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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Maisie Dobbs

by Jacqueline Winspear (read August 2006) Rating: 5/5
I had seen this book reviewed on several different reading blogs. All comments were complimentary and since I love a good mystery I decided to give it a try. I was of the mindset that it was written ages ago and was a bit frothy, but not so. This novel was published in 2003, even though the cover makes it look like it came out in the 1930's.

Maisie sets up business as a private investigator in 1929. She starts out with a simple mystery to solve - tracking a wife's wereabouts while her husband is at work. But questions remain. Winespear deftly weaves together the present day mystery with the questions the reader has about Maisie's life prior to 1929. The characters were full-bodied and real - people you want to meet again. Luckily there are sequels and I can't wait to read them.

From the time she was a young girl, Maisie was tutored, first in school and later in private investigating, by Maurice Blanche. All the quotes I marked are advice from Maurice.

"Truths walk toward us on the paths of our questions. As soon as you think you have the answer, you have closed the path and may miss vital new information. Wait awhile in the stillness, and do not rush to conclusions, no matter how uncomfrotable the unknowing."

"Stay with the question. The more it troubles you, the more it has to teach you.

"Dawn is an almost mystical hour. A time when the light is most likely to deceive the eye, a time between sleep and waking. A time when a man is likely to be at his weakest. Dawn is a time when soft veils are draped across reality, creating illusion and cheating truth. It is said, it is darkest just before dawn."

9 comments:

Myke said...

I love that quote! It reminds me of the only line I underlined in The Peace Giver, "don't be so quick to understand." That one was bare bones, this one really fleshes it out for me thanks!

Bellezza said...

I love mysteries! I really like the quotes you wrote down, especially, "Wait while in the stillness, and do not rush to conclusions, no matter how uncomfortable the unknowing." This is hard for me to do! I want to solve thins NOW.

It's great to read books that make you think, and that point you to some answers as they entertain.

Danielle said...

Glad to see another Maisie Dobbs fan. I have followed all her adventures. There is a new mystery coming out this month (the 4th).

Danielle said...

Her 4th mystery I should say!

Alyson said...

Here's another to add to my list! It sounds great. I even thought it looked great before reading your review.

Myke, I can't believe that was the only quote you underlined in Peacegiver. It is a good quote, but I have hundreds of quotes in that book highlighted.

Lotus Reads said...

Ooooh, the quotes are just beautiful, booklogged! Rumi (the Persian/Sufi poet) also talks about the mystical nature of the dawn. The Sufis believe that it is at dawn that the veil separating man and god is at its thinnest - perhaps this is why the Ismaelis and other sects practice meditation at 4:00am.

I also loved the quote about "staying with the question". Beautiful.

SuziQoregon said...

I've seen reviews of this one before. Love the quotes. It's going on my list!!

Lesley said...

I've got the first two books sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. I'm not typically a mystery reader, but these books appealed to me (I admit being first attracted by the trade PB cover art) and by the sounds of it, I should move this up the 'to read' list!

Kirsten said...

I just started this one myself after seeing it recommended on other people's blogs. Glad to hear you liked it! So far I am enjoying it quite a bit.