May 6, 2010

Pardonable Lies

Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
Mystery - Third in Maisie Dobbs Series
2005 Macmillan Audio, Unabridged Edition
Reader: Orlagh Cassidy
Finished on 4/25/10
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Product Description

In the third novel of this bestselling series, London investigator Maisie Dobbs faces grave danger as she returns to the site of her most painful WWI memories to resolve the mystery of a pilot’s death.

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe. Every once in a while, a detective bursts on the scene who captures readers’ hearts—and imaginations—and doesn’t let go. And so it was with Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs, who made her debut just two years ago in the eponymously titled first book of the series, and is already on her way to becoming a household name.

A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war—one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.

Following on the heels of the triumphant Birds of a Feather, PARDONABLE LIES is the most compelling installment yet in the chronicles of Maisie Dobbs, “a heroine to cherish” (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review).

Another winner!

As with most mystery series, it's less about the whodunit and more about the characters that so appeal to me. After just three books, I've grown to care about Maisie and find myself thinking of her, Billy Beale, Maurice, and Pris as I go about my day. The audio format of these books is perfect for listening in my car. I don't have to concentrate on who is speaking, as the reader does such a fine job differentiating between each character. I had planned to take a break between books, not wanting to blur the lines between each story, but I'm already anxious to get on with the fourth (Messenger of Truth) and have placed a request for it at my library. I can hardly wait!

See what other bloggers are saying about Pardonable Lies:

Part of the magic of this series is that you feel like you are in the same time period while you are reading. Winspear captures the mood of the age through her description of fashion, decor, and through the dialogue spoken between the characters. You really get a sense of what is 'proper'. (Booklogged, of A Reader's Journal)

Winspear does an excellent job relating the devastating effects of WWI on the British and, in this novel, the French. Both countries are still, 13 years later, dealing with the suffering and loss inflicted by the war. (Jenclair, of A Garden Carried In the Pocket)

I'm not a frequent mystery reader but I really enjoy these books, particularly for the setting and the heroine. Maisie uses unique methods to solve her crimes and I found that this book helped me understand why and how she is able to do this. Maisie finds herself in danger in this episode which added to the pace of this novel. All in all, a solid addition to the Maisie Dobbs series which left me wanting more - fortunately I have the next two installments waiting. (Tara, of Books and Cooks)

Like the other books in the series this is as much the mystery stories as it is a portrayal of the time and place. England and France between the World Wars were in the process of healing while at the same time hints of future trouble are coming out of Germany. They’re not action packed adventures, but are slower paced period pieces as much as they are mysteries. I’m looking forward to continuing the series. (SuziQOregon, of Whimpulsive)

Winspear has created a truly unique character and one that has become more complex with each new book. (Iliana, of Bookgirl's Nightstand)

What I do enjoy about this series is Winspear's creation of a realistic setting and atmosphere of the late 1930's in England and France. Every book has transported me there without fail. (Joy, of Thoughts of Joy)


  1. Maisie Dobbs sounds like such a great character. I really need to try one of these books.

  2. I love this series. I hope you enjoy the rest. I just found out that the 7th one is out now. Can't wait to read it!

  3. What can I say? You know how much I love these books!!

    Sorry for yelling..I'm actually yelling at myself!! :D

  5. Kathy - She's a wonderful character. If you don't fall in love with the first book, try it on audio. That did it for me.

    Tricia - They seem to get better with each new book, so I'm sure I'll enjoy the rest. Nice to know there's a back list to enjoy. :)

    Nan - And I thank you for your enthusiastic reviews. Between you and Tara, I was convinced to read more of this series.

    Staci - No worries. :) And as I said to Kathy, if the first book doesn't wow you, try listening to the audio versions. They really draw you into Maisie's world.

  6. I'm so happy to see you're enjoying this series. I started the 4th one (Messenger of Truth) over the weekend. I'm thoroughly enjoying being back in this time and place with Maisie.

    Thanks for including my comments here.

  7. Yay, I'm glad you are liking these! You know, I sort of don't even read these for the mystery. I just really like Maisie's character and I love the setting. I'm reading the latest one right now and it's good!

  8. SuziQ - I'm glad to hear that the 4th is as good as the earlier books. I can't wait to get to the library and get it. I miss Maisie! :)

    Iliana - I'm the same way. I really enjoy the characters and setting much more than the mysteries. It's nice coming into this series a little late in the game. Nice to have a backlist to look forward to. :)

  9. Another winner! YAY! Thanks for adding my wimpy words. :)

  10. Joy - I'm going to be so sad when I finish this series! I should really try to pace myself.

    BTW, your words are never wimpy!


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