Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3) by Jacqueline Winspear: A Book Review

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3)
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery 
Publisher: Picador
Release Date: 2006
Pages: 384
Source: My State Public Library
 Synopsis: London 1930, psychologist investigator Maisie Dobbs must prove Sir Cedric's aviator son Ralph Lawton died when shot down in 1917. In former battlefields of France, she re-unites with Priscilla Evernden, one of whose three brothers lost in the War is somehow connected. The case tests Maisie's spiritual strength and her regard for mentor Maurice Blanche.

     My Review: Maisie Dobbs is hired by Sir Cedric to find evidence that his son, Ralph Lawton, has been killed in the war. The case leads her to France, where her best friend Priscilla also asks her to find her brother’s lost grave. As Maisie journeys to France, she finds that the two cases are connected. As she delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding these two lost soldiers, Maisie begins to question her mentor, Maurice, with whom she holds in the highest regard.

     The cases for Maisie were tough on Her emotionally. Maisie follows their trail to France, where it forced her to remember the horrors she experienced as a nurse in WWI. Thus, this storyline was very fascinating to me because while Maisie is tough on the outside, she is still a very vulnerable woman who is suffering from the effects of the war. Therefore, Maisie was a very relatable woman that I could connect to. There were some parts that I didn’t like about her. She seemed to be avoiding her boyfriend, who generally seemed very concerned for her. I didn’t like the way she treated him, for she was very mean to him. Maisie could also have been unforgiving at times. Still, despite these unfavorable aspects of her character, Maisie seemed more sympathetic.

     Overall, this book shows the trauma and after effects of WWI for all those involved. While Maisie was well-rounded, I would have liked more development of the supporting characters, such as Maurice and Andrew. I also thought the mysteries were predictable. However, I found Priscilla's to be more intriguing than Sir Cedric’s case. So far, these mysteries have been very compelling. The only thing that I don’t like about the series is how she solves the cases. She doesn’t solve them through logic, but through spiritualism. It feels very modern to me and a very lazy form of writing for Maisie to use her imagination of what happened to solve the cases. Despite this concern, I can’t wait to read the fourth book in the Maisie Dobbs series, Messenger of Truth

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



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