Monday, September 30, 2013

Pardonable Lies: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

While on vacation in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, I started listening to Pardonable Lies, the third of the Maisie Dobbs novels by Jacqueline Winspear, read by Orlagh Cassidy. It was good company when I woke in the night and did not want to turn on cabin lights. With early to bed and early to rise, with much else to do while up, my prospects for listening to much of the book were small. But I am sometimes restless in the night, so I listened to about two thirds of the book over the nine days. I finished after we came home.

"Restless" is also word that can be applied to the character of Maisie Dobbs. It was only through determined and unceasing effort that she escaped being a domestic servant and became a private investigator in 1920s London. By the beginning of her third book, she has made a positive impression on a superintendent at Scotland Yard and is called in to help with the interviewing of a young country girl who was forced into prostitution and is charged with murder. Two other cases come her way within days. It is much to handle, but even when she is weary or ill, Miss Dobbs pushes forward with her investigations.

In Pardonable Lies, Maisie Dobbs has three cases to solve, two of which require she return to France where she worked as a nurse during the war. She also encounters some mysteries beyond her official investigations. A series of accidents especially needs her attention. Finding the truth behind these is vital to her very life.

As with the first two Maisie Dobbs novels, I found that I enjoyed the gradual unveiling of facts and the details of a world long past. Luckily for me, there are still another seven novels, and I will be rooting for Maisie Dobbs for years.

Winspear, Jacqueline. Pardonable Lies: A Maisee Dobbs Novel. Henry Holt, 2005. 342p. ISBN 0805078975.

audiobook: BBC Audiobook America, 2005. 9 compact discs, 11 hours. ISBN 0792737490.

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