Skip to main content

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8) by Jacqueline Winspear: A Book Review

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8)
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 2011
Pages:  477
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ career goes in an exciting new direction 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 interests 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 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 war, and face off against the rising powers of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—in Britain. 

     A pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs, A Lesson In Secrets marks the beginning of her intelligence work for the Crown. As the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon, Maisie will confront new challenges and new enemies—and will engage new readers and loyal fans of this bestselling mystery series.

     My Review: Maisie has been hired by the British Secret Service to spy on Greville Liddicote at the College of St. Francis. She is disguised as a junior lecturer and teaches philosophy. Her job goes smoothly until Greville Liddicote turns up dead. As Maisie searches for the murderer, she learns that there is a conspiracy, for their are members in the college that support the Nazi Party. Maisie’s clues also lead to a secret that leads to the Great War.

     This setting took a different turn from the regular London setting. The setting is mostly set at a college in Cambridge. However, the college setting shows how academics are affected by the rise of the Nazi Party. I loved how Maisie was a professor at the small college. I loved how she used what she learned from Maurice to teach philosophy. I would have liked to learn more about her lectures, but it was mostly about the mystery surrounding Greville Liddicote.

      Maisie is very bright and observant. She notices the small details about her classmates. She is also a very compassionate friend and helps get Sandra back on her feet. She does have her doubts about her relationship with James. She can be pushy with her father. She wants him to leave his cottage and move in with her at the Dower House. Still, despite her flaws, she is a woman who wants to help out her friends. Her insistence on helping her friends make her friends a bit overwhelmed at times, but they know she means well. She is a strong woman who can overcome her obstacles.

    Overall, this book is full of secrets, deception, and the rise of WWII. I was happy that this novel featured all my favorite characters. I adored the beautiful setting of the campus college. This was a nice change of scenery in the Maisie Dobbs novels. I was saddened that this is so far the only book where Maisie is a professor at the college. I hope she teaches at other colleges in latest installments.  It is obvious A Lesson in Secrets is leading into WWII for it discusses the rise of Hitler. A Lesson in Secrets is a very fast-paced mystery that is filled with historical details. This novel will be sure not to disappoint fans of the Maisie Dobbs series, and hopefully Maisie will continue to thrill us with her adventures!

Rating: 5 out  of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

Dreamland Author: Nancy Bilyeau Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense Publisher: Lume Books Release Date: 2020 Pages: 291 Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.       The invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.      But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of. Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal, and deadly secrets. And as bodie