A Lesson in Secrets

A Lesson in Secrets

eBook - 2011
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Private investigator Maisie Dobbs receives her first assignment from the British Secret Service in A Lesson in Secrets, the eighth book in Jacqueline Winspear's award-winning mystery series. Sent to pose as a junior lecturer at a private college in Cambridge, she will monitor any activities "not in the interests of His Majesty's government." When the college's pacifist founder is murdered, Maisie finds herself in the midst of sinister web of murder, scandal, and conspiracy, activities that point towards members of the ascendant Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei--the Nazi Party--on Britain's shores. An instant classic, and sure to captivate long-time Maisie Dobbs fans as well as readers of Agatha Christie, Elizabeth George, and Alexander McCall Smith, A Lesson in Secrets is "a powerful and complex novel, one that will linger in memory as a testament to her talent and her humanity" (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
Publisher: [New York] : HarperCollins e-books, 2011.
ISBN: 9780062079237
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 electronic text.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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j
jsjs
Dec 03, 2016

Here is a copy of the review I posted on Goodreads (Goodreads user name Joan, from Stratford ON):

I liked this installment of Maisie Dobbs a lot, although I am dismayed by one thing. Without spelling it out, let's just say that Winspear has -- without batting an eyelash -- suddenly jettisoned Maisie's personal life into the post-sexual-revolution 21st century, and Maisie's inner circle seems virtually blasé about it. Ack! Screaming anachronism. I'm also watching with fascination as Maisie bit by bit becomes (or is set to become) one of the most propertied women in England.

That said, the story has a good balance and atmosphere. I found it interesting that the national powers that be were busy looking for destructive influences but missed the one that was right under their noses.

m
marthabwaters
Nov 03, 2015

I liked this installment in the Maisie Dobbs series, but after the spectacular seventh installment (The Mapping of Love and Death), I found this one a teensy bit of a letdown -- it almost felt like we were treading water. The mystery was interesting enough, and yet somehow I kept expecting some sort of revelation with more oomph to pop up late in the book. And in Maisie's personal life, it also felt like we weren't making much progress, though I continue to enjoy the storyline surrounding her relationship with James. I still think this was a solid installment, and not my least favorite in the series by any means, but I was left wanting a bit more foreward motion. (Which, of course, means that I'm eager to pick up book #9.)

s
Suzanne1979
Jun 01, 2013

Have loved all of this series. Winspear always keeps me guessing until the very end of the book. I highly recommend the entire series!

k
KarenW
May 23, 2013

When Maisie Dobbs is sent on a mission for the British secret service, she goes undercover as a teacher at a college. Surrounded by a cast of characters that could all be suspects in subterfuge, Maisie must use her powers of deduction to stop a net of espionage that is about to involve Britain in the coming Nazi menace.
Unfortunately Maisie is perfect and fearless she is not a character I would enjoy reading about again.

s
sandfordross
May 09, 2012

A rather shallow and insipid book.

gracindaisy May 03, 2012

Maisie Dobbs goes undercover for Scotland Yard & the Secret Service, posing as a philosophy teacher at a small college in Cambridge in 1932.

m
MDianeRogers
Sep 21, 2011

Really like this series of mysteries. This wasn't as satisfying as most though - the characters felt too obvious. However the historical background and the conflicts resulting were interesting. I hope these will be explored further in the next novel.

f
foilista
Aug 07, 2011

i <3 maisie dobbs

l
ladyparasol
Jul 06, 2011

I love the Masie Dobbs character. I have read all of the books in this series. This book was probably my least favorite. But that is mainly because I really liked all her other books. Interesting series given time and place. It will be interesting how the author handles the Nazis and the years leading to Word War II.

DanniOcean Jul 05, 2011

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette's Shelf Life column

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Mary43 Jul 20, 2011

I have read almost all of the Maisie Dobbs books, missing only one. I love the mysteries. Jacqueline Winspear is a wonderful writer taking me right with her characters on their journeys. I feel I know them now, and always look forward to her next book.
A little lesson in history comes along for the ride!

DanniOcean Jul 05, 2011

In the eighth Maisie Dobbs novel, the private investigator feels the winds of change upon her. Her business is successful, she is newly wealthy (thanks to the legacy of her former mentor), and after years of healing from physical and emotional wounds sustained during WWI, she has finally found love once more. But there are much wilder winds approaching her homeland as well. There is a new political party making waves in Britain, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – The Nazi Party. While her faithful employee Billy keeps the business running smoothly, Maisie is seconded to the Secret Service. Her mission: to infiltrate a college at her alma mater, Cambridge, to sniff out any events or attitudes that are anti-British. But Jacqueline Winspeare hasn’t turned the Maisie Dobbs series into one of espionage – as Maisie takes up her post a murder falls into her lap, and she finds that her two jobs intersect in a very brutal way. And then the school’s secretary goes missing. And then so does her new employee, Sandra, whose husband met with a mysterious accident at work. As if this was not enough on her plate, Maisie finds she has doubts of her new flame’s feelings – he is supposed to be in Canada, but his letters are posted in England. And why is her beloved father so reluctant to move into a bigger home, now that Maisie can afford to see him comfortably settled in retirement? What is Frankie Dobbs trying to hide? With several domestic puzzles to solve as well as those of greater international import, Maisie truly does get A Lesson in Secrets from all sides. The novel is told in its carefully constructed way, although Maisie herself has loosened up considerably from her first novel.

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