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.
©2004 Jacqueline Winspear; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks
I listened to the first book in the series and liked it so much I purchased the second before I was quite finished. I didn't notice that the narrator was different. Within five minutes of beginning the second book I would have asked to return it, if I thought it were possible! This woman speed reads her way through the book, making Maisie sound like a zombie and Billy sound like a total idiot. I have no idea what the narrator of the 3rd and 4th installments is like, but I WILL listen to a preview first. I wish I had taken the time to read this one in print, and I may do that yet, as the awful narration spoiled my enjoyment of the story.
I recommend the story - but not the narration.
This is the first time I've listened to a book in this series. I enjoyed the story very much, but I have to say that the narrator is the MOST irritating I've ever heard. The main character's voice is fine, at least until the final scene, but several of the others speak with a horrible whining screech. In the early chapters, it is only the women who speak so annoyingly, but as the book progresses, the men too start speaking this way. EEEeergh!
The adventures of Maisy Dobbs continue in this second book of the series. The character development is great, and I found the mixing of mystery with the main character's skills of intuition, compassion, and integrity very enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed the reader's accent and ability to bring characters to life with her change of voices. Her quick manner of speaking took a few minutes to adjust to, but then was not noticed for the rest of the book. It's best to read the first book in the series before reading this one, in order to get a foundation for the characters.
As much as I love Ms. Winspear's books, I have to give this one a lower rating because of the narrator. Either the narrator (and producer?) thought this sounded better read at mach 12 speed or something has gotten messed up on the production end. Whatever the reason, I find it impossible to listen to. When Ms. Hicks narrates Billy's part, it feels like fingernails down a chalkboard. Brrrrr! I guess I'll read the print copy instead. The narrator of the first and subsequent books is far superior to Ms. Hicks, in my opinion.
I am enjoying this series and while I enjoyed the story line on this one, she started getting into some metaphysical stuff that made me sigh. It wasn't excessive or enough to keep me from reading the next one, just not quite what I've come to expect from this series. I would definitely recommend reading the Maisie Dobbs books in order, especially beginning with the first one which is critical to set up the characters and background that makes exploring the rest of the series much more fun.
Yarn shop owner, audiobook addict because I can knit and read at the same time.
I disagree with the bad reviews given to this narrator, Kim Hicks. I enjoyed her just as much as Rita Barrington (the narrator of Maisie Dobbs, the first book in the series.) She did a marvelous job with the various accents, and I didn't feel that it was too fast or grating. I guess it just shows that you should definitely preview the narration before buying! I'm off to get the third in the series, and try Orlaugh Cassidy.
I read the other reviews after I had already purchased the book, so I began to listen to it with trepidation, due to the criticism of the narrator in some of the other reviews. But after listening to it, I think there must have been a technical problem with their experience that has since been remedied. The narrator was neither unduly speedy nor screechy, in my opinion. I enjoyed the book very much.
This book holds a great story of deep sadness resulted from The Great War. The reader is reminded of the devastation and loss from the War years after its ending. But Maisie is a strong character who you really admire and finds balance in the most difficult of situations. The history lessons woven in the books are excellent and will stay with you long after the book has ended.
trying to see the world with my ears
It took me two novels to warm up to Maisie Dobbs. I now think this series superior to similar series in the subgenre of early 20th century women sleuths (Phyrne Fisher, Daisy Dalrymple, et. al.) - almost as good as Mary Russell.
I found this listen marred, however, by the speed of the narrator, especially in the first half of the book where she seemed to be trying to add suspense by the rate and pitch of her voice --BUT I think that was inappropriate to the text. It's a slow, atmospheric, character driven mystery with an element of whodunnit, not a cliff-hanging thriller. I listen to be absorbed and relax - a racing narrator detracted from that by "waking up" my brain when I wanted lulling (though not numbing).
That said, the narrator was good, had the cool edge of the Ms Dobbs character and competently created voices for other characters. I look forward to her version of further Dobbs mysteries, if she slows (and calms) down to voice the zen of Maisie.
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