Monday, March 25, 2013

Leaving Everything Most Loved - Jacqueline Winspear

I picked up the first book in the Maisie Dobbs series by chance back in 2003 - and I was promptly hooked. Jacqueline Winspear has just released the tenth book in this wonderful series - Leaving Everything Most Loved.
Maisie is a psychologist and private investigator in 1930's England. Quite unusual for her time, but even more unusual is the path that has taken her to her current place in life. She started out as a maid in the great house where her father worked as a groom. But her curiosity for learning caught the eye of her employer and others and they have helped pursue and achieve her many goals. She also served as a nurse in the Great War. Her natural curiosity and quiet intelligence have served her greatly -  her investigative agency is quite successful.
Her latest case is disturbing. An East Indian woman has been shot down in the streets of London. Her brother is looking for answers that Scotland Yard seems unable to find and hires Maisie.
"That morning, as Usha Pramal had painted a vermilion bindi to signify the wisdom nestled behind the sacred third eye, she could not have know that she had given her killer a perfect target." Maisie takes on the case, with the blessing of Inspector Caldwell of the Yard.
"Because you're a terrier, Miss Dobbs. You might not be quick and you might not go about it like I would, but you never let go. Now then, you go and get your teeth into his story. See where that leads you."
What a treat it is to follow Maisie as she slowly and patiently investigates, piecing together the whodunit using interviews, intuition, deduction and legwork until the pieces fall into place.
The mysteries in Winspear's books are intriguing, involving the social fabric and mores of the time period she has chosen.  Her books are a wonderful social commentary as well.
I have enjoyed the character of Maisie from the very first book. She is patient and kind, but intuitive and not easily taken advantage of.  But while, I enjoy Maisie's sleuthing, I am just as interested in her personal life.  Leaving Everything Most Loved as a title applies to many of the characters in the book.  Maisie herself, despite having a man she loves in her life, family and friends and personal success, still finds there is something missing in her life. And so, she has decided to make a radical change. I won't spoil it for you - but wherever Winspear chooses to take Maisie from here - I'll be following.
An excellent historical mystery series and definitely recommended. (Best read with a pot of tea and a cosy chair)  Read an excerpt of Leaving Everything Most Loved.
See what others on the TLC Month of Maisie tour thought - of this title and her backlist.  Full schedule here.
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London's Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education, and in marketing communications in the UK.

She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer. 

 Jacqueline's novels thus far—Maisie Dobbs, Birds of a Feather, Pardonable Lies, Messenger of Truth, An Incomplete Revenge, and Among the Mad are set in the late 1920s and early 1930s, with the roots of each story set in the Great War, 1914–1918. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards. You can find Jacqueline Winspear on Facebook.


bermudaonion said...

My mom loves this series - this would be a great addition to her Mother's Day gift!

Mystica said...

I've just read two of the books and liked them. Haven't been able to get to any more.

Luanne said...

Kathy - You've got to get her this latest!

Mystica - It's a lovely period series that worth savouring isn't it?

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Ooh, I can't wait to see about this different twist in Maisie's life! I've only read the first book so far, but now I want to hurry and catch up to this one.

Thanks for being on the tour!

trish said...

"She is patient and kind, but intuitive and not easily taken advantage of." Sounds like the kind of character I can get behind! I find I'm less tolerant of characters that don't have these characteristics. Getting grouchy in my mid-30's? :)