Sam the pony man!
Oooooh scary batman!
We had a wonderful day!
I read one of the sequels first so I was a little surprised by how this book flowed but I loved it nevertheless. I usually read straight mysteries with very little character development (you know like Agatha Christie novels where Miss Marple does not grow, change or develop in any way – I am not saying it is bad I am just saying it is true!).
But this mystery is about Maisie and how the mystery affects her. I can’t say that I enjoyed reading about the war but it made the characters actions much more understandable. At the beginning Maisie is hired to investigate a seemingly simple case of infidelity and is soon enmeshed in a case that sends her back into her past and forces her to face pains she would soon forget.
Through a series of flashbacks we discover that Maisie lost her mother. Then her father, who loved her very much but couldn’t support her, sent her to be a maid in an aristocratic family, I love how she would sneak into the Library to read their books. The Lady of the house recognizes Maisie’s talent and intelligence and arranges for Maisie to be tutored while continuing her employ as a maid. Eventually she qualifies to attend Girton College at Cambridge. But sadly before she could complete her education the Great War breaks out and she joins up as a nurse. She falls in love with a young doctor. She then manages to survive three years of harrowing experiences. But sadly just before the war is over she is badly injured and her doctor dies. After recovering she finishes her education and becomes a private investigator using her knowledge of working class as well as her connection with the aristocracy.
As you can see the mystery is secondary to the development of Maisie. I think this is a great book. I would recommend it to any reader. You don’t have to be a mystery reader to enjoy Maisie Dobbs. I have also read a couple of Jacqueline Winspear other books and would highly recommend those as well. Happy Reading!
November is the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho which I am frantically reading because on November 1 to November 30 I will be participating in NaNoWriMo (which you may remember from last year is writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days).