2010: 41. Pardonable Lies

“The young policewoman stood in the corner of the room.”

Pardonable Lies, Jacqueline Winspear

       This is the third Maisie Dobbs book.  And, after much pondering, I have decided that here is my thing with these books.  They are fine - better than fine, really.  In fact, they are well written, and the history seems decent, and the mysteries are usually pretty good, too.  And I totally appreciate Winspear bringing the First World War and its devastating impact to a broader audience.  Indeed, I intend to keep reading the series (in fact, I have book four in my TBR pile, somewhere).  BUT, the more I read, the more wanting I find them.  Like, they should be my favorite books ever, they are so in my wheelhouse (World War 1! Sad after effect of war! Mystery! Lady Detective! Early feminism!), and I am left wanting.  I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I am beginning to suspect it is Our Maisie.  She is just a little bit too much of a Mary Sue for me.  Perhaps if she hadn’t started out as a parlormaid and then been elevated to a position in society I could have swallowed it all a bit better, but to be a genius, and beautiful, and a feisty feminist, and a war nurse, and an Oxford grad, and have elevated your social station just seems like a bridge too far. Oh, and perhaps a little bit psychic.  It’s just a little hard to suspend my disbelief - which is a shame, because I so like the milieu in which Winspear writes, and I want to read oodles of books about the after effect of the War, but I wish Maisie was just a little less perfect and thus a little more believable.

     That having been said, this mystery - which has to do with a rich father fulfilling his deathbed promise to his wife to learn what happened to their son who went missing in France, is pretty good.  A little convoluted, perhaps, but it forces Maisie to go back to France and face some of her past, which is good.  It’s a fun read, and if I didn’t want it to be more, I would say its a great one.

Date/Place Completed:  May 2010; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017