Sunday, 20 March 2011

Maisie Dobbs - a nice little series

I started to read these a few years ago, and am currently reading the latest in paperback.  The author is English, but has lived in the USA for many years.  Maisie Dobbs, a working class girl who by good fortune, gets a first class education, and makes a couple of friends  that will help her in life - with support, not money, is a real heroine.  She lives and works in London - her office is near Warren Street Tube station.  The books are set in the period between WW1 and WW2, and each can be read as a stand alone, but as a series they knit together well, and if read in order they will tell a whole story.  Maisie had a fiance, a doctor, but he was shell shocked in the first world war and never recovered from that.  What makes her different from the usual detective is that she is a phsychologist , and has great empathy with those who need it.  She is also a "new woman" quite unusual at that time - single, own business, employs a male assistant, and manages, throughout each book, to take you with her, through her investigations and her own private thoughts and feelings, in a quite different way from the normal detective series.  Indeed, the crimes she solves are not always murders, and quite often she must deal with the feelings of a client rather than any crime she has been asked to solve.  She drives a rather dinky sports car too.  I like her very much.  The series is as follows:

Maisie Dobbs
Birds of a Feather
Pardonable Lies
Messenger of Truth
An Incomplete Revenge
Among the Mad
The Mapping of Love and Death