Jacqueline Winspear, Maisie Dobbs #1
Once again, we are in London, England, where Maisie Dobbs is starting her career as a private investigator. Well, we begin in England, but Jacqueline Winspear takes us to France during the Great War, later known as World War I.
Maisie Dobbs was born in the late 1890’s when the class system was still in full swing. In fact, Maisie spends some of her teen years “in service” to the very wealthy Lord and Lady Compton. The Compton’s learn early on that Maisie is on a higher level of intelligence than the other maids in their employ, and when Maisie is found in their library reading books on philosophy in the early morning hours, they decide, instead of punishing her, to put her under the tutelage of one Maurice Blanche.
This first-of-the series novel gives us a front line seat into the horrors of war and the lives of those who were wounded physically and mentally. At the same time, we see into the lives of those who were dedicated to do what they could to mend the physical brokenness and give what warmth they could to perhaps mend the brokenness of the mind.
As Maisie Dobbs investigates a case of suspected marital infidelity, she stumbles on a situation in which she must depend upon the skills ingrained in her by her mentor, Maurice Blanche, to stop the mental brokenness of one man from preying on the lives of the severely wounded and disfigured young men returning from war. Together with her training, she draws upon every ounce of courage she has to prevent the death of her friend, Billy.
Up next: Body of Evidence, by Patricia Cornwell
Harriet Engle is an avid reader of several authors who write murder mystery series. Look for her weekly reviews highlighting each of these series.
Note: If you decide to start one of the series being reviewed and wish to read the next in the series, go to www.fantasticfiction.com, type in the author, and scroll down to see which book was written next under that series. The Manheim Community Library may not have the book you want, but staff will be happy to order it for you from another library.
You can also find and request the next book in the series right from the LSLC catalog. Search the book you have just read from the search bar at the top right of manheimlibrary.org. Click on the title to open up the book information and then scroll down to the section marked “Series”. At a glance, you can see the series and where the book you searched is in the series. For series of more than 14 titles, click on the button below that says “See Full Series”. To request another title from this section, just click on the cover and it will take you to the screen to request a copy from the Library System of Lancaster County to be delivered to Manheim Community Library (or another library in the LSLC.)