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Publisher's Summary

Maisie Dobbs - "a female investigator every bit as brainy and battle-hardened as Lisbeth Salander" (Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air), faces danger and intrigue on the home front during World War II in this poignant entry (number 14) in Jacqueline Winspear's New York Times best-selling series - "a series that seems to get better with every entry" (Tom Holland, Wall Street Journal). 

Spring 1940. With Britons facing what has become known as "the Bore War" - nothing much seems to have happened yet - Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate the disappearance of a local lad, a young apprentice craftsman working on a "hush-hush" government contract. As Maisie's inquiry reveals a possible link to the London underworld, another mother is worried about a missing son - but this time the boy in question is one beloved by Maisie.

As USA Today's Robert Bianco says, "with clarity and economy, Winspear lays the historical groundwork.... The setting matters, but what may matter more is the lovely, sometimes poetic way Winspear pushes her heroine forward.... May she shine on the literary scene for many books to come."

©2018 Jacqueline Winspear (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

  "[Narrator Orlagh] Cassidy's accent, tone, and pace are well tuned to Maisie's strong and empathetic character. Cassidy draws on her full palate of British accents to differentiate a large cast of secondary characters, male and female, old and young." (AudioFile)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 03-28-18

Excellent British historical detective mystery!

Author Jacqueline Windspear began her wonderful Maisie Dobbs historical detective series in 2003. The first novel was set in London soon after the end of WWI with Maisie setting up her detective agency. Maisie's life has changed a lot since including personal tragedy. To Die buy Once is Book 14 in the series and it is set in 1940 early in WWII. Every novel has been great, even the painful ones. This one is no exception. If you are looking for a similar series Molly Morphy by Rhys Bowen is similar in many ways. Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series is also somewhat similar but is much lighter and more fun than Maisie Dobbs.

I'm a huge fan of narrator and American actress Orlagh Cassidy, but her narration of To Die but Once is disappointing because her English accent is off.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

To Die but Once

I love this series! Masie and her crew seem like old friends and Ms Winspear captures the mood of England perfectly. I have a strong sense of being part of the scene - both city and countryside. Maxie's divergent thought process is fun to watch develop. All in all a marvelous book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Stunning

Another great book in this series. Don’t know how the author and the narrator do it but they just keep getting better. I’m also so surprised about what I learn about in the history of that time as well.

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engaging plot and believable characters

I thought that this iteration of the series was one of the best. Maisie’s character is less know it allish, and she is immensely more likeable. Her personalization of historic events really helps the reader understand the complexity of war.

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Outstanding!

this series is superb! I cannot wait for the next one to be released. Rich charcterization, fabulous sense of history and great plain old story telling. Congratulations yet again Ms. Winspear.

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Listen to this book!!!

I am a big fan of Maisy Dobbs and have been reading about her for a while. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy listening to a book about her, though. But I decided to give it a try, and I'm glad I did!! It was a great experience in every way. The narrator made me feel like I was there, and she played all the voices just right, with different tones and inflections. I especially enjoyed Robert McFarland' voice. The storyline was fantastic, and the characterization was rich. I learned more about each person. The reoccurring characters have grown in this book. I found the book's premise to be very interesting and could see how something like this could happen. And I loved the World War II background. This was a wonderful book!,,

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Dunkirk

Enjoyed the Dunkirk subplot. Better than the last book, which made me sleepy. Interesting that the source of the murder was mentioned but never became an active character.

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Best Maisie Dobbs Story Yet!

This was the best Maisie Dobbs story yet! It was intriguing, suspenseful, and fun! It is nice to have the in-depth story of Maisie tucked away in my brain so this story didn’t have to do too much explaining! Over explaining to me makes a story drag on. I also learn so much history in theses stories!

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Outstanding again!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I have recommended the series before to several friends and this one is no exception. While I wish the books would come faster, I appreciate the craft and skill involved.

What did you like best about this story?

I love Maisie's perspicacity. I love how she uses her patience and tenacity to perceive things that many would miss. The other part that I liked is something I hesitate to say lest I give away too much!

What does Orlagh Cassidy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Cassidy *is* Maisie Dobbs for me. There is a gentleness in her voice which matches the character beautifully. Each character is distinct and I appreciate that the male characters are performed in a way that I don't notice. They sound masculine, not like a woman trying to sound like a man.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely.

Any additional comments?

I cannot wait for the next one!

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Every book gets better<br />

Great story. Wonderful narration. Having followed Maisie through her many adventures and travails, I can't wait for the next installment.