As with the other Maisie Hobbs mysteries, the writing is very high quality. There is more of Maisie's coming to terms with her experiences during the war and her time in France. Although the mystery is minor, the psychological effects of war on all parts of society, from soldiers to families who lost loved ones, is explored extensively. Relevant to today's soldiers coming home from overseas. Spoiler alert: there is also the underlying societal prejudice against homosexuals in British society of the 1930's. Father/son relationships and the lies one must tell to survive as a homosexual in the society of the time. As always, a quietly powerful book.
This story is darker and more complex in many ways than the first three. I still find the Maisie character quite stiff and self-absorbed, but we see sides of her here that haven't been explored much yet -- for example, her relationship with her old friend Priscilla, as well as the buried pain she still carries about the war. The author's inevitable little fashion reports ("She was wearing a silk blouse/black shoes/blah blah") jump out as particularly out of place and annoying here in contrast to the deeper story. Despite this, Pardonable Lies is my favourite Maisie Dobbs story so far.
Maisie's current case – proving the death of an aviator during the Great War - leads her to a warm reunion with her college chum, Priscilla, now happily married and living in the South of France and frightening memories dredged up from revisiting the once battle-torn regions where she nursed. Time has moved on and so must Maisie.
The storyline is complex but as usual dove-tails neatly to closure in the sure and certain knowledge that Maisie will be back investigating another crime with far-reaching implications for both herself and her nearest and dearest.
This is the first book in the Maisie Dobbs series. I read it several years ago and decided to re-read the series. The setting is post WWI. The story is strong and Maisie is a strong protagonist. If you like detective novels and historical novels, you will like this series.
This might be my favorite Maisie Dobbs book so far--I love that Winspear continues to look at the long shadow cast by WWI into the 1930s, I enjoy Maisie's continued personal development (despite the fact that she still feels like an oddly distant character, considering she's the protagonist), and I thought the mystery in this one was quite interesting. This is a great choice for mystery and historical fiction fans alike.
With each case Maisie Dobbs solves she draws on her own personal experiences as a nurse in the war. She is not squeamish. In this book her life is threatened more than once.
This is an interesting book about two families who want to know what happened to their men during the war. Maisie must face her fears when she goes to France to find out what happened to these two men. I didn't like the coincidence of these two men knowing each other and how their deaths were intertwined though Maisie thought this normal. The meaning of the title is revealed towards the end though you can guess before the reveal. I will read more in this series.
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