Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs

A Novel

Book - 2004
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"The daughter of a struggling greengrocer, Maisie Dobbs was only thirteen when she was sent to work as a maid for wealthy London aristocrats. But being bright and thoughtful beyond her years, Maisie studies her way to Cambridge, then serves as a nurse on the Front during the Great War. Now it's the spring of 1929, nearly ten years after the Armistice and Maisie has just opened up her own detective agency. Her first assignment, a seemingly open-and-shut infidelity case, will reveal a much deeper, darker mystery, forcing Maisie to revisit the horrors of the war and the ghost she left behind" -- back cover.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2004, c2003
ISBN: 9780142004333
Branch Call Number: PR6123.I575 M35 2004x
Winspear, J
Characteristics: 294 p., 15 p. ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

In her first case, private detective Maisie Dobbs must investigate the reappearance of a dead man who turns up at a cooperative farm called the Retreat that caters to men who are recovering their health after World War I.

Maisie Dobbs has set up on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful. And Fate brings her a case that will force her to confront the ghost that has haunted her for over ten years.

Returning to England after serving as a front-line nurse during World War I, the enterprising Maisie Dobbs takes the unusual step of setting up in business as a private investigator. Her first case takes her to The Retreat, a cooperative farm that acts as a convalescent home for soldiers damaged ... Read More »

Having served as a nurse during World War I, the resourceful Maisie Dobbs returns to a changed England and takes the unconventional step of setting up her own detective agency. The first entry in a series that vividly evokes England after the Great War. Winner of the Agatha Award for Best First N... Read More »

From the critics

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ArapahoePamelaH Jan 31, 2019

The first book in a very popular series stars the eponymous nurse-turned-investigator. Maisie returns to London after serving in WWI and begins investigating wrongs, eventually opening her own agency. She's spunky, warm hearted and smart!

HCL_staff_reviews Jan 14, 2019

Under the backdrop of WWI England and France, housemaid Maisie Dobbs rises from her working class origins to become an unconventional type of private investigator honed to the psychology and frailty of the human mind. Mystery fans of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" and Anne Perry will find a kindred spirit in the Maisie Dobbs series. — Stella R., Maple Grove Library

Apr 07, 2018

Better to read "Pardonable Lies" and "To Die but Once" to get the feel of the character, then go back and read this to get Maisie's background before WWI. The person who thought it was boring, might have started here, but once you have gotten used to the character, it is interesting to read of some of things that shaped her. Great feeling of the atmosphere before WWI. My US Marine uncle died the day after the war ended, from injuries suffered on patrol the day the armistice was signed. Buried in France.

Apr 07, 2018

I thought this book was boring. Not enough conflict for me. Where is the mystery? It seems like a lot of people liked the book, but I didn't. The only thing I liked about the book was the historical details on the war. I have no desire to read more of these books.

Mar 04, 2018

A very deliberate writing style that, over time, seemed to suit the characters and story. Plenty of room left for development, which can only be good for a series...

ArapahoeMarcia Sep 20, 2017

I really enjoyed reading this book - the first in a long series. The author has woven a wonderful story with incredible characters. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

May 02, 2017

I've found another favorite series, author and detective. An extremely enjoyable book and I can't wait to get the next in this series. I look forward to weeks of enjoyment with Ms. Winspear's novels.

VaughanPLZena Mar 14, 2017

For those who like their mysteries with historical detail, social context and fully developed characters with a back story, then Maisie Dobbs, set in England in the aftermath of World War One, is for you.

LPL_KimberlyL Jan 07, 2017

I was craving tea the entire time I read this book! Maisie Dobbs is certainly a likable and clever heroine, though I can only assume she is developed further throughout the series. While the mystery itself was interesting--the best part of the novel involved the flashback to Maisie's past, which will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey (like myself) and those who also enjoy Upstairs, Downstairs.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 10, 2016

I liked this book, the characters, the WWI fiction and the upstairs downstairs aspects. There is a lot of good stuff here but personally I like a bit more grit to my mysteries.

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Jul 27, 2014

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

May 12, 2010

johnson_3 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Apr 14, 2012

"...It is interesting, Maisie, how a time of war can give a human being purpose. Especially when that purpose, that power, so to speak, is derived from something so essentially evil."


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