Maisie Dobbs is one of those girls who beats the odds and prevails under the worst of circumstances. After the death of her mother, Maisie starts working as a servant to help her family financially. She takes this situation and uses it to her advantage by educating herself in her employer's library. When her employer, Lady Rowan, sees her potential, she not only encourages Maisie to learn, but hires a tutor for her to excel, so much so that she is admitted to Cambridge University. After a year, she feels led to help out in the war effort, so Maisie becomes a nurse in the front lines in France.
During her years of nursing, Maisie's experiences teach her a lot about life and love. Despite personal heartbreak and witnessing horrible injuries and deaths, Maisie presses on to reinvent her life. Following the war, she decides to become a private investigator. Her first case involves what appears to be a simple case of infidelity, but as Maisie looks further into it, she uncovers something deeper and more complex than she ever imagined. As she strives to uncover the truth, readers will learn about Maisie's ability to pursue her dream, carry on through difficult times, and the struggles a country goes through in a post-war era.
Author Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in England, and then immigrated to the United States as an adult. Most of her works are set in the 1920's and involve characters that survived the Great War. Her inspiration was her grandfather who was severely wounded in the war in 1916, and her heart for those that had to deal with the struggles of post-war complications.
Maisie Dobbs is the first book in a series about the young private investigator and won a place on The New York Times Notable Book List in 2003.
"She does it again--an excellent episode in the story of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist & investigator. I'm quite curious where the Maisie/Billy dynamic will go--at the moment it's more friends, less just colleagues. No romantic anything at all, thank goodness. Time will tell! Or perhaps book 7..."
Elizabeth (4 out of 5 stars)
Maisie Dobbs got her start as a maid in an aristocratic London household when
she was thirteen. Her employer, suffragette Lady Rowan Compton, soon became her patron, taking the remarkably bright youngster under her wing. Lady Rowan’s friend, Maurice Blanche, often retained as an investigator by the European elite, recognized Maisie’s intuitive gifts and helped her earn admission to the prestigious Girton College in Cambridge, where Maisie planned to complete her education.
The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she found—and lost—an important part of herself. Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets out on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something different.
In the aftermath of the Great War, a former officer has founded a working farm known as The Retreat, that acts as a convalescent refuge for ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Fate brings Maisie a second case involving The Retreat, she must finally confront the ghost that has haunted her for over a decade.
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About Jacqueline Winspear
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of several New York Times bestsellers in her historical fiction series featuring Maisie Dobbs. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards. She was born and raised in the county of Kent in England. Her grandfather had been severely wounded and shell-shocked in World War I, and learning his story sparked her deep interest in the “war to end all wars” and its aftereffects, which would later form the background of her novels. She studied at the University of London’s Institute of Education and later worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the United Kingdom before emigrating to the United States.
About Orlagh Cassidy
Orlagh Cassidy, an American actress of stage, television, and film, is an audiobook narrator who has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, as well as many AudioFile Earphones Awards. She is a graduate of SUNY at Purchase and a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Scholarship. She has been seen on and off Broadway and in films, including Definitely Maybe and Calling It Quits. Her television credits include roles in Law & Order and Sex and the City and as Doris Wolfe on Guiding Light.