Jacqueline Winspear's wonderful Maisie Dobbs series back in 2003 - and was promptly hooked. The latest entry (#12) - Journey to Munich - is newly released.
Maisie has been many things - housemaid, student, nurse, psychologist, private investigator and an agent for the British Secret Service. Maisie is such a wonderfully drawn character - her intellect, determination, courage, kindness, loyalty and stalwartness have all endeared her to me. Winspear has moved Maisie's personal life along from that first book - although not always in a direction I wanted - and I have happily followed along.
But I also appreciate Winspear's plotting. She draws on historical fact, social mores and customs of the time periods and mixes in an always intriguing mystery.
The series began in the years of WW1 and Journey to Munich finds us on the cusp of WWII. A British citizen has been held captive for two years in Dachau. The Germans have agreed to his release - but only to a family member. Maisie is sent in to facilitate that release, appearing as the man's daughter. I found the impetus for this plotline fascinating....
"Journey to Munich was inspired by a story told by my mother of a man she worked for in 1944, when she was seventeen years old.......told her that before the war he had been set free from a German concentration camp into the hands of the British government after they had paid for his release."
A secondary plotline involving someone from Maisie's recent past tests her personally. There were a few plot points that thought were a bit unrealistic, but they didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
Winspear does a fantastic job of bringing time and place to life - the months just before all out war is declared again and the danger that was Nazi Germany.
And the ending is just perfect - I can't wait for the next installment in this series. Although this book could be read as a stand alone, I recommend starting with the first book. Read an excerpt of Journey to Munich.
"Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other national bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California." Find out more about Jacqueline at her website and find her on Facebook. See what others on the TLC book tour thought about Journey to Munich and all of the past Maisie Dobbs books as well. Full schedule can be found here.