A Maisie Dobbs Novel, No. 3
by Jacqueline Winspear
Before reading it, I had somehow gotten
the impression this series was light and fluffy cozies. Boy was I
wrong. These are somewhat unique in being psychological traditional
mysteries in a genre where psychological is always paired with suspense
or thriller. Maisie Dobbs calls herself an Investigator and Psychologist.
And while she engages in real detection to solve real mysteries, the
real focus is examining people -why they are who they are and act
as they do, and how that has ripple effects and consequences for themselves
and others. Including Maisie herself.
All of the series entries involve multiple cases that end up being
intertwined in varied ways, even if only in what they reveal about
human nature. Pardonable Lies revolves around an abused young
teenager likely to be convicted of a murder she can't remember if
she committed or not, the reported war death of the son of a solicitor
who seems burdened with something -but not grief for his son, and
the search for closure about the disappearance during the war of
the brother of one of Maisie's best friends. Maisie was in the war
herself and becomes increasingly aware that searching for closure
for others is going to mean lancing open her own mental wounds from
that time for good or evil. While the risks to her mental state
are matched by threats to her physical health from a series of incidents
that those around her seem to think are just accidents, possibly
caused by her own strained mental state.
is a rich read of many layers in a series that just keeps getting
better. The depiction of post WWI France and England is solid and
believable. There are multiple mysteries with a lovely mixture of
obvious and not so obvious answers, red herrings, and twists and
turns to the end that leave you nicely satisfied when they're done.
But mostly, there are the people. Real, complex people rather than
mere puppets to serve the play; a varied cast that you grow to know
in greater and greater depth and will remember long afterward. Highly
of other titles in this series
Lies, No 3
of Truth, No 4
Incomplete Revenge, No 5
Lesson in Secrets, No 8
Holt and Company, LLC.