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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

A Lesson in Secrets adds another episode in the life of Maisie Dobbs, and I always enjoy a new Maisie adventure.

In the 8th book in the series, Maisie finds herself, for the first time, more than financially comfortable.  Maurice Blanche, Maisie's mentor and dear friend, made her the chief beneficiary in his will.

The series began in the aftermath of WWI, with all the problems England faced having lost almost a generation of young men.  Recently, Winspear has been incorporating hints about the problems in Germany, and A Lesson in Secrets sees the threat of WWII being manifested in Germany and England.

Maisie is approached by the British Secret Service for help in keeping an eye on individuals with a leaning toward Communism.  She accepts a job as a philosophy teacher at a college in Cambridge, and she finds that what alarms her is not Communists, but students who are leaning toward the Nazi party.

When the head of the college, a man who wrote a remarkable children's book with pacifist themes during the Great War, is murdered, Maisie wants to find out who and why.  Her brief remains unchanged by the Secret Service, but Maisie intends to follow her own feelings concerning the murder and the Nazi influence.

Other reviews/opinions:  A Work in Progress,    Of Books and Bicycles,      Daisy's Book Journal,  The Reader of the Pack,

:)  Lee Child (of Jack Reacher fame) interviews Jacqueline Winspear at Amazon.

Fiction.  Mystery/ Historical Fiction.  2011.  336 pages.


  1. I have this on my shelf, and hope to read it this fall. I adore these books. Great review.

  2. I think I must be the only person on the planet who couldn't get into Maisie Dobbs at all. But, it still sounds like a great series!!!! Oh, well. :) It's still fun reading reviews - glad you're enjoying the series!

  3. Kailana - Me, too!

    Nan - Winspear has been pretty consistent with Maisie, hasn't she?

    Bookfool - I frequently feel that I'm the only one who doesn't like a book or a series! I like the period and the lack of deliberately horrifying crimes. And Maisie, of course!

  4. I really like Maisie and will always buy the books when they are just published--it's one of the few series I've followed from beginning to end. Have you read Elizabeth Speller's The Return of Captain John Emmett--roughly same period and also an excellent story.

  5. Danielle- Yes, I finished a day or so ago, and I really liked it! I think it was her first novel, and it was so well done. Kelly, just emailed me and asked if I'd read it. :)

  6. This is a series I would love to read. Problem is...I have about 4 other series before it. One day!

  7. Lisa - So many books to read and never enough time to get it done!

  8. Jennie, I didn't know you read mysteries, too; we definitely have to get together soon.

  9. Oops, I forgot to sign name above, I never comment on blogs.

  10. Teresa - Oh, yes, I love mysteries! In fact, sometimes I'm embarrassed at how much I love them; they are like an addiction.

    Let me know a good day for you and come visit. We can talk books!