Book Review: Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs

51q6vsj14jl_sl160_pisitb-sticker-arrow-dptopright12-18_sh30_ou01_aa115_It is the spring of 1929, and an enterprising young woman named Maisie Dobbs opens a detective agency in London.  What is remarkable about Maisie is that not only is she female, but she comes from a working-class background.  A perceptive employer noticed the promise in her 13-year-old maid and so Maisie studied her way to Cambridge.  Now she is solving her first case, which seems easy enough: an open-and-shut case of infidelity.

But the Great War lurks behind the polite and pleasant facade of the life of a privileged young woman in 1920s London, and as Maisie delves deeper into the case, she also delves deeper into her own past. Finally she gains the courage to force herself to face a terrible tragedy that happened to her during the war.

Jacqueline Winspear does a good job in conveying London life in 1920s London. But perhaps it is too good, for in rendering Maisie’s rather stilted and prissy way of expressing herself, she risks alienating the reader.

–Cynthia Haggard writes short stories, novels and poetry.  During the day, she is a medical writer and owns her own business.  For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories.  For more about her medical writing services, go to clarifyingconcepts.  (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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