A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

  • A Lesson in Secrets
  • By Jacqueline Winspear
  • 336 pages, $25.99
  • Harper, March 22, 2011

It's 1932 England and Maisie Dobbs has just taken her first undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard's Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities, "not in the interests of His Majesty's Government." As in all good mysteries, it's not too long before a dead body appears, this time it's the college's controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote and Maisie is asked to step aside for the gents from Scotland Yard. Just to make Maisie's world a bit more exciting, a new case arrives when young widow Sandra Tapley wants to know why her mechanic husband died in a strange garage related accident.  Familiar characters on the periphery of A Lesson in Secrets include James Compton, Maisie's often absent lover, whose mysterious absences cause Maisie to doubt his love for her,  my favorite Scotland Yard heart throb Insp. Stratton, Maisie's father Frank with an unexpected new love interest, as well as her assistant Billy Beale and his family, and of course Priscilla Partridge. Throw some budding Nazis and their sympathizers and this story is complete. 

Let me just cut to the chase here. I loved this eighth addition to the Maisie Dobbs series. I think author Jacqueline Winspear has added another level to the ever evolving Maisie in A Lesson in Secrets!  

I am drawn to English fiction of this time period, there was so much happening in the years between The Great War and World War II and Ms. Winspear highlights the changing world beautifully. I enjoyed the main story and the subplots as well, all in all...a winner! Maisie Dobbs continues to be a wonderfully brilliant character, not too modern, but not too stodgy. Maisie's just right! 

If I gave a star rating, this would be 4 1/2 out of 5 stars!

This book was provided to me by the publisher at my request and in no way affected by review. 

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