Thursday, January 21, 2010

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (audio)

Maisie Dobbs
by Jacqueline Winspear
Narrated by Rita Barrington
BBC Audiobooks America, 2008
(originally published 2003)
10 hours

Publishers summary:
The debut of one of literature's favorite sleuths! Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS.

But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

My thoughts:

Maisie Dobbs has quite a following among book bloggers. After listening to the first of these literary mysteries, I certainly understand why.

It's very well written, features a smart female character, a wonderful historic setting, and just the right amount of suspense. We learn of Masie's experiences growing up, as a nurse in WWI , and how she came to be an investigator. In addition to cracking her first case, the book lays the foundation for the series by providing valuable insight into Maisie's character. Much of it will, no doubt, be built upon in future books.

The audio version of Maisie Dobbs is very well done. The reader's wonderful British accent enhanced my perception of Maisie's intelligence and manners. I was also impressed when her voice took on a detached, almost dream-like, quality as wartime events were recalled.

I will definitely continue with Birds of a Feather, the second title in the series. The only decision to make is whether to read or to listen!


  1. I managed to get an omnibus edition of both this and Birds of a Feather via Bookmooch the other day - I'm even more excited to read it now :D

  2. I really enjoy these books. Maisie is such a great character - smart, well-defined, imperfect. Love to pick up a mystery in between big reads and find these most satisfying. Enjoy the period detail too.

  3. This sounds very charming; I have not heard of it, but from what you report, it would definitely be a plus to get the audio edition.

  4. Maisie Dobbs came highly recommended by my BFF (who knows her mysteries) and did not disappoint. So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I just checked my library, and while they seem to have quite a few of the audios, they don't have this one unfortunately. I may have to read it, then move forward with the rest of the series on audio. I've never heard of these...thanks for the tip!

  6. I think I've heard of this one before, and it sounds like a delight to read. I should read it; I'm a big fan of mysteries.

  7. I've read every one of these and love the series, so different from other "sleuths". Very enjoyable.

  8. I love it when I see positive reviews of Maise because I adore this series. In my opinion, the rest of the books are even better than the first, because like you said, she is laying foundations in book 1 for the series. I own them all and will continue to buy them--in hardback! My husband listened to one on audio and loved it too.

  9. So glad you enjoyed this - I love this series! I've just finished the 6th book and just enjoy following Maisie so much.

  10. Nymeth - I have a feeling you're really going to like this one!

    Frances - I think the character of Maisie Dobbs is so well done...the real draw of the series. This type of book works well for me in the audio format, but is also a welcome change between more difficult or nonfiction works.

    Rhapsody - I don't listen to anything too heavy or dense... those just don't work for me . Mysteries and contemporary fiction are perfect!

    DS - I'm usually disappointed in mysteries that have a great plot, but mediocre writing and characters. Maisie Dobbs has it all!

    Sandy - I think you really need to read the first book to get the background info...not sure if they need to be read in order after that though.

  11. Hazra - Since you're a mystery fan, you should really give Maisie Dobbs a try.

    Kaye - Glad to hear you're a fan, too! Do you have to read the rest of the books in order?

    Kim - The rest are even better?? I though this one was great... can't wait to continue!

    Tara - I'm looking forward to following all of Maisie's adventures, too!

  12. I'm always looking for good audio recommendations. Thanks :)

  13. I really liked Maisie Dobbs and I don't generally read mysteries. For some reason I've been reluctant to go on to the second one though.

  14. Stacybuckeye - You're welcome. I always appreciate audio recommendations, too.

    Kristen - I only read a few mysteries each year, and this is the first time I've ever listened to one... it was a nice change of pace.

  15. Oh this looks/sounds great! How cute is that cover too? I bet it was great to listen too! It would really immerse you in a sense of place. I'll have to check these out!

  16. Amused - Maisie Dobbs definitely deserves a closer look. I'll be listening to the second installment soon.


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