- Series: Maisie Dobbs Novels (Book 3)
- Paperback: 359 pages
- Publisher: Picador; First edition (June 27, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780312426217
- ISBN-13: 978-0312426217
- ASIN: 0312426216
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,738 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pardonable Lies: A Maisie Dobbs Novel (Maisie Dobbs Novels) Paperback – June 27, 2006
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“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, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series
“Maisie is a sleuth to treasure.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Maisie's most assured outing to date . . . The mood and atmosphere of the period ring with authenticity, and the class tension that underlies many of Maisie's dealings lends the narrative extra sparkle.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“For readers yearning for the calm and insightful intelligence of a main character like P. D. James's Cordelia Gray, Maisie Dobbs is spot-on.” ―The Boston Globe
“A prim 1930s British gumshoe is one of the freshest, most modern heroines in recent memory. Maisie Dobbs takes her place in the upper echelon of literary female detectives, right next to Kinsey Millhone and Kay Scarpetta. . . . Pardonable Lies is as stylish as a whodunit gets.” ―BookPage
“I couldn't put the book down and rushed out right away to get the other two. Maisie Dobbs is a joy.” ―The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Will thoroughly delight existing fans and should garner her new ones . . . Winspear carefully crafts each sentence, building toward a thrilling and emotional conclusion.” ―Library Journal
“If you haven't read the Maisie Dobbs stories, you are missing a treat.” ―The Ledger Independent (Kentucky)
“Fans of Miss Marple and Precious Ramotswe are sure to embrace Maisie, a pitch-perfect blend of compassion and panache.” ―Booklist
“To give an idea of how much I liked Pardonable Lies, I immediately went to my local bookstore and ordered the first two in the series. Long live Maisie Dobbs!” ―Mystery News
“Maisie is immediately captivating. . . . Dobbs ponders the mysteries of life as well as the mysteries she is hired to solve. . . . Surprisingly eloquent, evening moving.” ―Saint Paul Pioneer Press
“Jacqueline Winspear's historical mysteries prove exactly what this subgenre can achieve, offering a prism of the past and a mirror of the future. . . . Fascinating.” ―Sun-Sentinel
“A fine examination of a young woman making her way amid the economic and social dislocations of 1930s Britain . . . Pardonable Lies is a reflection, a meditation even, on how those of us who have experienced war carry with us the scars that can reopen in an instant.” ―The Sunday Patriot-News
“Winspear again treats us to a story broad in scope and rich in detail and suspense. . . . An excellent series.” ―The Orange County Register
“Filled with convincing characters, this is a complex tale of healing, of truth and half-truth, of long-held secrets, some, perhaps, to be held forever. Winspear writes seamlessly, enriching the whole with vivid details of English life on a variety of social levels.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Winspear twists the suspense to a high pitch in this dark and moody tale that will please newcomers to the series as well as Winspear's many fans.” ―Rocky Mountain News
About the Author
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the Maisie Dobbs novels, Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather, which won the Agatha Award for Best Novel. A New York Times Notable Book, Maisie Dobbs was nominated for a record eight awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel, and won both the Agatha and Macavity Awards for Best First Novel, as well as the Alex Award for an adult novel suitable for young adults. Born in England, Winspear now lives in California.
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Maisie Dobbs is the daughter of an honest, hard working laborer; she is also the daughter of a dead mother. When an opportunity arises for her to go to work as a maid in a local manor, she takes the plunge; when she discovers that there is a vast library, she begins getting up a 3 am in order to read. Then, one early morning, she is discovered by the Lady of the house, who does not dismiss her, but rather makes further learning possible.
Learning how she develops, watching her through her hospital work in war-torn France, and seeing how she takes over the practice of her former tutor is the framework for the rest of this captivating novel. This is, for this genre, a very special book. I can't wait to start the next novel, Birds of a Feather. Unfortunately, it is way past my bedtime, so that will have to wait for tomorrow--oops, wait until later today!
MD begins in the spring of 1929. Maisie has just opened a new office to ply her psychology and investigation skills. She sits, waiting for the phone to ring. Before too long and thanks to a referral by a friend she has her first client, a well-to-do gentleman who suspects his wife of improper behavior. Maisie follows the suspect woman to.....(wait for it).....a cemetery! And soon after, a rather lengthy flashback takes us to Maisie's humble origins. She was born in 1897, the daughter of a costermonger. A what? My trusty Kindle quickly replied to my query advising me that a costermonger was an old time deliverer of produce most often transported in a horse drawn cart. Mom died early, finances are tight, Dad worries for Maisie's future.
Then the story takes on some of the elements of Pygmalion and Maisie becomes the project of Lady Rowan and her friend, the very wise Maurice. Lots of nice, cute, warm hearted things happen. Yet Maisie is a serious girl, the years advance quickly and Maisie is a surgical nurse at the front. As in WWl front, on a battlefield somewhere in France having lied about her age to enlist. And she encounters, once again, Dr Simon Lynch whom she met at a charming dance party only a chapter or two ago. End of flashback. Hints of sadness.
Back to the case. The situation has changed considerably and now attention is focused on the Retreat, a farm of sorts, a closed society of soldiers severely damaged by wounds from the War, many hideous facial disfigurements, others emotional wounds. The Retreat is supposedly modeled on a very successful effort by the French who have had some success in rehabbing their patients back into society over time. But something about the Retreat doesn't feel right; because of Lady Rowan's personal interest in it, Maisie investigates further. Not a big huge Hollywood climax, but more interesting flashback addressing some of those questions you will have but not all of them.
So I now have read the first and most recent of the series and have formed a rather good picture of where it is going. Clearly a mix of history, adventure, mystery, romance, and excellent story telling. Winspear's prose is excellent and her stories are well plotted. I find the mystery component a bit weak, and this is usually the key determining factor for me. But Winspear's stories are so well told that I will read several more at a minimum, probably in order since the stories do link in a chronological fashion. Save for the crime bit, MD would be a 5 but I must restrain myself and go with a 4 for now.. The second book is entitled "Birds of a Feather". All are on Amazon Kindle and I am sure you can find paper editions of each via Amazon as well though I haven't looked. I recommended the series to a retired neighbor lady a few months ago and recently she told me she read the entire series straight through and enjoyed it tremendously.
An aside - recently I completed The Great Course's DVD of Secrets of Crime Fiction Mystery and Suspense. I jotted down a number of the numerous titles the professor cited and I plan to read a dozen or two of them. So far I have read and reviewed Ellery Queen's Penthouse Murder, and shortly (approx 9/21/17) will finish the first of fifty-five Ed McBain 78th Precinct mysteries, "Cop Hater"the series was written from 1956 to 2005 and no, I don't intend to read that whole series. If you have an interest in classic or older crime fiction you might want to check them out - available on Amazon.