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Extended Audio Sample Maisie Dobbs: A Novel, by Jacqueline Winspear Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,092 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jacqueline Winspear Narrator: Rita Barrington Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Maisie Dobbs Novels Release Date:
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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.

The book that introduced the world to the intuitive, intelligent, and resourceful heroine Maisie Dobbs—one of literature’s favorite sleuths!

Maisie Dobbs entered domestic service in 1910 at thirteen, working for Lady Rowan Compton. When her remarkable intelligence is discovered by her employer, Maisie becomes the pupil of Maurice Blanche, a learned friend of the Comptons. In 1929, following an apprenticeship with Blanche, Maisie hangs out her shingle: M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations. She soon becomes enmeshed in a mystery surrounding The Retreat, a reclusive community of wounded World War I veterans. At first, Maisie only suspects foul play, but she must act quickly when Lady Rowan’s son decides to sign away his fortune and take refuge there. Maisie hurriedly investigates, uncovering a disturbing mystery, which, in an astonishing denouement, gives Maisie the courage to confront a ghost that has haunted her for years.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] deft debut novel…Romantic readers sensing a story-within-a-story won’t be disappointed. But first they must be prepared to be astonished at the sensitivity and wisdom with which Maisie resolves her first professional assignment.”

    New York Times

  • “The reader familiar with Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency…might think of Maisie Dobbs as its British counterpart…Winspear, who intends to write a series featuring Maisie Dobbs, has created a winning character about whom readers will want to read more.”

    Associated Press

  • “[Maisie Dobbs] catches the sorrow of a lost generation in the character of one exceptional woman.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “[An] inspired debut novel, a delightful mix of mystery, war story, and romance…A refreshing heroine, appealing secondary characters, and an absorbing plot…make Winspear a new writer to watch.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Winspear writes in simple, effective prose, capturing the post-World War I era effectively and handling human drama with compassionate sensitivity while skillfully avoiding cloying sentimentality. At the end, the reader is left yearning for more discreet investigations into the nature of what it means to feel truth.”

    Library Journal

  • “A strong protagonist and a lively sense of time and place carry readers along, and the details lead to further thought and understanding about the futility and horror of war, as well as a desire to hear more of Maisie.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Be prepared to be astonished.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • A 2004 Dilys Award Finalist
  • A 2004 Barry Award Finalist for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2004 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel
  • A 2004 Anthony Award Finalist for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2003 Agatha Award for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2004 YALSA Alex Award
  • A 2004 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by MJ | 2/19/2014

    " If you've been reading this series, keep reading. It's excellent "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carmen | 2/15/2014

    " Set in the 1930's this book has an interesting premise. A woman is a psychologist who works with the police. A concept ahead of its time. ?She is an interesting woman, who has to work within her time period. It helps remind us of how far women have come. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Heather | 2/14/2014

    " Definitely one of the better in the series...second to Birds of a Feather. This one was very exciting :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Colleen | 2/7/2014

    " Set in a unique time period, the early 1930's when the affects of the depression are starting to make their presence felt. Massie is an interesting dectective and the case, dealing in part with the shabby treatment by the government of shell-shocked solders, still has meaning today. "

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