#CBR8 Review #31

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

It’s really easy to catch up on CBR reviews when there aren’t that many to write in the first place. My life has been so full of teaching and applying for jobs and catching up on publication deadlines that reading has sort of fallen off. Le sigh. Here’s hoping that Spring Break will give me a chance to dive into some more pages!

Back when I was doing my MA, I was still buying books without having read them. My MA mentor and I were looking up something when I was in her office once, and somehow, we found out about the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. I ordered the first book and then never bothered to read it until this week. This is my life, and it feels so good to finally read the books I’ve been lugging around all these years! Thankfully, Maisie will not be leaving my house anytime soon.

Maisie Dobbs is a mystery novel set in 1929, with an extended flashback to 1914-18. Maisie Dobbs is our heroine, an educated private detective embarking on her own practice once her mentor, Maurice Blanche, retires. Maisie’s first case is a man accusing his wife of infidelity, but when Maisie tracks her to a graveyard full of soldiers who died in the years after World War I, Maisie discovers that she’s on the cusp of a much greater and more serious problem. And it’s a problem that will force her to sift through her own haunted past and pain.

I tend to run hot-and-cold on mystery, though I adore Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and I enjoyed Alan Bradley’s first Flavia de Luce novel. This novel is a nice blend of those and Pat Barker’s much heavier Regeneration trilogy. I’ll be interested to see if the next novels are somber in tone, or if they become more lighthearted. Either way, once I’ve tackled the stack I own, it’ll be nice to have a series to work through!

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