Title: Maisie Dobbs
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
2003 – Fiction – Mystery/Historical Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
The Story: Years after World War I, Maisie Dobbs opens her door to clients who need answers in their lives. Her first client is a husband afraid that his wife is having an affair. But what Maisie finds is much deeper – a young woman grieving the loss of her first love. A suspicious home for wounded veterans known simply as “The Retreat”. And always, the memories of war lurking in the background.
The Opening Line: Even if she hadn’t been the last person to walk through the turnstile at Warren Street tube station, Jack Barker would have noticed the tall, slender woman in the navy blue, thigh-length jacket with a matching pleated skirt short enough to reveal a well-turned ankle.
Review: Sadly, this is one of those books that I stumbled upon years ago, banished to my ever-growing, looming TBR (to-be-read) list, and pretty much forgot about. I’m happy to report that now my TBR list is one book shorter and that this truly worthy book no longer languishes unread.
I love mysteries, and the historical fiction genre is one that continues to grow on me. Turns out, the two pair quite well, especially in the hands of an author like Winspear, who deftly weaves a narrative that leaves no loose ends or plot holes to infuriate the reader. Every last nugget of information felt well-earned, and I came to care about Maisie on such a deep emotional level. With each new added bit to Maisie’s story, I felt my heart twist in sympathy or leap with joy.
With, what, something like 12 books (?) in the series now, I was prepared to read this novel and be done. I mean, 10+ books is a big commitment. But after finishing Maisie Dobbs, I think I’ll keep reading, keep getting to know these characters and be a part of their lives. This book is a masterpiece, something to read and treasure and think about long after you’ve finished.