Tuesday 20 June 2017

Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear

I listened to Maisie Dobbs on Audible. Set in 1929, Maisie, trained by Maurice Blanche, a forensic psychologist (but I doubt he would have been called that then) starts her own practice as a private detective.

Her first case? A gentleman, expecting M.Dobbs to be a man, and clearly thinking beautiful petite clever Maisie is the secretary, or the tea girl, needs someone to check where his wife is disappearing to? Is she having an affair? Gasp. And when he finds out M stands for Maisie, will he hire her? Will he trust her? Will she solve the "mystery"?

The writing is lovely, and I enjoyed being thrust into the olde world charm that Maisie lives in - picture wood panelled rooms, bone china tea cups, tailored two-piece suits and pin curls. Very British and very sweet.

The plot was also good - we switch between the unravelling of Maisie's back story and what she did during the war. I loved this too, and how it reveals pain and character.

If you close your eyes, it's all so enchanting. The clever girl, from a disadvantaged past, given an opportunity to make it, now well-groomed and respectable detective, solving everything like a young Miss Marple. If you open them however, it's too good to be true, too trite to be real, not deep enough to really give a damn. And I'm not so sure that the series will be good, now that I know Maisie's back story, almost completely.

The narration was excellent. I could listen to Rita Barrington describe how to make a cup of tea and be enthralled.

A lovely read.

4 stars

ISBN: 9780142004333

You may also enjoy The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, or Karolina's Twins by Ronald H Balson. Or try A Terrible Beauty by VM Devine.

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