Monday, January 29, 2007

Maisie Dobbs

Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs is my first adult read for the year, and it was well worth it!

There are so many good things that I could say about this book that I'm not sure where to start. The book opens with Maisie opening her detective office, but her investigations are much more than just facts. They are also a journey into the spirit -- hers and her client's.

The setting is the mid 1900s to the late 1920s. We follow Maisie (although not chronologically) from her beginning in service to Lady Rowan to her studies at Cambridge to serving in the Great War to beginning her agency.

This is not a typical fluffy detective/murder mystery that are so popular today. There are no cats or coffeehouses or embroidery circles. The reader finds out that Maisie isn't as calm and collected as we believe at first. She has had experiences that she hasn't reconciled, and by the end of the novel, the reader has done a bit of soul-searching along with her.

I didn't realize it when I picked it up, but this book is often compared to Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I'm still undecided whether I like the comparison, although I can see similarities.

Maisie Dobbs is very highly recommended.

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