Monday, March 16, 2015

A Lesson in Secrets: 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:

In the summer of 1932, the career of psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an undercover assignment from the British Secret Service. 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 controversial pacifist founder, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, however, Maisie is directed to stand back as her colleagues in Scotland Yard spearhead the investigation. But she soon discovers that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty members and students under her surveillance. To unravel this web, the investigator must overcome a reluctant Secret Service, discover shameful hidden truths about Britain’s conduct during the Great War, and face off against the rising power of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—as the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon.

my thoughts:

TLC Book Tours is proclaiming March to be the "Month of Maisie Readalong for Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series" - how exciting!  Especially, since later this month the eleventh book ( A Dangerous Place )in the series will be released - hurrah!  I can't wait to tell you all about it!  For now, I will be sharing with you my thoughts on Winspear's eighth novel in the series titled, A Lesson in Secrets.  Here goes:

Maisie Dobbs is being followed and she's not in the mood to keep ignoring the two men in the black car any longer.  So, she confronts them and discovers that Special Branch (from Scotland Yard) is behind the tail and books an appointment to speak with Macfarlane later in the day.  Turns out he's working alongside the Secret Service and they want her for a special job.  Seems that a private college may or may not have the best interests of the country at heart, so they need someone to be their eyes and ears on campus.   And, since Maisie has the academic and professional resume needed to fill the recently open teaching position at the school, well - she's the woman for the job.  Plus, they know she's rather good on reading people and investigating situations.  With a thought about her old mentor Maurice (who recently passed away), Maisie decides to accept the job.  She tells everyone that Maurice has always wanted her to teach, which is why she has decided to spend the next few months teaching at a small college in Cambridge.

Once settled into her new digs and role as junior lecturer, Maisie is on the case.  She observes and reports her findings to Huntley (from the Secret Service), but soon her position is tested when the founder of the college is murdered.  Torn between sticking to her job as school monitor for the Secret Service (and the Yard) and her investigator inklings to find the murderer, Maisie decides to do it all - on the down low, of course.  Soon enough, she finds out more than a few hidden secrets about the staff she now works with.  And she also manages to solve a case close to home, discover her father's new love life, and get a surprise from her beau James Compton.  Talk about all in one - this book is chock full of suspense, mystery, intrigue, and love.  A Lesson in Secrets is a terrific addition to the Maisie Dobbs series.

I absolutely loved catching up with Maisie following Maurice's death.  It was great to see her moving forward and making plans for her self and her loved ones - think urging her father Frank to move into her new huge house (The Dower House) and figuring out how to get the Beales' to rent a new home from her for next to nothing.  Yep, all Maisie can think of to do with her new money is to help others.  Plus, she is trying to settle into her new home as well.  She's surrounded her self with Maurice's old files and documents to read through, so that she can continue to learn more about him and from him.  So much is changing in Maisie's personal life, but not her professional life leading her to believe that this new assignment is just what she needs to shake her out of her doldrums (well, work doldrums). And believe you me she gets shaken up.

If you want to find out what other bloggers are posting about Winspear's fantastic Maisie Dobbs series, here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Month of Maisie

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


trish said...

Sounds like a great addition to the series! I normally start a series at the beginning, but I'm tempted to start with this one and then go back to the beginning! It's kind of fun to see where a character ends up, and then start from the beginning to see the journey. I did that with another series and really enjoyed it!

Thanks for being on the tour!

Nadia said...

Trish, it really was. I loved this book! That's how I wound up falling in love with Maisie Dobbs - by reading one of the books in the middle and then working my way from the beginning. I think you'll really enjoy the series :)

Lisa said...

I've enjoyed the Maisie books that I've read but I really feel like I'd enjoy them even more if I started back at the beginning so I could really see her and the other characters develop.

Nadia said...

Lisa, I know what you mean. The first book I read was right in the middle, so I went back to the beginning since I liked it so much. And now I'm a HUGE fan of the series :)