From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Maisie is 14 when her mother dies, and she must go into service to help her father make ends meet. Her prodigious intellect and the fact that she is sneaking into the manor library at night to read Hume, Kierkegaard, and Jung alert Lady Rowan to the fact that she has an unusual maid. She arranges for Maisie to be tutored, and the girl ultimately qualifies for Cambridge. She goes for a year, only to be drawn by the need for nurses during the Great War. After serving a grueling few years in France and falling in love with a young doctor, Maisie puts up a shingle in 1929 as a private investigator. She is a perceptive observer of human nature, works well with all classes, and understands the motivations and demons prevalent in postwar England. Teens will be drawn in by her first big case, seemingly a simple one of infidelity, but leading to a complex examination of an almost cultlike situation. The impact of the war on the country is vividly conveyed. 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. This is the beginning of a series, and a propitious one at that.Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
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Sue Baker's 'Quarterly Highlights' Publishing News 'In Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear has given us a real gift. Maisie Dobbs has not been created - she has been discovered. Such people are always there amongst us, waiting for somebody like Ms. Winspear to come along and reveal them. And what a revelation it is!' Alexander McCall Smith It's a long time since I've read a crime novel that begins as well as Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs ... well written ... [Jacqueline Winspear] is set fair for a very bright future as a crime novelist. Simon Brett, Daily Mail Feisty, working-class heroine Maisie is a deliberate throwback to the sleuthettes of old-fashioned crime writing and will appeal to all those fans who pine for uncomplicated characters and a strong demarcation between good and bad. The well-plotted story, its characters and the picture of London between the wars are decidedly romantic. American readers loved it; many Brits will, too. The Guardian Maisie Dobbs is a welcome and unusual addition to the crowded world of literary detectives ... A very readable whodunnit Sainsbury's Magazine Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs is a welcome addition to the sleuthing scene. Simultaneously self-reliant and vulnerable, Maisie isn't a character I'll easily forget Elizabeth George Much more than just another detective story... thought-provoking Newbooksmag Readers sensing a story-within-a-story won't be disappointed. But first, they must prepare to be astonished at the sensitivity and wisdom with which Maisie resolves her first professional assignment New York Times A wry and immensely readable beginning to what promises to be a vivid new addition to crime fiction Mail on Sunday Even if detective stories aren't your thing, you'll love Maisie Dobbs New Woman The book is much more than a cosy mystery - it is also about women's growing emancipation and the profound changes to society after the First World War. Mail on Sunday's You