I am pleased to continue my reading adventures with Maisie Dobbs with the latest book, A Dangerous Place. I received a free copy for my honest review.
About A Dangerous Place
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper (March 17, 2015)
Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit, and danger.
Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability?and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England: her aging father, Frankie Dobbs, is not getting any younger.
On a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn’t ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, “You will be alone in a most dangerous place,” she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.
And the danger is very real. Days after Maisie’s arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar’s Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on “the Rock” arguably Britain’s most important strategic territory and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.
About Jacqueline Winspear
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other national bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.
I don’t recall how many Maisie Dobbs books I’ve read at this point. I do remember falling in love with the character when I first discovered her and wanting to read everything I could in which she was the focus. Then for some reason the books changed and I became disillusioned with Maisie; the character had changed so much and reading about her lost the thrill it had previously held. I was very hopeful for this new book as at the end of the last one Maisie had left England on a journey of self discovery. I was hoping the next book would share that part of her life.
That is not what I found when I read this tale. Instead Maisie’s trip and the major life changes that occur are compressed into a few short pages in the beginning and all of the build up from the previous book is basically over and done in two minutes of reading. I again felt betrayed and really didn’t want to continue reading but was committed to this review. So continue I did. Maisie is heading home to England but really doesn’t want to be going home. On the way she disembarks in Gibraltar to settle herself. While there she stumbles on a dead body and decides to find out who killed him and why. Her pursuit of this starts to give her life some substance. She also struggles to sort out the culture of Gibraltar and to try and understand the Civil War going on over the border in Spain.
There is a lot going on in this tale. Where did it leave me regarding Maisie? To be honest – meh. The story didn’t really draw me in. Maisie’s attitude baffled me and the story at times just plain bored me. I really hate to write this because I loved this character so much and I just don’t understand where the author is going with her. Ms. Winspear has a way of setting a scene that is very compelling and that has not been lost, it’s just Maisie that is confusing me right now. I’ll give the series one more chance but if the next book is as confusing I’ll be saying farewell to Maisie Dobbs.
You can purchase A Dangerous Place from Amazon.com