Title: A Lesson In Secrets: A Maisie Dobbs Novel
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Hardcover: 336 pages
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
From the Publisher:
Maisie Dobbs’ first assignment for the British Secret Service takes her undercover to Cambridge as a professor—and leads to the investigation of a web of activities being conducted by the emerging Nazi Party.
In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ career takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an 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 inter-ests of His Majesty’s government.”
When the college’s controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, Maisie is directed to stand back as Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Richard Stratton spearhead the investigation. She soon discovers, however, that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillance.
To unravel this web, Maisie must overcome a reluctant Secret Service, discover shameful hidden truths about Britain’s conduct during the Great War, and face off against the rising powers of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—in Britain.
As the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon, this pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs foreshadows new challenges and powerful enemies facing the psychologist and investigator—and will engage new readers and loyal fans of this “outstanding” series (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review).
A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear is the eighth Maisie Dobbs novel, and the fourth I have read. While the book can easily stand alone, it is my belief readers will want to know more about Maisie, I am still working on back reading to get caught up. In A Lesson in Secrets, the book has beloved super-sleuth Maisie confronted by the British Secret Service with a rather odd assignment. Maisie is to join the ranks of the faculty at a new university established in Cambridge. Her undercover role as a professor of philosophy has her investigating the pacifistic opinions subscribed to by the university president along with many of the faculty, and to assess the threat that such opinions may impose towards the British Crown. In classic form, Winspear reveals that the surficial attitudes outwardly portrayed by many at the university are not as simply characterized as at first appearance. A Lesson in Secrets reads like a cozy mystery, yet is not technically so classified as all the characters are not known upfront, but rather the reader uncovers the mystery with Maisie. I enjoyed following the clues, trying to get ahead of Maisie and was regaled by the delightfully crafted tale of Maisie’s latest case. I would recommend A Lesson in Secrets to anyone who enjoys an intriguing mystery.
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education, and in marketing communications in the UK.
She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.
A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women’s magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She lives in California and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom and Europe.
Jacqueline’s novels thus far—Maisie Dobbs, Birds of a Feather, Pardonable Lies, Messenger of Truth, An Incomplete Revenge, and Among the Mad are set in the late 1920s and early 1930s, with the roots of each story set in the Great War, 1914–1918. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards.
To learn more about the author and her books, please visit her website.
I received a complimentary ARC of A Lesson In Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear from Harper to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.