Within my first few weeks at MBTB, I quickly realized that Maisie Dobbs is one of the store's most beloved characters, both among our staff and our customers. Maisie, a nurse during WWI has returned home to London to open up her own Private Investigation firm. Winspear said the idea of Maisie came to her when she saw her step out of the subway, pick up a copy and find out why Maisie Dobbs is so beloved at the store. - John
"A female investigator every bit as brainy and battle-hardened as Lisbeth Salander." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air, on Maisie Dobbs
Maisie Dobbs got her start as a maid in an aristocratic London household when she was thirteen. Her employer, suffragette Lady Rowan Compton, soon became her patron, taking the remarkably bright youngster under her wing. Lady Rowan's friend, Maurice Blanche, often retained as an investigator by the European elite, recognized Maisie’s intuitive gifts and helped her earn admission to the prestigious Girton College in Cambridge, where Maisie planned to complete her education.
The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she found—and lost—an important part of herself. Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets out on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different.
In the aftermath of the Great War, a former officer has founded a working farm known as The Retreat, that acts as a convalescent refuge for ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Fate brings Maisie a second case involving The Retreat, she must finally confront the ghost that has haunted her for over a decade.
About the Author
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of New York Times bestsellers Among the Mad and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as eight other Maisie Dobbs novels. Originally from Kent, England, she now lives in California. This is her first book in the critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling Maisie Dobbs series.
Praise for Maisie Dobbs
A favorite mystery series of Hillary Clinton (as mentioned in What Happened, The New York Times Book Review, and New York Magazine) A New York Times Notable Book of the Year Agatha Award Winner for Best First Novel Macavity Award Winner for Best First Novel Alex Award Winner
“Compelling…powerful. [Maisie Dobbs] testifies to the enduring allure of the traditional mystery…even though I knew what was coming this second time 'round, its final scene is still a punch in the gut.” —Maureen Corrigan for NPR’s Fresh Air
"[A] deft debut novel . . . Romantic readers sensing a story-within-a-story won't be disappointed. But first they must be prepared to be astonished at the sensitivity and wisdom with which Maisie resolves her first professional assignment." —The New York Times
"The reader familiar with Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency . . . might think of Maisie Dobbs as its British counterpart . . . [Winspear] has created a winning character about whom readers will want to read more." —The Associated Press
"[Maisie Dobbs] catches the sorrow of a lost generation in the character of one exceptional woman." —Chicago Tribune
"One of the best and most influential crime novels of the young century." —Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“A fine new sleuth for the twenty-first century. Simultaneously self-reliant and vulnerable, Maisie isn't a character I'll easily forget.” —Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley series
“The book is much more than a cosy mystery—it is also about women's growing emancipation and the profound changes to society after the First World War.” —Mail on Sunday
“A delightful mix of mystery, war story and romance set in WWI–era England . . . A refreshing heroine, appealing secondary characters and an absorbing plot [make Winspear a] writer to watch.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“A poignant and compelling story . . . [Winspear handles] human drama with compassionate sensitivity while skillfully avoiding cloying sentimentality. At the end, the reader is left yearning for more. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, Starred Review