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Extended Audio Sample Maisie Dobbs: A Novel Audiobook, 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: December 2014 ISBN: 9781504602242
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ferris | 2/5/2014

    " Audiobook...............An excellent book! Even if you haven't read the earlier Maisie Dobbs novels, this one is worth it. Gripping plot, fascinating social commentary, and excellent psychological insights. Couldn't stop until I finished it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn Estepp | 1/31/2014

    " i can't decide if i'm over maisie dobbs or not. i really liked the series when it started out, absolutely hated the books in the middle and have found this one and the last serviceable, if not spectacular. i suspect i'd like them a whole, whole lot more if winspear didn't spend so much time telling me how much i should like her, because she's just so amazing and remarkable and blah, blah, blah. remember writing 101? show don't tell? a little goes a long way, my friend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hanna | 1/17/2014

    " Solid entry into the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara A. | 1/16/2014

    " The best. most complex entry to date in a wonderful series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/16/2014

    " Maisie just gets better and better! Such sad, but interesting stories of the victims of WWI. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat Mcnutt | 1/10/2014

    " I like all Winspear's stories. Maisie Dobbs is a wise, adventurous psychologist/investigator in London during WWI. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/5/2013

    " 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... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glennie | 11/25/2013

    " Still enjoying this series. Her writings of the marginalized disabled veterans sadly echoes how many are still treated today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susann | 11/24/2013

    " The Maisie mysteries always make me want to re-visit England, no matter how desperate Winspear makes London seem. This is another engrossing story. Not my favorite, but still very good. I think Maisie and I are both ready for her to take her next big steps. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 3/20/2013

    " Great new Maisie Dobbs addition. Not so much of a "who dunnit" as a "how dunnit," more suspense than mystery. A fun read! These just seem to get better and better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charleen | 11/11/2012

    " have liked her other books better. Read last 2 and then started in order. 2 more to go "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 9/6/2012

    " Normally, I won't give a series fiction book more than 3 stars, but this one was rather better than the others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JanOMalleycat | 8/27/2012

    " I'm never fond of mysteries that include segments from the point of view of the madman killer. I generally like the Maisie Dobbs mysteries very much, but this one wasn't quite as much to my liking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camille | 8/9/2012

    " Still a fan of this series. Liked this one, not as heartfelt as the last two but strong. Will be interesting to see if Maisie continues working with Special Branch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 5/15/2012

    " Probably my least favorite Maisie Dobbs, but still a good one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie Stein | 7/19/2011

    " Always enjoyable series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 5/18/2011

    " This is number seven in the series. Currently there are eight books. This is BY FAR the best of the series! I've finished them all and have enjoyed every minute. I can't imagine NOT loving Maisie Dobbs! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 5/16/2011

    " Listened to it on audio. A lot of violence in the beginning, resulting in lots of murders to solve. It is the second one of the Maisie Dobbs books I have read and I do like them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 5/10/2011

    " If you have never read a Masie Dobbs mystery, you will love this series! Masie Dobbs was a woman ahead of her time. The books in this series are set during and after WWI and Masie's life is full of adventures, hope, sadness and a kind heartedness heroine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 5/7/2011

    " Thoroughly enjoyable. Maisie Dobbs is a unique investigator. She solves a murder quietly, with a lot of intuition and footwork, very little violence. The setting is 1930's England, with lots of memories of WWI. But best to read the books in order, starting with Maisie Dobbs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 4/30/2011

    " Liked this as much as the others in the series. Though Maisie may be "alone" she has a tremendous support group. Can't wait to see what happens next.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 4/27/2011

    " A promising, new-to-me mystery series. Who can resist lady detectives in England between the wars? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 4/26/2011

    " This was one of my favorite books in the series. It is a fun light mystery read with some great historical background of WW1. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Virginia | 4/24/2011

    " When the remains of an American cartographer who worked with British forces during World War I is dug up nearly twenty years later, Maisie is asked by his parents to learn more about how he died and what happened to the young woman whose letters are found with the body. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauri | 4/19/2011

    " Maisie Dobbs is one of my favorite characters and this book did not disappoint. I'll be interested to see where they take the next book given some of the major events that happened in this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 4/7/2011

    " Maisie touches some part of me in every story and this one was no different. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 3/29/2011

    " A good addition to the series "

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About the Author
Author Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as several other nationally bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

About the Narrator

Rita Barrington has worked extensively in the fields of television, film, and theater. She played Mary in Mary’s Choice and Gloria in A Night at the Theatre, and she has also appeared in Peak Practice. Her theater roles include a national tour of Mary Magdalene and a tour in Israel in Torn Curtain. She has also done voice-over work and had her own one-woman show, Literature Allsorts.