Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs is both the main character and the first book in a mystery series set in post-World War I England. It’s one of those that looked attractive when I first read the reviews several years ago, but I just now got around to reading. Maisie Dobbs is setting up shop as a private investigator when the book opens. Her first client is a husband who feels that his wife’s attention is straying and wants to know where she goes when she is out all day two days a week. Maisie solves this mystery in the first third of the book, but finds the case leading her on to a deeper mystery, one that turns out to have personal resonance. This involves finding a farm where WWI veterans with no faces go, and where they are called only by their first names. Investigating this draws us back into Maisie’s back story, a working-class girl whose aristocratic patron sent her to college, which she left to go to France as a field nurse. Maisie’s fairy-tale rise from the lower class and her great personal charm, beauty and intelligence go together to make a character that, while extremely likeable, uses more than a fair allotment of character points. I’m guessing, though, that this is laid on extra-thick because of it being the first book in the series and that Maisie will seem less magical in subsequent books. The darkness and probably reality of the battlefield story offsets this aspect of the book enough to make it neither too grim nor too sweet. This is an excellent choice for lovers of mystery and historical fiction.
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