Monday, July 20, 2009

An Incomplete Revenge: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Book 5)

*Note: Because of library due dates, I did wind up reading book 5 before book 4 in this series! Something I try to avoid, but it was just how things worked out!
With the country in the grip of economic malaise, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment to investigate a potential land purchase. Her inquiries take her to a picturesque village in Kent during the hop-picking season, but beneath its pastoral surface she finds evidence that something is amiss. Mysterious fires erupt in the village with alarming regularity, and a series of petty crimes suggest a darker criminal element at work. A peculiar secrecy shrouds the village, and ultimately Maisie must draw on her finely-honed skills of detection to solve one of her most intriguing cases yet.
Title and author of book: An Incomplete Revenge: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Book 5)

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre? Historical Fiction. Historical Mystery.

What led you to pick up this book? This is one of the series that I am aiming to finish this year. I just have to read book 6, the newest one, and I am all caught up!

Summarize the plot, but don’t give away the ending! See above...

What did you like most about the book? Anyone that knows me will know that I am not a big fan of mysteries. It is just not a genre that I read a lot. I love this series, though! The use of actual history makes the series a learning experience, while at the same time there is a mystery to solve. The series is set leading up to the second World War, so it is the Great Depression around this time. Maisie, though, was in the First World War, which is a subject that comes up again and again throughout the series. This means that Winspear talks about the times as they are now, but also flashes back to Maisie's past. I learn a lot reading these books. The World Wars have some of the best books set during them, which makes it a time period that I am usually pretty quick to pick up a new book set during.

What did you like least? Nothing really jumps to mind.

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books? Yes. At this point I have one more to read and then I am caught up. I will be reviewing book four after book five, though. Birds of a Feather (Book 2) and Pardonable Lies (Book 3). I read book one last year, but I didn't review it.

What did you think of the main character? I love Maisie. She is a fantastic character! If I didn't love her, I probably would not have read almost the entire series. She is a bit remarkable for her time period, but Winspear pulls it off. Her sweetheart was severely injured during the First World War, so she has been essentially single ever since. She is a career woman. She suits her time period, though. She might solve cases and act as a bit of a psychologist, but she doesn't overstep the boundaries of how women lived during this period. I love how Winspear has a mystery as the main part of the book, but at the same time with each new book you learn more about Maisie. As a result of five books, I feel like I really know her. I look forward to learning more about her in the future books. Frankly, Winspear writes good characters period. The secondary characters develop throughout the novels, too, which is another thing that I really like about the series.

What about the ending? I have no complaints about the ending. Any loose ends you know are going to be cleared up in future books, so there is no stress. The mysteries are always tied up by the end, but the character development is an on-going thing.

I strongly recommend this series!


  1. Thanks for these reviews. I just finished book 3 and am awaiting the mailman's delivery of 4 and 5. I would never have read any of them if I had not seen your earlier reviews. I am enjoying them very much- period mysteries (when well done, of course) are among my favorite genres.

  2. One of my favorite current authors. She has such a great sense of time and place. I have one left to read sitting on my shelf.

  3. I am the same, I do not read mysteries, but I love this series.