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I picked this up on a whim because I thought I d give Maisie Dobbs one chance I was really annoyed with the last book, but I really love historical mysteries and want to love this series On the plus side, Maisie herself was a LOT less irritating and condescending this time around in other words, I didn t want to punch her every five pages, like last time Unfortunately, the new age, woo bullshit is just utterly pervasive in this one, with Maurice babbling on philosophically to distraction, and so I have to give up on this series The actual mysteries in these books are interesting, as they are tied to post WWI England, but the meditation woo sensing hands on backs nonsense just utterly ruins this for me. 3 starsI was not impressed with this book of the series I think the writing was probably as strong as the other books, but the story just seemed to be too full There was just too much put into this book Cut in about half would have been pleasurable for me I did not like how part of the problems were brought to a close I did not feel that enough time was given to each they just seemed to be clipped short and closed Other problems were well developed and kinda brought to close, but maybe left with strings dangling to be brought back in future books which is always appreciated I will read the next book in the series, Messenger of Truth, but I believe for Billy than for Maisie. I really like the idea of a young woman setting up an investigative agency in the 1930s and Maisie Dobbs is becoming independent and confident as she sets about her cases She is asked by the police to help them interview a young girl accused of murder and sets out to investigate her guilt or innocence At the same time she is approached by an eminent KC who promised his wife on her death bed that he would confirm that their son, a pilot, was killed in the war His wife had never accepted that their son had died and had her beliefs supported by several psychics Maisie must return to France and face her own past as a nurse in the war, as she investigates the fate of the young pilot I enjoyed this much than the previous book in this historical mystery series, but I m not sure if I will read any I enjoy the historical detail, but I m not feeling totally invested in the characters and don t yet have a real sense after three books of Maisie s character Although the novels touch on a wide range of topics, the plots are fairly superficial without any real depth 3.5 Third in the Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series revolving around Maisie, a detective using meditation and psychology to solve her cases This story takes place over the summer of 1930 in England and France.My TakeAnother pip from Winspear It s hard to believe that Winspear is a contemporary author writing today as she really brings this period to life She really knows how to dig in and write so that I felt as though I was there in 1930 England The evolution of the telephone The manners, dress, and s of the time period All involving an independent woman who defied the odds and achieved an education and a career in a depressed economy.Maisie has high standards and while she is disinclined to cut corners or do less than her best, she also knows when it s best to present the truth that people want to hear But the two cases involving soldiers in this story bring too much of her own war experience to mind Traumas she would prefer to avoid, to leave in the past Although, she does intensely grieve her mother s death.World War I was a horrible war from a soldier s perspective and we re already hearing the rumblings that will lead to World War II in this story.Thank god, Avril has Maisie in her corner The police have her convicted of murder and ignore the physical evidence under their noses.While Maisie does employ her psychological observations, it seems less overt than in the earlier two stories I m not sure if it was because Maisie s emotional state was overwrought with her remembrances of France or if Winspear was simply off her game The negativeshow could Stratton and the doctors who examined Avril have missed something so obvious Maurice would know how dogged Maisie is Heck, he taught her So why not just come clean Then there s Maisie s discoveries in France A little too easy I d also like to know how someone, or who, managed to get to Maisie s brake lines.Side Note There s a mention of Conan Doyle dying a few months ago I had no idea he had lived that long into the twentieth century The StoryIt s three different cases that Maisie obsesses over Avril s pimp s murder proving Captain Ralph Lawton s death and, a favor to Priscilla to verify her brother s death Maisie has been doing well in her business and it s just when one is doing well, that the body, the mind, let down their guard, forcing one to deal with emotional issues of the past It doesn t help that friends have been keeping secrets.Nor does it help when enemies rise up, seeking revenge.The CharactersMaisie Dobbs is doing well with her detective agency One in which she incorporates the meditative benefits of yoga and the psychology taught her by Maurice Blanche She s still living in the Comptons Belgravia mansion and still driving her little red MG Dr Andrew Dene is the orthopedist at the hospital in Hastings whom Maisie is seeing He s serious about her, but also smart enough not to push and to give her lots of leeway.Frankie Dobbs, her father, is doing fine after his scare in Birds of a Feather , raising Derby winners in Kent with Lady Rowena Compton She and her husband, Lord Julian, spend most of their time on their estate in Kent Their son, James Compton, is overseeing family business in Toronto George is the family chauffeur Eric is the London footman who cares for the cars when George is in the country Sandra is the most senior below stairs employee with Carter, the butler, down at Chelstone and, Teresa is the servant who was poisoned.Billy Beale is Maisie s assistant He s married to Doreen and they have their sons Dr Maurice Blanche is the man who took her under his wing at the behest of Lady Rowena Basil Khan is the Ceylonese wise man who taught her all about meditation and yoga.Priscilla Evernden, now Partridge, was and is Maisie s best friend from college She went off the deep end into a bottle of alcohol with all her losses just after the war, but then she met Douglas Partridge, a famous author and poet whom she married They have three boys Timothy Peter, Thomas Philip, and Tarquin Patrick and live in Biarritz Her boys sound so lively Her parents died of flu and her brothers all died in the war But Pris has no idea where her brother, Captain Peter Evernden s body was buried or if he is missing in action She does know where Patrick and Philip are buried How horrible war is Losing one s entire family like thisDetective Inspector Richard Stratton hasn t quite given up asking Maisie out Detective Sergeant Caldwell would prefer to shoot her.Avril Jarvis is a thirteen year old girl accused of murdering her uncle.Sir Cecil Lawton is a QC and a friend of Lord Julian s He s made his wife a deathbed promise to prove one way or another that their only surviving son is dead or alive Brayley is Lawton s fiercely loyal manservant Captain Ralph Lawton s plane crashed in France and it burned to ashes But there s to it than that The Hon Jeremy Hazelton is an MP and a childhood friend of Ralph s He came back from the war in a wheelchair and is ably supported by his wife, Charlaine He does seem to be a politician with a heart Even if he does cheat.Mrs Browning, Miss Darby, and Miss Hartnell are all psychics pandering to those who are grieving It s only with Madeleine Hartnell that Maisie feels a chill down her spine Harry Price is head of the Laboratory of Psychical Research his assistant Archibald Simpson is quite helpful.Andr Vernier is the Parisian concierge who still remembers his clientele from thirteen years before Madame Eva is a Vietnamese woman who runs Caf Druk, a club that caters to a particular clientele Captain Henri Desvignes is in charge of the police in Sainte Marie just outside Reims Madame Thierry runs the pension in Sainte Marie Madame Chantal Clement and her thirteen year old granddaughter, Pascale Clement are the village s first family Suzanne was Madame s daughter who was executed by the Germans Patrice was their crippled gardener Daniel Roberts is an excellent mechanic Brian Huntley is an Englishman involved in the secret service Ted Tavistock, an Australian, and his French wife Josette run a pension near Bailleul where Maisie was stationed during the war.The CoverThe cover is in Art Deco style with Maisie in a dark blue cloche and coat, perched at the rail of a ship, its yellow funnel highlighted against the subdued, yet brilliant blue sky.The title refers to those Pardonable Lies told us by friends who believe they have good reason to withhold the truth. As a teacher, it s interesting and delightful to see a writer s craft develop I believe I am witnessing that development of art and skill in Jacqueline Winspear With each book in the Maisie Dobbs series, she is just better The plots have seemed to have pizzazz and the characters just get rounder and rounder I really liked that this book was in three sections, with the first section set in England, the second in France, and the last back in England As in the previous books, the lingering ill effects of WWI loom large within the plot With the trip to France, Maisie herself deals with her own dragons faced on the muddy fields of France as a nurse during the war Issues of class remain a major element as well but this book also explores the difficulties of a gay man, the son of a knight, and his difficulties There is also a bit of intrigue since of course England had utilized spies and there was a French resistance movement during the Occupation The book is in many ways an essay of the moral dilemma surrounding truthfulness, hence the title It essentially asks the question of when is it honorable to withhold the absolute truth I haven t read a series of any sort since I finished the last Harry Potter back in 2008 or so I m really enjoying the feeling of truly getting to know the characters, how they view the world, how class and circumstances have affected them, and their relationships to the other characters In a sense, they ve become friends Overall, I have found this book very satisfying and would definitely recommend it to a friend Now, I m off to start her new book, Messenger of Truth Good Reading to all 3 in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series, and this outing finds Maisie returning to Post WWI France in a 2 fold mission to determine for a client that his son is, in fact, truely dead, and to help her friend to find out about her brother s wartime activities.While I liked this offering, I felt it was the weakest in the series so far Maisie is beginning to grate She s very unlikable IMO and has these strange new agey powers that just don t mesh with the 1930 s background That being said, I still enjoyed this book, and will continue reading the series, but I wish Ilikedthe main character Pardonable Lies is part of an intriguing series by Jacqueline Winspear, featuring Maisie Dobbs, growing up as a housemaid and working her way through college at Cambridge She later served during World War I as a nurse At the conclusion of the war she opened a private investigation practice in 1929 in London Coincidentally, in Pardonable Lies, Ms Dobbs was researching the deaths of two soldiers during the Great War, one for a father that wanted to put to rest any chance of his son still being alive, and the other case researching the circumstances of the death of a close friend s brother Both of these investigations brought her to France to determine the fate of each man in World War I As the mystery unfolds, Ms Dobbs finds that she must also come to terms with her own past, as well as her role in the Great War There are a lot of gray areas as there are questions as to what constitutes a lie, and under what circumstances might it be understandable At moments, there are passages in the book foreshadowing the threat of World War II This was a very gripping and moving bookPile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo Shovel them under and let me work I am the grass I cover all And pile them high at Gettysburg and pile them high at Ypres and Verdun Shovel them under and let me work Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor What place is this Where are we now I am the grass Let me workCarl Sandburg 1878 1967 , GrassThey shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them This is the third in the series and they get better as they go While I found the first too heavy on backstory,this one moves along At the end of the audio book, there was a ten minute interview with the author who said she had always done non fiction She was stuck in a traffic jam in London when Maisie walked up out of the underground and appeared to Winspear almost fully realized There were scenes that came to her while she was writing the first book, that she knew belong in the second or third.This one takes place in 1930 so it is considerably after the Great War Nonetheless, two of her three cases involve that war s aftermath and she must travel to old battlefields The author, whose grandfather was seriously injured in the Battle of the Somme, also travels to those battlefields.I found the final scene, on the anniversary of Armistice Day, to be exceptionally moving Some reviewers complain that she spends too much time on the character s attire, Maisie s MG, buildings and furnishing, but in the interview she commented that she uses those detail to anchor the scenes in time. EXCERPT The young policewoman stood in the corner of the room Plain whitewashed walls, a heavy wooden door, a wooden table with two chairs, and one small window with frosted glass rendered the room soulless It was a cold afternoon and she had been in the corner since coming on duty two hours ago, her only company the rumpled and bent girl sitting in the chair that faced the wall Others had come into the room to sit in the second chair first Detective Inspector Richard Stratton with Detective Sargeant Caldwell standing behind him then Stratton standing while a doctor from the Maudsley Hospital sat before the girl, trying to get her to speak The girl no one knew her age or where she had come from because she hadn t spoken a word since she had been brought in this morning, her blood stained dress, hands and face showing a month s worth of dirt was now waiting for another person who had been summoned to question her a Miss Maisie Dobbs The policewoman had heard of Maisie Dobbs, but from what she had seen today, she wasn t sure anyone could get this young scrubber to talk THE BLURB In the third novel of this bestselling 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 deathAgatha 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.Following on the heels of the triumphant Birds of a Feather, Pardonable Lies is the most compelling installment yet in the chronicles of Maisie Dobbs, a heroine to cherish Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review MY THOUGHTS Pardonable Lies is my first encounter with Maisie Dobbs, a very pleasurable encounter This novel covers a lot of different topics, including homophobia and mysticism Set in 1930, Maisie is a seemingly strong willed woman who has carved out a career for herself as a Psychologist Investigator But during the course of her investigations, Maisie is forced to confront some of her own demons, and some of her past actions may be placing her in danger Jacqueline Winspear has created a wonderful cast of characters and a deliciously compelling plot Maisie Dobbs has a new fan in me I listened to the audiobook of Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy via OverDrive All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com page ^Free Ebook ⇥ Pardonable Lies ✘ In The Third Novel Of This Bestselling 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 DeathAgatha 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 LawtonFollowing On The Heels Of The Triumphant Birds Of A Feather, Pardonable Lies Is The Most Compelling Installment Yet In The Chronicles Of Maisie Dobbs, A Heroine To Cherish Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review