Book Reviews

Book Review; “Maisie Dobbs” & “Birds of a Feather”, by Jacqueline Winspear copyright 2003 & 2004

“Maisie Dobbs” was suggested by a book seller. I would say she was an older lady but more than likely we are the same age. She was very enthusiastic and had read all the Maisie Dobbs series. When asked if they could be read out of sequence she paused and said yes but it would be better to start at the beginning. Then proceeded to give me the background on Maisie so that I would not be lost at the beginning of the second story. I bought the second in the series and then ordered the first on-line. Now I have read the first and have the second in line.maisie-dobbs

Maisie Dobbs is a female detective in England during the time between the World Wars. Just beginning out on her own she has been subsidized by her patron and mentor Lady Rowan and Dr. Maurice Blanche. Maisie has a history and a large part of the story is getting the background of Maisie and what has brought her to this point in her life.

Maisie Dobbs is a child of thirteen that goes into “service” in pre WWI England. Sort of a “Downton Abby” sort of thing. Maisie had dreams of going to school and the library of wealthy English draws to her. She is found and instead of being “sacked”, becomes more of a ward than a worker. She is mentored by Dr. Blanche, and with the help of her benefactor, Lady Rowan, Maisie is able to go to college.

Personally I found the mystery part of the book entertaining. But the back ground of Maisie to be a bit boring and nothing new. Being the first in the series “Maisie Dobbs” needed to introduce the characters and show the reader what makes them act the way they do. So, back story is a necessary portion.

Like I said before, I have the second in the series, and I have decided to do something different. I am reading the next in the series “Birds of a Feather” and will then report back on how I felt about the two books, together. After I’ve completed it I will be able to give a better idea of how the series will continue.

Until next time, here’s to a good mystery.

And a good mystery it was. The Maisie Dobbs series is what you would call a classic mystery series. Set in the London, England area in the time between the World Wars. The first two books, “Maisie Dobbs” and “Birds of a Feather”, deal with the after effects of World War I. The main character Maisie is also dealing with her own PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I read these two books back to back to see if the mystery was worth the time.
It was.

“Birds of a Feather” has Maisie and here assistant, Billy searching for a runaway daughter of an overbearing father. The missing person is just the beginning of the mystery. Maisie is always looking for the reasons why people do what they do, uncovers what would be considered now a serial murderer, however, being just a woman, her ideas are not accepted by the police.51EK857YX4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

With most books “Birds of a Feather” taught me a little more about the period and what happened during and after World War I. Some relate to our time period. Part of the book deals with returning soldiers and how they are viewed physically and mentally. Although the book is set in about 1930 the War and its after effects are still very prevalent in minds of the people. This is one of the main themes of the two Maisie Dobbs books that I’ve read. To learn more and see if author Jacqueline Winspear stays on this theme will take reading more of the novels. Personally I wont seek out the author but will not hesitate to read one of the books if I come across one at a used book store.

Next up; “The Cruelest Month”, by Louise Penny, another classic mystery story with main character Chief Inspector Gamache. I liked the first novel and have picked up a couple more. I will let you know what happens.

Until next time we are closing in on our departure date for the “Grand Adventure”, follow the blog to see what happens in our “Cruising” section.


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