takes on the job working to discover if there are any terrorists at the University. She hesitates at first, but remembers her late mentor Maurice's words to her that she needs to be open to the unexpected. While at the school, the dean is murdered, and Maisie finds herself assisting the police in their investigation as well. The dean had written a famous children's book about soldiers putting their weapons down and refusing to fight. There were rumors that this book had caused a large mutiny in France during WWI, with British and German soldiers laying down their weapons. This book plays a big part in the mystery, one that is intriguing indeed. I liked how this novel not only took Maisie out of her comfort zone of work, but forced her to face personal challenges as well. Her friend Sandra lost her husband, and Maisie took Sandra into her home and offered her a job. Sandra uses her position with Maisie to investigate her husband's death. I would like to see Sandra stay on as part of Maisie's office staff. Maisie worries about her father's health, and his refusal to move in with her at Maurice's home frustrates her. It is ironic that Maisie is so in tuned with other people's secrets and feelings, yet her father is able to hide something big from her. Billy Beale, her faithful assistant, is stubborn as well. Maisie has offered Billy a downpayment on a new home, one that will change his family's life forever and for the better, but Billy is hesitant to accept. The men in Maisie's life are frustrating her. And then there is her boyfriend James Compton, son of her benefactor, Lady Rowan. He is supposed to be away on business in Toronto, but Maisie finds out he has been in London. Is their relationship in trouble? I always learn something of historical interest in these novels, and in this one, we learn that women played a big part in wartime intelligence. Over 10,000 women worked for the Secret Service in London during the war, reporting troop movements, sabotaging the German enemy, and consorting with the enemy to get information. I will definitely be looking for information on this subject. The rise of the German Socialist Party, the Nazis, is on the horizon, and we see the beginning of the debate between the Brits who, weary of the lingering WWI problems, do not to wish to get involved in Germany's issues, and those Brits who see the dangers of the Nazi Party and Hitler's rise. I can't wait to see where Winspear takes this in future books. I really enjoyed reading the Maisie Dobbs series; I like Maisie as a strong female character, one young ladies can look up to. Not only is Maisie interesting, but the secondary characters are as well, and Winspear introduces many new ones in each book, rather than just relying on the ones we already know. I've learned much about Britain following WWI, an era I was unfamiliar with. It seems that while the methods of war have changed over the decades, the effects of it on the people who fought it, and those who love them, remain the same. If you like historical fiction with a strong female protagonist, a
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read several of the Maisie Dobbs Series, and enjoyed them very much. I was so excited when I purchased #8; however, I was BORED throughout, but stuck it out until the end. "A Lesson in Secrets," seemed to "drag" in it's entirety. Would not recommend as a book club review! Very disappointed!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a Massie Dobbs fan and have enjoyed the series. However, the current Massie Dobbs book is somewhat of a disappointment. It is very slow moving and just doesn't have the drama of the previous books. The other books I could not put down. A Lesson in Secrets has been a struggle. I read the entire book because I love the series, but it was just not as interesting as the other books in the series.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
Jacqueline Winspear has emphatically mastered the art of a mystery series with this latest addition to her list. Not only does her main character have a wealth of personality traits that are admirable, laudable, even enviable, she is attractive, wealthy (this is critical), and clever. She is as busy as we are, so we don't feel as though time is passing slowly, or that we are wasting time reading of her adventures. Meetings, letters, investigations, reading, meditation all take time, and she schedules herself very closely. She is the woman we would strive to be. It is interesting to see how she responds to queries, doubts, challenges, though I have to admit it is frustrating to see her push those lovely suitors away one by one, again and again. But not only do we have Maisie Dobbs herself to consider, we have her constellation of family and friends, who by this time in the series have become our own friends: employees, mentors, her father, her fiancé all have lives and backstories we revel in following. This time I am struck by the success of the formula: with many threads and much driving about, the pace leaves readers breathless. But the comforting commonsense calm of reason brings Alexander McCall Smith to mind, despite the difference in the subject matters of the series produced by each author. It is the tone that is reminiscent, one of the other. And that is high praise indeed. This latest in the series introduces Maisie to the Secret Service in the years before WWII. She takes on an assignment which requires the utmost secrecy, and I amused to read how many times she told friends and colleagues what she was doing was "hush-hush" for the government. How hush-hush is that? I guess they didn't really mean it.
1DANA3 More than 1 year ago
In 1932 London, Maisie is asked to help out the British Secret Service. She's sent to be an assistant professor at a college near Cambridge. Something is going on at the school and the Secret Service wants insider information. Before long there's a dead body and Maisie finds herself involved in finding the murderer. I love the gentle writing style and the background setting. These features make for an especially entertaining read.
smartChick More than 1 year ago
Jacqueline Winspear has written another wonderful mystery. Over the course of her 8 books, Maisie Dobbs had developed into a fascinating character. In this latest story, A Lesson in Secrets, Maisie accepts a teaching post at a small pacifist college in Cambridge at the request of the British Secret Service. When the founder of the college is murdered, Maisie looks into the secrets of his past. As usual, Winspear's description of the era and the locations are wonderful. I always get a feeling that I know what it would have been like to live in this era. Billy Beale continues as Maisie's assistant with a storyline concerning his family woven into the book. Winspear's books have sparked my interest in this period and I have read several books covering the same post-World War I era. Winspear compares favorably with Dorothy Sayers and has created a character who combines the detective skills of Lord Peter and the feminism and independence of Harriet Vane.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1932, Maisie Dobbs is feeling the ennui of a long summer with nothing critical to do as she no longer needs to worry about making money since her mentor Dr. Maurice Blanche died and left her with his vast estate. She knows part of her boredom is grief from Maurice's death. That abruptly ends when the British Secret Service appears for a special investigation into a pacifist who they believe he is betraying the country. Greville Liddicote wrote a children's book extolling the virtues of pacifism that the British government censored during WWI. Now he has opened a college in Cambridge whose mission is Pax Europe. Maisie goes undercover obtaining a position as a philosophy instructor so that she can watch the staff, faculty and students for seditious activity. However, the political war within the college already ugly turns deadly when someone kills Liddicote. While Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Richard Stratton struggle with their inquiry into the homicide, Maisie looks at extremist groups like the new Nazis party for the killer. The historical backdrop is super while the competing whodunit makes for an entertaining Depression Era thriller. Maisie's new wealth reduces her personal problems in terms of earning a living vs. doing a gratis case, but her change in personal circumstances leads to new issues like what to do now with her free time. Readers will enjoy Maisie's latest investigation as she attends school in Cambridge in which she learns A Lesson in Secrets can be fatal. Harriet Klausner
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
A Lesson In Secrets is the eighth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. After being (somewhat ineptly) followed for some ten days, psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobbs finds herself recruited into the Secret Intelligence Service by Brian Huntley (as was hinted by her late mentor during his last days), to work a job in conjunction with Robbie MacFarlane of Scotland Yard Special Branch. Having signed the Official Secrets Act, she is to pose as a psychology lecturer at The College of St Francis whilst observing for activities that are not in the interest of the Crown. But when she has been there only a week, the Principal of the College, Greville Liddicote, a staunch pacifist, is murdered. And a little research reveals quite a few possible suspects. While Maisie is away, Billy Beale manages the Investigations business, although he is to some degree distracted by the impending birth of his fourth child. Luckily Maisie is able to convince her reluctant employee to become her tenant in a new cottage in which she invests some of her newfound wealth. A former flatmate comes to Maisie in distress: recently widowed, and with some doubt about the accidental nature of her husband’s death, Sandra accepts a job but remains unsettled. Maisie’s relationship with James Compton encounters a few hurdles.    In this instalment, Winspear touches on conscientious objection, mutiny amongst the troops, Nazism, fraud, organised crime and protection rackets, the role of women in the resistance and a nerve disorder that sounds a lot like Multiple Sclerosis. Maisie is frustrated at the Secret Service’s focus on Communism at the expense of Fascism, and Robert Stratton makes a surprise move. A baby is born and Maisie visits Wandsworth Prison. As always, Winspear blends historical fact with fiction while her plot takes a few twists before the murderer is revealed. It will be interesting to see where the next book, Elegy for Eddie takes this resourceful heroine. Another great read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Set after WW1, this series follows a brilliant and war scarred nurse as she becomes an investigator.
TeechTX More than 1 year ago
This latest entry in Winspear's wonderful Maisie Dobbs series is set in Cambridge at a lesser, fictional college, but Cambridge nonetheless. For this reviewer, who spent some of her halcyon days at the other Oxbridge university, A Lesson in Secrets is the best yet. Those of us who have spent our lives in its halls, know that the academy is simply Byzantium without the money. Maisie does at Cambridge what Wimsey and Vane do at Oxford -- tells its secrets and reveals its hidden doors. Another first with honors for Maisie and Ms. Winspear!
WeeziesBooks on LibraryThing 5 days ago
A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear is another of the delightful"Maisie Dobbs" series. Maisie is a nurse from London, who served and was wounded during the war and now runs a private investigation company. She is highly successful and extremely well respected in a time in the late 1920¿s and 1930¿s when this would have been extremely unusual. Maisie is asked to join both the Special Service and Scotland Yard in the investigation of destructive and unusual events that seem to be advancing to terrorism. There is concern that these are not simply events of cruelty to animals and humans but may be precursors of a larger and more devastating event which would cause harm and destruction to many. Maisie is asked to go undercover and accept a teaching post at Cambridge University where she becomes aware of the growing unrest among the students and the rising threat of Hitler and the Natzi party. The issues of war. ¿PTSD¿, usage of chlorine and mustard gas and the treatment needed for mentally ill patients are all addressed in this volume. I found this storyline excellent and interesting. I would recommend reading all of the Maisie Dobbs series. However, I would suggest reading the first book ¿Maisie Dobbs¿ first to get a fuller enjoyment when reading the later books. The characters are well developed and their experiences expanded over time as the books continue to tell Maisie¿s story. The issues of war, ¿PTSD¿, usage of chlorine and mustard gas and the treatment needed for mentally ill patients are all addressed in this book. If you have not read any of this series, I highly recommend Winspear¿s books.
melaniehope on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I won this book, so therefore it was the first Maisie Dobbs book I have read. It is book number eight, but I had no problem reading this as a stand alone book.The story is set in 1932 with growing tensions in Europe.Investigator Maisie Dobbs accepts an undercover assignment from the British Secret Service. Sent to pose as a junior lecturer at a private college in Cambridge, she will monitor any activities ¿not in the interests of His Majesty¿s government.¿Very soon Maisie is in the middle of a murder investigation on campus grounds. There is another small side story involving Sandra, a friend of Maisie's whose husband died under mysterious circumstances. So both stories kept the plot moving pretty well.Since this is the first book I have read, I can't compare it to her other books. There was not a lot of action, but the writing kept me turning pages. Maisie is an independent, working woman who is also in a relationship with the wealthy James Compton. However, in this book, only a few pages are dedicated to that relationship. The author also touches on the role that women and girls played during the first war.I would definitely read the beginning books in the series.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Another Maisie...this one finds her becoming more and more involved with the Secret Service, while befriending a young lady acquaintance from below stairs days, and helping Billy and Doreen find better digs for the kids.The setting is delightfully posh, the story just twisty enough to hold the reader's interest, and the introduction of various male interests in Maisie's life adds to the complexity of the story. A great read.
arielfl on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I have read all of the books in this series and I enjoyed them all but this installment along with the first novel are particular favorites. The first one stands out because it is our introduction to the world Winspear has created. This one holds a place in my heart for the emotional development we finally see in Maisie. She is now a benefactor to many people. I love how she sets up Billie and Doreen in a proper house. I wish I could just forget how she could not be bothered to look in at poor Lizzie in an earlier novel and she died. Maisie also makes leaps and bounds in her personal life with James (and his overnight visits!). More James please! Please do not send him off to Canada for the entire novel next time. Even Maisie's dad has found love again, what a great development. The not so good involved poor Sandra's husband Eric. Can we please go one novel without killing off a beloved character, R.I.P. Maurice. What happened to Lady Crompton? I missed her presence in this novel. As far as the mystery was concerned, it was top notch as always though it may have lacked some of the emotional resonance of the earlier ones. I see that the new novel is making it's way through the blogging world. I hope I can get an ARC somewhere but if not I will be eagerly awaiting it's release.
navelos on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Maisie Dobbs still does not disappoint!
hemlokgang on LibraryThing 5 days ago
The most charming aspect of the Maisie Dobbs series, is Maisie Dobbs. I love this character. She is smart, and wise, witty, tough and compassionate. Such a well rounded character. This installment finds Maisie working on national security matters, teaching philosophy undercover, and as always, helping out the people she cares about. On top of the wonderful characters and learning some of the subtle aftereffects of WWI on the psyche of the British, this installment foreshadows the coming storm of WWII. It's another good one folks!
cfk on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The characters were believable and the period between WWI and WWII was interesting. I've always considered Chamberlain a dunce and politically naive for giving Hitler a free hand in Europe, but the setting for this book, the struggles and grief of the survivors, makes it a bit easier to understand the mindset.
elliezann on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Unfortunately for me, this is the first Maisie Dobbs novel I have read. This will be changed very soon. Jacqueline Winspear has created one of the most authentic characters in mystery fiction. Maisie Dobbs is an English Inquiry Agent(private detective in USA) who gets tricked into working with the British Secret Service.Capable and well-to-do, Maisie becomes a teacher in a small college founded by Grenville Liddicote which the British government feels may not be a peaceful institution and filled with illegal aliens. This is because during WWI Liddicote wrote a book urging pacifism not fighting. Of course, Liddicote gets killed and even though the government wants Maisie to stay on the spy ring, she gets immersed in solving the crime. All this in conjunction with helping her friends and assistants solve their problems makes this one of the best mystery novels I have read. Besides plot and character, Ms. Winspear has stayed true to the time and place of her character deftly interweaving pieces of history with fiction. She has written eight novels about Maisie so I have some catching up to do but I can't wait. Everyone who likes mysteries will not be disappointed with this delightful series.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Maisie is one of my favorite heroines. This book has Maisie working for Britain's Secret Service and working as a teacher at one Cambridge's Colleges. She is to uncover any radical activity that would threaten the Crown. She's only there one day when the head of the college is murdered. Meanwhile back in London, a former house maid, Sandra, of Lady Rowan's shows up at Maisie's office looking for work after her husband has been murdered. Billy has to investigate that on his own while awaiting the birth of another baby and his wife's fragile health. I miss the struggling making-ends-meet Maisie now that she's well-to-do and being courted by Viscount James Compton. I was hoping that she would get together with Straton.
cathyskye on LibraryThing 5 days ago
First Line: Maisie Dobbs had been aware of the motor car following her for some time. It's the summer of 1932, and Maisie Dobbs accepts an undercover assignment as a lecturer at a private college in Cambridge. It seems Scotland Yard and the Secret Service want her on campus to monitor any activities "not in the interests of the Crown." Their major focus is on controversial pacifist and college founder Greville Liddicote, but when he is found murdered, Maisie knows that she must conduct her own investigation into this as well.This eighth book in the series finds Maisie at a crossroads. She has inherited some money and wants to use it wisely to benefit those for whom she cares deeply. She also finds herself open to new experiences, so she's ripe for the picking when Scotland Yard and the Secret Service come knocking.With Maisie in Cambridge during the week and only in London on weekends, I found myself missing her assistant, Billy. Moreover, I found a subplot involving Sandra, a young woman who'd been in service to Maisie's former employers, very interesting. With Maisie spending much of her time on the road, this particular subplot wasn't fleshed out as fully as I'd hoped.The major focus of the book is twofold: Britain's sometimes less than stellar conduct during World War I, and Maisie's discovery that the Nazi Party has been making inroads in England-- as some of her fellow lecturers show up regularly to party meetings. To her surprise, Scotland Yard and the Secret Service think her reports on the Nazi Party have absolutely no significance.This emphasis on foreshadowing World War II, although promising great things in future books, made Maisie less interesting as a character. Even so, this is a strong, excellent series featuring an unconventional heroine. I look forward to Maisie's further adventures.
mountie9 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
The Good Stuff * Lovely slow but interesting mystery story which sort of reminded me of Agatha Christie * Delightful inquisitive heroine with tons of perseverance and dry wit * Very British which I adore -must be why I married a man with British parents --even when they swear they sound so polite * Lots of twists and turns in the mystery so keeps you guessing on whodunit * I was really impressed with the fact, that you didn't have to read the other books in the series to know what was going on and a sense of who people are * Maisie is a very realistic heroine * Enjoyed the message about Woman and War and of PeaceThe Not so Good Stuff * Won't lie, it was a little slow at times for me * A little too overly proper -- but hey that was how it was like in that point in historyFavorite Quotes/Passages"She's like a good many women, Maisie; they toe the line very well until someone they love-a child, a spouse - is threatened or harmed, and then you see a completely different side to them. Had that not been so, then this country would never have come through the war. Wars are fought by men, Maisie-but the winning is down to women who are prepared to break windows for their own.""A man who stands up for what he believes in instead of fighting for what someone else believes in is a threat -- people cannot bear someone who has that sort of strength and fortitude." " You should know, however, that I do not work for His Majesty's gratitude, honor that it is. I prefer my payment to be more tangible."" Are you sure you're not a Scot?" MacFarlane smiled as Huntley passed a series of documents to Maisie."What I Learned * about conscientious objectors * Some history of the war - especially the period between the two World WarsWho should/shouldn't read * Perfect for mystery lovers and fans of Agatha Christie * Definitely not for those who need constant excitement4 Dewey'sI received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review
dianaleez on LibraryThing 5 days ago
¿A Lesson in Secrets¿ is Jacqueline Winspear¿s latest (March 2011) offering. It should, as usual, please all Dobbs-ites and possibly gain a few new recruits.For those yet to encounter the intrepid Maisie, she is a working class girl in early twentieth century England who parlays hard work, intelligence, perseverance, and good conections into a career as a sleuth. In ¿A Lesson in Secrets¿ she goes undercover at a `peace¿ college to investigate possible activities of the Nazi party.Winspear¿s novels are in part successful because she writes in a style consistent with the setting. Maisie is thoughtful, careful, and precise, as is Winspear¿s prose. For those of us who grew up on Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rhinehart, it¿s a welcome step back in time. And like her predecessors, Winspear plays fair - the solution is spelled out for the careful reader.The Maisie canon (for those who choose to read further) is ¿Maisie Dobbs,¿ ¿Birds of a Feather,¿ ¿Pardonable Lies,¿ ¿Messenger of Truth,¿ ¿An Incomplete Revenge,¿ ¿Among the Mad,¿ ¿The Mapping of Love and Death,¿ and finally, ¿A Lesson in Secrets.¿ If Winspear¿s books have a flaw it is perhaps that double edged sword - the pace can be rather slow at times, which provides enjoyment to some and frustration to other readers.A review copy was provided by the publisher.
bookchickdi on LibraryThing 5 days ago
We've followed Maisie from her days as a maid in Lady Rowan Compton's estate, through her schooling and tutelage under the brilliant Dr. Maurice Blanche, her WWI service as a nurse in France, opening up her own private investigations/psychologist office, and now working undercover for the British secret intelligence as a university instructor in the current novel.Maisie takes on the job working to discover if there are any terrorists at the University. She hesitates at first, but remembers her late mentor Maurice's words to her that she needs to be open to the unexpected. While at the school, the dean is murdered, and Maisie finds herself assisting the police in their investigation as well.The dean had written a famous children's book about soldiers putting their weapons down and refusing to fight. There were rumors that this book had caused a large mutiny in France during WWI, with British and German soldiers laying down their weapons. This book plays a big part in the mystery, one that is intriguing indeed.I liked how this novel not only took Maisie out of her comfort zone of work, but forced her to face personal challenges as well. Her friend Sandra lost her husband, and Maisie took Sandra into her home and offered her a job. Sandra uses her position with Maisie to investigate her husband's death. I would like to see Sandra stay on as part of Maisie's office staff.Maisie worries about her father's health, and his refusal to move in with her at Maurice's home frustrates her. It is ironic that Maisie is so in tuned with other people's secrets and feelings, yet her father is able to hide something big from her.Billy Beale, her faithful assistant, is stubborn as well. Maisie has offered Billy a downpayment on a new home, one that will change his family's life forever and for the better, but Billy is hesitant to accept. The men in Maisie's life are frustrating her.And then there is her boyfriend James Compton, son of her benefactor, Lady Rowan. He is supposed to be away on business in Toronto, but Maisie finds out he has been in London. Is their relationship in trouble?I always learn something of historical interest in these novels, and in this one, we learn that women played a big part in wartime intelligence. Over 10,000 women worked for the Secret Service in London during the war, reporting troop movements, sabotaging the German enemy, and consorting with the enemy to get information. I will definitely be looking for information on this subject.The rise of the German Socialist Party, the Nazis, is on the horizon, and we see the beginning of the debate between the Brits who, weary of the lingering WWI problems, do not to wish to get involved in Germany's issues, and those Brits who see the dangers of the Nazi Party and Hitler's rise. I can't wait to see where Winspear takes this in future books.I really enjoyed reading the Maisie Dobbs series; I like Maisie as a strong female character, one young ladies can look up to. Not only is Maisie interesting, but the secondary characters are as well, and Winspear introduces many new ones in each book, rather than just relying on the ones we already know.I've learned much about Britain following WWI, an era I was unfamiliar with. It seems that while the methods of war have changed over the decades, the effects of it on the people who fought it, and those who love them, remain the same.If you like historical fiction with a strong female protagonist, and cozy mysteries, I highly recommend the Maisie Dobbs series.
delphimo on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Jacqueline Winspear has taken us through World War I and the aftermath, and now the focus is the gathering storm in Germany and Adolf Hitler. Maisie Dobbs has been asked by the Secret Service to teach at a university and attempt to uncover plots against the Crown. Of course, a disaster happens when the director/principal of the university is murdered, leaving Maisie with a murder to solve. These are not the only problems in Maisie's life. She must try to help Billy and pregnant Doreen find a better home, attempt to sort her feelings for James, try to understand her father's new phase in his life, and help widowed Sandra with her problems. The story is interesting and of course, Maisie is one-of-a kind.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Maisie Dobbs has worked with Scotland Yard in the past, and now she has the opportunity to work with British intelligence. Something isn't quite right at a Cambridge college built on pacifist ideals, and Maisie's job is to uncover anything that might be a danger to the country while she works undercover as a philosophy lecturer. No sooner has the term started than a murder is discovered. Meanwhile back in London, Billy works on a case for an old friend of Maisie's.Maisie's personality is suited for academia. I've read a number of mysteries with academic settings, and most of the time the professor/sleuth seems to do everything but what s/he is paid to do ¿ teach. Maisie's position is a means to an end, yet she takes her teaching responsibilities seriously and fits her investigative work around her class schedule. She seems to enjoy teaching, and I wish there had been more interaction between Maisie and her students in the book.Maisie's assignment seemed a bit vague to me. Solving the murder was tangential to her assignment, yet she considered her work complete once the murder had been solved (except for finishing out her teaching responsibilities for the term). I'm not sure that espionage brings out the best in Maisie's character. She has always been tactfully forthright, but as a consequence of her intelligence work she finds herself having to lie convincingly on a number of occasions. It will be interesting to see how deeply Maisie can become involved in intelligence work before having a crisis of conscience.I'm not sure how I feel about this new direction for the series. So far, I prefer Maisie as private investigator rather than spy. However, as the series progresses closer in time to World War II, I have a feeling that national security is going to play a bigger role in Maisie's cases.This review is based on an advance reader's e-proof provided by the publisher through NetGalley.