Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit, and danger.

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability—and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England: her aging father, Frankie Dobbs, is not getting any younger.

On a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn’t ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, “You will be alone in a most dangerous place,” she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.

And the danger is very real. Days after Maisie’s arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar’s Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on “the Rock”—arguably Britain’s most important strategic territory—and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

my thoughts:

They day my postman delivered my copy of A Dangerous Place I literally whooped for joy.  I was so happy to have in my hands the latest book in the Maisie Dobbs series - the eleventh novel in fact.  So, I settled into my favorite reading spot and dove straight in.  For the next few hours all I did was sob and sigh.  Yes, I was an emotional mess as I learned about everything our beloved Maisie had endured since leaving to India.  For poor Maisie had experienced some MAJOR losses during her time away from us. Instead of the "happily ever after" that I was hoping to read about, I found myself learning how Maisie became so sad and depressed.  At long last they married -  James Compton and Maisie Dobbs.  Hurrah!  They moved to Canada together and were living a wonderfully, happy smug married life.  There was even a baby on the way.  Talk about exciting!  I was thrilled to learn about Maisie's new life.  And then I read about the end of it all.  You see, James was still involved with the creation of new war planes and even though he had promised Maisie he would now be a man on the ground, he agreed to fly once more.  Maisie saw the flight that day and she saw her husband come crashing down to the ground.  She lost James and the baby in one fell swoop.  I was devastated. Oh, how I cried for Maisie and her family.  I couldn't believe that Winspear would do this to Maisie after all she has been through - her mother, the war, Simon, Maurice.  But she did.  And now we have Maisie the widow, the bereaved.  Oh, how my heart broke for her.

In A Dangerous Place, we find Maisie literally and figuratively in dangerous places.  Mired in grief, Maisie has spent some time alone, lost in her thoughts and sadness.  But, after receiving a letter from her stepmother, she has decided to head back home to Old Blighty.  Except, that she's not ready to face the familiar, so she settles in Gibraltar - a place close to home, but not too close.  Also, a place bordering a civil war next door in Spain, which means that danger is near.  Of course, Maisie takes it all in stride, thanks to her morphine pills.  Yes, Maisie has taken to popping pills now and again to dull the pain that overwhelms her.  She's even taken up smoking - if only Pris could see her now!  However, one night when she is out walking she stumbles upon the body of a dead man and soon finds herself investigating his death.  Maisie packs away the morphia and draws a case map in the hopes of getting lost in her work once again.  Unfortunately, she soon finds herself being tailed by a local man named Arturo Kenyon and eventually by Macfarlane.  Yeah, Maisie just can't seem to lose herself completely from family and friends - they all want to know where she is and how she's faring.  In the end, she does eventually figure out what she needs to do in order to slay this new dragon that won't let her go and investigative work, England, and morphia are certainly not the answers.  To find out what happens to Maisie, you must pick up a copy and read.  Fans of this series will be so happy they did.  I absolutely LOVED A Dangerous Place.  It is now one of my favorite books in the series.  Of course, I was gobsmacked to find out what had transpired since we last heard from Maisie, but in the end Winspear brought our beloved Maisie back to life (and I just loved reading all about it).  I most definitely can't wait for the next book in the series and can only hope that it comes out much sooner than later.

To find out what other bloggers are saying about Jacqueline Winspear's latest Maisie Dobbs book, check out the 
link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: A Dangerous Place
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Anonymous said...

The problem for me was coming to Maisie too late. Everyone loves her, but me! I know I should have begun with the first, or as my friend says, with Birds of a Feather, but I simply could not finish A Dangerous Place. Glad it worked for you, though.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

M, I can understand coming into it so far from the beginning and not being able to gel with the story. I do wish you had begun with the first one though, because I really do believe you would have enjoyed the series. Your fried is right - Birds of a Feather is one you would have loved. Oh well, we can't all love the same books, right?

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I can imagine the heart-break that Maisie must have gone through, and I'm so glad that she seems to be coming back to herself by the end of this story.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

Brona said...

I had read dolce's review for this & it coincided with my feelings for book 8. I haven't picked up one since, but now you have me rethinking it :-)

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Heather, it was such a great book! I loved it :) Thanks for having me on the tour.

Brona Joy, check it out if you can. I really think you will enjoy it.

Galina Krasskova said...

i love this series but i do wish that the author hadn't married maisie off. I hated all the nonsense about her dating and personal life. Such a powerful character reduced to what? Someone's wife and mother (and in those days it was expected she'd not work)? I had given up on the series after Elegy to Eddie but reading this review, I"m glad she's back. I'll have to pick it up again.

(I really like how WWI weighed so heavily on the characters in the first four or five novels...it really showed the devastation to an entire generation and we forget that, I think. It's equally interesting to see WWII looming on the horizon in the last couple of books).