May 6, 2010
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)
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).
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)