London, 1931. The night before an exhibition of his artwork opens at a Mayfair gallery, controversial artist Nick Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police rule it an accident, but Nicks twin sister, Georgina isnt convinced, so she seeks out a fellow college graduate, Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, for help. Before long the case ...
London, 1931. The night before an exhibition of his artwork opens at a Mayfair gallery, controversial artist Nick Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police rule it an accident, but Nicks twin sister, Georgina isnt convinced, so she seeks out a fellow college graduate, Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, for help. Before long the case leads Maisie to the beaches of Dungeness, and into the sinister underbelly of the citys art world where she uncovers the perilous legacy of the Great War in a society struggling to recollect itself.
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The blurb on the book's jacket says it is "utterly unique". I guess it is that, but I didn't enjoy it as much as her other books. I didn't really care about the man who died or his secret.
Jan 20, 2011
Everything was perfect: service, condition, and read.
Aug 20, 2008
An Okay Volume in the Maisie Dobbs series
As I said about the third Maisie Dobbs book upon reading it. It is an excellent book as far as the general heading of Mystery Novels go, but as far as a Maisie Dobbs book goes, it is just good.
The latest two installments, I feel, have lacked the character development of Maisie Dobbs I loved in the first two. Not that extensive character development isn't there, but it was even more present in Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather. Maisie's personality was more pleasant then as well. Now that she is older and more confident in her abilities, I find her snippy and downright rude at times. Perhaps she is just becoming more human! At any rate she remains entertaining.
The mystery angle of the book is quite compelling, if not pieced together quite well at the end. Anyone familiar with the plot line of the books will recall that Maisie usually accepts a case and the finds herself stumbling upon an interrelated deeper mystery and/or personal discovery. The way these elements were tied into the client's case in this book was almost a little too tidy and concise....the reader's are told that Maisie knows the answer, but we have little to no information to build our own theory before seeing if it is the correct one or not. So, if you like to solve the mystery yourself before the last page is turned, this one may leave you a feeling a little miffed at the end.
The secondary characters (the Bassington-Hope family) are quite well done though and will be a very good diversion. The young man whose death Maisie is investigating is very interesting indeed.
As said at the top, this book gets an excellent because it is of the top shelf variety of the mysteries out there, but it is a second shelf Maise Dobbs book.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-10-02 Broadway and television veteran Cassidy continues the subtle, sharp vocal performance that earned her awards for the audio version of Winspear's last Maisie Dobbs mystery, Pardonable Lies. There's a lovely, old-fashioned lilt to Cassidy's reading, reminding listeners of the period (it's now 1931 in an England haunted at every level by the war that officially ended 14 years before). There's still a class battle going on, one that Maisie has straddled because of her unique background: a child of London's working class, put into service at 14, then rescued by a patroness who recognized her intelligence and sent her to study at Girton, Cambridge University's pioneering college for women. So Maisie can treat her working-class East London assistant with the same ease and understanding as she handles her current client a woman from a wealthy, eccentric family whose twin brother, an important artist, was killed in a supposed accident. The bonus interview at the end with Winspear makes listeners realize how similar a mindset Maisie and the author possess. Cassidy and Dobbs are a match made in audio heaven. Simultaneous release with the Holt hardcover (Reviews, June 19). (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2006-06-19 In Winspear's winning fourth historical to star British psychologist and PI Maisie Dobbs (after 2005's Pardonable Lies), Georgiana Bassington-Hope, a pioneering female war reporter who was a classmate of Maisie's at Girton College (Cambridge), asks Maisie to investigate the death of her twin brother, Nicholas Bassington-Hope, a WWI veteran and artist. The police have ruled Nick's fall from a scaffold at a Mayfair gallery before his masterpiece could be unveiled an accident, but Georgiana suspects foul play. As Maisie delves into the art world and the dead man's unusual family, the author provides an insightful look at class divisions and dangerous political undercurrents of homegrown fascism in early 1930s Britain. Some might wish that the whodunit side of the story was more developed, but fans of quality period fiction will be well satisfied. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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