Review: Maisie Dobbs

18 08 2007

I really enjoyed reading Maisie Dobbs. I read the second in the series several months ago and enjoyed it, but I think that I probably would have enjoyed the book a bit more if I’d read them in order. This book provided a great deal more history and background on Maisie and that really expanded the character for me.  While I was able to understand the relationships in the second novel, there were important details in the first novel – particularly Maisie’s relationship with Simon.

The mystery itself seemed to take a backseat for the middle part of the novel – but Maisie’s background provided important in terms of her solving the case and dealing with the trauma that was connected to the case and to her own history.  I did find that the shift back was a bit abrupt, but as I came to the end of the novel I saw why Winspear chose to insert it and how it spoke to Maisie’s need to deal with her own war experiences in working through and solving this case.  The mystery itself wasn’t difficult to solve, but I don’t think that the solving of the who or what is nearly as important as the why in these novels. I’m interested in how Winspear is able to come up with these WWI mysteries and deal with what has occurred in a very direct, but at the same time sensitive manner. She underlines the trauma and difficulty of the war, while never exploiting that suffering.




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