The desk clerk took Maisie’s Baedecker guide, opened the map inside, and lifted his pencil. “May I?”
“Of course,” said Maisie. “I need to know where I’m going.”
Flourishing the pencil, the clerk marked the place where Maisie could board a tram and the point at which she should step off. He told her where to walk, and made a note in the margin of his favorite coffeehouse, where he informed her that she could buy a slice of the very best apple strudel. Maisie thanked the man and set off.
For a Maisie-inspired apple strudel recipe, click here.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Maisie Dobbs is about private investigator/ psychologist Maisie Dobbs and her many crime solving adventures in post-World War I London. As can be inferred from the cover, time has lapsed since the first novel which took place in 1929 and World War II looms on the horizon. Bringing back beloved old characters and introducing a few intriguing new ones, Maisie’s work becomes entangled with the international conflict.
I fear there’s not much else I can discuss without spoiling both this and the previous 11 novels. If you haven’t read Maisie Dobbs, though, you must! Winespear is a masterful writer who pulls you into Maisie’s world so that by the time you’re finished you feel as though you’re living in 1930s London where every place and person has been touched in some way by the War.
She also doesn’t fail to capture the increasingly tense climate growing in Europe as World War II approaches. I love Maisie’s insightfulness and compassion throughout the novels, as with the following:
“I saw two German girls playing. They must have been seven or eight. Both wrapped up warm and looking for the stray cat they’d befriended, to give it some food. Then they went on their way.”
“That sounds riveting, Fraulein D.”
“Give it a little while, and it might be: one was Jewish, and the other wasn’t. They were playing where they might not be seen, because one set of parents had forbidden their daughter to play with her friend–perhaps for the safety of both children, who knows? Given the climate here, on must be careful before pointing the finger of blame. But that’s the great sadness of any act of discrimination, isn’t it? When children cannot play together.”
Are you a Maisie fan? Do you have a favorite novel or character in the series? Are you, like me, wondering just how long you’ll be forced to waste away before being gifted with the thirteenth novel?!