Jane’s Boekentips

A LESSON IN SECRETS by Jacqueline Winspear

This book review is for those who have never read Winspear before and for those ardent fans of her main character—Maisie Dobbs. My goal is to get everyone to read this mystery series and please believe me when I reassure you that this series is popular with men and women. Don’t assume that these books are just for women, they cross over that sexual reading line and actually appeal to men.

A LESSON IN SECRETS is the eighth title in the series and there have been many changes in Maisie’s life. One of the strengths of this series is that Maisie, who was a maid as a young girl and then a nurse during the Great War, has grown into a successful private detective and has adapted to the changing world around her. This is not a mystery series that stays locked into sameness, Winspear has developed characters according to their personal lives and to the dramatic changes in England after World War I. And now, it is 1932, and there is talk of a potentially dangerous man in Germany who is appealing to some young people in England. Maisie is approached by the British Secret Service to keep her eyes and ears open in Cambridge and she basically goes undercover in a university.

I cannot stress enough to you to read this series in the order it was published and that is for one very important reason. Winspear writes her books in sequence and you will fully appreciate what she does with the characters and the years after the war. Start with the first book, MAISIE DOBBS, and step into her world. I know of teenagers who love these books and they have told me that they had no idea what happened after World War I. I don’t think they are the only ones, many of us did not know how this war impacted the survivors. In addition to the historical setting, let’s not forget that these are wonderful mysteries that are smartly written.

Get to know Maisie Dobbs, and if you already do, then pick up an old friend.

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  • aledysver  On June 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation, Jane! This post makes me really curious to read this series. The setting and the description of this title in particular sounds very interesting!

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