Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birds of a Feather: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Book 2)

Books Completed: 23
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 360
Publication Date: June, 2004

Reason for Reading: Book Two in the Maisie Dobbs series. I read book one last year, but apparently never reviewed it.
Jacqueline Winspear's marvelous and inspired debut, Maisie Dobbs, won her fans from coast to coast and raised her intuitive, intelligent, and resourceful heroine to the ranks of literature's favorite sleuths. Birds of a Feather finds Maisie Dobbs on another dangerously intriguing adventure in London "between the wars." It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. But what seems a simple case at the outset soon becomes increasingly complicated when three of the heiress's old friends are found dead. Is there a connection between the woman's mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would want to kill three seemingly respectable young women? As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers lie in the unforgettable agony of the Great War.
I can't believe I never reviewed book one in this series! I really was slack on the reviewing front last year. Anyway, I actually really like this series, even if it is a mystery series. I am not big on ones set in a more modern period, but I have enjoyed several with historical settings. This series takes place in between the First and Second World War. The Depression years were just about to set in, actually, which is something that was mentioned throughout the book.

My favourite thing about this series, so far, is how there is of course the mystery, but Winspear also works a lot of historical elements into the novel. Maisie might be a bit revolutionary for her time: being a detective and having her own business, but she also is plagued with the same problems that other women of her age and class experienced during the early to mid-twentieth century. Things were going to change again with the declaration of war, but for now, everyone is trying to come to terms with what happened during the first major war and get on with their lives. To solve this case, though, Maisie has to go back to the events of World War I, which I found really interesting.

So, maybe I should mention the case a bit. A local businessman has employed Maisie's services to search for his missing daughter. She has run off before, but this time he really has no idea where she is and wants her back safe and sound in his house. Maisie is not sure what to make of the case or the missing heiress, but it turns out to be quite the chase when other wealthy women starting turning up dead. Could the missing heiress be next, or has she already been murdered? These are just some of the things that Maisie has to wonder as she chases down the truth.

I really like this series so far. There are lots of interesting return characters, not just Maisie. Maisie also is shown to have a life, it is not only about the case with no character development. The same could be said for many of the secondary repeat characters, they also are given time to develop. It makes for a really interesting series, I must say! I am looking forward to reading more!


  1. I love the Maisie Dobbs books and read them as soon as they come out. I think they get better as they go and it has been interesting to see how Maisie develops over time. The secondary characters also grow and change over time. This is such a fascinating era to read about, I think. Glad to hear you've been enjoying the books.

  2. I've read the first two in this series and really enjoyed them. I hope to get to the 3rd one soon.

  3. Danielle: I have the third Maisie Dobbs book on the go right now. I really like the series! My plan is to be caught up by the end of the year, and if the quality keeps up, that is very doable!

    Suzi: It's a good series! The third one is pretty good so far, actually. :)


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