Created by Jacqueline Winspear
In her spawling, ambitious eponymously-titled historical novel, we first meet MAISIE DOBBS, a young working class girl in 1920s England with a love of books and learning. Once, a long time ago (much of the book flashes back to her younger years), Maisie worked as a housemaid for social activist Lady Rowan Compton, who took the young girl under her wing, rewarding her with an education. Maise eventually earned a degree from Cambriodge, but then World War One came along, throwing a spanner into the works. Instead of furthering her education, Maisie found herself working as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. In the years following the war, Maisie was hired by her Lady's good friend, Maurice Blanche, a rather well-known forensic scientist, philosopher and investigator who runs a private detective agency.
Her meticulously researched debut opens in early 1929, with Maisie just having opened her own Trade and Personal Investigations office in Bloomsbury. Not so much a mystery, perhaps, as the story of a woman and her life and times (although there is a juicy little mystery in it, all about WWI vets and a possible cover-up by the British Army). Maisie is a appealingly intuitive and compassionate detective, and the book received all sorts of praise for its piercing and evocative treatment of the Great War and its tragic and sustained aftermath.
By the sequel, 2004's Birds of a Feather, Maisie is a full-fledged private detective, complete with her own office and a brass nameplate on the door which reads "Maisie Dobbs, "Psychologist and Investigator," and the series has thundered on, leaping from strength to strength.
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in England and later worked in publishing and as a marketing communications consultant in the U.K. before emigrating to the United States. She now lives in California.
-- Publishers Weekly
-- Cindy Chow, The Rap Sheet
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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