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Publisher's Summary

In the third novel of this best-selling series, London investigator Maisie Dobbs faces grave danger as she returns to the site of her most painful WWI memories to resolve the mystery of a pilot's death.

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe. Every once in a while, a detective bursts on the scene who captures readers' hearts, and imaginations, and doesn't let go. And so it was with Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs, who made her debut just two years ago in the eponymously titled first book of the series, and is already on her way to becoming a household name.

A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war, one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.

Don't miss other titles in the Maisie Dobbs series.
©2005 Jacqueline Winspear; (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Agatha-winner Winspear's engrossing third Maisie Dobbs novel maintains the high quality of its predecessors....Filled with convincing characters, this is a complex tale of healing, of truth and half-truth, of long-held secrets, some, perhaps, to be held forever. Winspear writes seamlessly." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall

Problem with part 1

I believe there is file a problem with Part 1 of Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear. I burned this book to CDs and put it on iPod; same issue exists with both devices. I also re-downloaded the file - no change. At about the 293 minute point, the book integrity is lost - it starts repeating - the chapters make no sense based on previous content, previous sections are repeated until 264 minutes from the end of part 1, when it gets back on track.

The story is great; the electronic filefor Part 1 is the problem which Audible needs to fix.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Northbrook, IL, USA
  • 05-09-06

Maisie Does It Again

I am a Maisie Dobbs fan. I've read her two previous books but I decided to listen to her third--Pardonable Lies. The narration by the author was well done and this made the book very enjoyable to listen to. I also enjoyed the interview with the author at the end of the book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mary
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 05-09-12

please find someone else to narrate.

I have just begun Pardonable Lies. I am very disappointed in the narration. I was going to let it pass, but after listening to the very illuminating interview with Jacqueline Winspear which follows Messenger of Truth I feel impelled to say something. These books are quite good. The detection of crime is but one element; the books are very strong anti-war statements. Ms. Winspear’s research is far reaching and her depiction of the physical, moral and psychological devastation in England during and after WW1, and the consequent enforced poverty, is powerful and heartbreaking. Ms. Winspear says in the interview that she actually hears the voices of her characters in her head. This narrator (Orlaugh Cassidy) shows us little in this regard. Frequently a sentimental approach is taken (which blunts an affect) and with a one dimensional painting of the characters. There is seemingly little understanding of who or what it is she is reading. I will make my point with one example: there is a young girl who is introduced in the first chapter of Pardonable Lies and we are given certain information to allow us to know she has undergone a traumatic event. When she finally speaks she has a rather generic cockney sound - it could, in fact, be Billy speaking. This could, perhaps, be passable, but there is no sense that this child has undergone anything, let alone involvement in murder or that she is covered in blood and grime. Rather than being drawn into this child, I was taken altogether out of the story. These are good books and call out for a narrator with an imagination, one who will move the story along in an organic way.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Series

Maisie Dobbs is a unique heroine. Her mysteries are not as much mysteries as puzzles of human nature. I thoroughly enjoy them and each time I am transported back to the era "between the wars." Winspear does a wonderful job of portraying England and the people during this time, and the reader is reminded of the enormous impact that The Great War had on all of the people of the time.

Not the least of those impacted were women of all walks of life and from all classes. Maisie is one of those people with a fascinating background and an intriguing career as a "psychologist/investigator."

The narrator seemed perfect to tell Maisie's story. I look forward to hearing more.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Helen
  • Austin Texas
  • 02-09-10

Excellent!

The story line in this book compliments so many different issues. Winspear does an excellent job making the issues very real for the reader. You get to understand Maisie more in this book. The compassion in this story is it's greatest achievement...bravo!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Boy I love a good mystery, this is one!

Loved the 4 different mysteries running through this listen. You always think about how the world was changed by WWII, but this makes you think about how WWI changed things also, and how bad it will be in WWII.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Finley
  • Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • 09-28-05

Best yet

One of the best books yet. I will look for Orlaugh Cassidy again as the narration was very enjoyable. The author was able to convey a great story and kept my attention from start to end.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 05-11-17

Perfect time to listen

I don't know why I didn't carry on reading these, but this is the perfect time to get caught up. I'm amazed at how history repeats itself, and I feel very Much like the characters in this book, knowing old horrors of war and watching the World heat up in ways I don't want it to. This book takes this series to a new level for me. It's not just a series of solved mysteries, it's a story of a woman and the people who
Survived, and didn't survive, WWI. Kudos for the narration and the interview at the end!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Heather
  • Wilmington, NC, USA
  • 01-08-07

Great Book

A good mystery, but also a brief and bittersweet account of the first World War from the viewpoint of a strong, no-nonsense woman. I love the main character and would like Audible to get more of Winspear's books.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Continuing an interesting and unusual series

Maisie Dobbs is an investigator in London in 1930. There is nothing predictable about her. She's a fascinating, complicated, multi-dimensional character whose depth continues to grow as I get acquainted. The new narrator took a bit of getting used to, but I find I like her performance just fine (although I found her anglicized pronunciation of the Frenchman Maurice Blanche's name to be distracting, reduced to Morris Blanch.)

The Dobbs stories contain a bit of mysticism and this is the darkest so far in the series as Maisie and her contemporaries continue to deal with the aftermath of WW I. I have developed a new appreciation for the scope of that terrible conflict as a result of this series. In spite of its darkness and the serious nature of her investigations related to finding out about two lost airmen in France, the story is not a "downer." It's more "realistic" ... with some spooky stuff.

The resolution will strain your credulity a little bit, but I can deal with that for the sake of a really good story... and this is a really good story.

I liked "Pardonable Lies" a great deal and I am not hesitating to purchase and download book 4 in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful