Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Series: Maisie Dobbs #1
Genre: Historical mystery
Picked it up because: I find the time period between the world wars interesting.
Pages: 294, plus an interview with the author and a reader's guide at the back.
Copyright Date: 2003
Cover: A woman in a smart suit and a hat, carrying an umbrella, watches a couple embracing.
First line: "Even if she hadn't been the last person to walk through the turnstile at Warren Street tube station, Jack Barker would have noticed the tall, slender woman in the navy blue, thigh-length jacket with a matching pleated skirt short enough to reveal a well-turned ankle."
Best part: This is like the best parts of Night Watch mixed with the best parts of An Unsuitable Job for a Woman.
Worst part: I became very impatient to know more about Maisie's past before it was revealed, and then I wanted to know what was going on with the present while we were still in the past - the chunks of past and present were, in my opinion, too large.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen
Recommended for: Fans of WWI fiction, fans of historical mystery writers like Elizabeth Peters.
Related Reads: This book was compared to #1 Ladies' Detective Agency on the cover, though it is more series. But that's a good book too. I already mentioned Night Watch by Sarah Waters and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by PD James so I guess I'll leave it with three.
Maisie Dobbs is unique. She began life as a costermonger's daughter, worked as a maid and then a nurse. Now she is a private investigator with a degree in ethics. She doesn't search only for the truth, but also for healing for the people that she meets in her work. Will she ever find healing of her own?
This book is really absorbing and different. Mystery fans, especially those who enjoy cozies, shouldn't miss it.