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Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries)by Jacqueline Winspear
Synopses & Reviews
An eventful year has passed for Maisie Dobbs. Since starting a one-woman private investigation agency in 1929 London, she now has a professional office in Fitzroy Square and an assistant, the happy-go-lucky Billy Beale. She has proven herself as a psychologist and investigator, and has even won over Detective Inspector Stratton of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad — an admirable achievement for a woman who worked her way from servant to scholar to sleuth, and who also served as a battlefield nurse in the Great War.
It's now the early Spring of 1930. Stratton is investigating a murder case in Coulsden, while Maisie has been summoned to Dulwich to find a runaway heiress. The woman is the daughter of Joseph Waite, a wealthy self-made man who has lavished her with privilege but kept her in a gilded cage. His domineering ways have driven her off before, and now she's bolted again.
Waite's instructions are to find his daughter and bring her home. When Maisie looks into the disappearance she finds a chilling link to Stratton's murder case, and to the terrible legacy of The Great War.
"The eponymous heroine of Winspear's promising debut, Maisie Dobbs (2003), continues to beguile in this chilling, suspenseful sequel set in England a decade after the end of the Great War. Maisie, "Psychologist and Investigator," as the brass nameplate on her office door declares, gets hired by a wealthy industrialist to find his only daughter, Charlotte Waite, who has gone missing. With the help of her cockney assistant, Billy Beale, Maisie sets out to learn all she can of Charlotte's habits, character and friends. No sooner has Maisie discovered the identities of three of these friends than they start turning up dead — poisoned, then bayoneted for good measure. At each crime scene is left a white feather. Increasingly preoccupied with these tragedies, Maisie almost loses sight of her original mission, until it becomes apparent that the murders and Charlotte's disappearance are related. As in her first novel, the author gives an intelligent and absorbing picture of the period, providing plentiful details for the history buff without detracting from the riveting mystery. Readers will be eager to see more of the spunky Maisie, with her unusual career as a one-time maid, nurse and university student." Publishers Weekly
"Maisie Dobbs is a quirky literary creation....Its intelligent eccentricity offers relief."Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air on NPR
"Deft....Prepare to be astonished at the sensitivity and wisdom with which Maisie resolves her first professional assignment....Winspear takes her through her ordeal with great compassion." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"Surprisingly fresh. . . . Her progression from domestic staff to college student to wartime nurse to private investigator is both believable and compelling." San Francisco Chronicle
"This is an utterly enjoyable and painless history lesson and a well-plotted and consistent mystery that will appeal to teens looking for more than just historical fiction." School Library Journal
"As with Winspear?s first novel, Maisie Dobbs, much of the pleasure of being with Maisie lies in the underlying class conflicts that permeate her world...[Birds of a Feather] ends on a satisfying (and teasing) note." David Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle
"It is a wonderful story and I was engrossed to the very end." Patti Eby from Bookbag, The Union Jack Newspaper
"Sinking into a novel this good is as satisfying as sinking into a good leather chair: we know we are in for the duration, and it feels right." Grace Anne A. DeCandido, Booklist
"Winspear skillfully and gradually peels back the layers, eventually revealing the murderer who was there all the time. The fact that there are so few suspects only adds to the ingenuity of the puzzle." Tom and Enid Schantz, Denver Post
"Maisie Dobbs triumphs by not hiding from her own considerable life traumas but by bringing her own compassion and hard-won wisdom to all she encounters." Lin Rolens, Santa Barbara News
"Maisie's liveliness of mind, good sense, and kind nature make her a heroine a reader can enjoy spending time with, and make the next installment in the series something to anticipate with pleasure." Judith Mass, The Boston Globe
"Though she wraps things up in a relatively happy ending, Winspear does not shy away from the moral complexities of guilt and innocence, nor from the post-war despair that hovered over Europe during that "lost generation" era." Frances Lefkowitz, Body & Soul magazine
Maisie Dobbs is back and this time she has been hired to find a wealthy grocery magnate's daughter who has fled from home. What seems a simple case at first becomes complicated when Maisie learns of the recent violent deaths of three of the heiress's old friends. Is there a connection between her mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would kill such charming young women? As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers to all her questions lie in the unforgettable agony of The Great War.
Jacqueline Winspear’s marvelous and inspired debut, Maisie Dobbs, won her fans from coast to coast and raised her intuitive, intelligent, and resourceful heroine to the ranks of literature’s favorite sleuths. Birds of a Feather finds Maisie Dobbs on another dangerously intriguing adventure in London "between the wars." It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. But what seems a simple case at the outset soon becomes increasingly complicated when three of the heiress’s old friends are found dead. Is there a connection between the woman’s mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would want to kill three seemingly respectable young women? As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers lie in the unforgettable agony of the Great War.
About the Author
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in England and later worked in publishing and as a marketing communications consultant in the U.K. before emigrating to the United States. She now lives in California and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom. Birds of a Feather is her second novel featuring Maisie Dobbs.
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