An Incomplete Revenge

An Incomplete Revenge

In her fifth outing, Maisie Dobbs, the extraordinary Psychologist and Investigator, delves into a strange series of crimes in a small rural community.With the country in the grip of economic malaise, and worried about her business, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment from an old friend to investigate certain matters concerning a pote...

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Title:An Incomplete Revenge
Author:Jacqueline Winspear
Rating:
Edition Language:English

An Incomplete Revenge Reviews

  • Betty

    I was very taken with this book I loved the many textures and the fullness of characters, the setting of the late 1930s interspersed with a background story from WWI. I had never read a Maisie Dobbs story before but am fast becoming a new fan! Quite aside from the many mysterious happenings, I enjoyed learning of hop-picking, and the rich fullness of gypsies and gypsy lore.

    Jacqueline Winspear has a very fluid voice in telling the story, understands the nuances in people, fear, hope, revenge, for

    I was very taken with this book I loved the many textures and the fullness of characters, the setting of the late 1930s interspersed with a background story from WWI. I had never read a Maisie Dobbs story before but am fast becoming a new fan! Quite aside from the many mysterious happenings, I enjoyed learning of hop-picking, and the rich fullness of gypsies and gypsy lore.

    Jacqueline Winspear has a very fluid voice in telling the story, understands the nuances in people, fear, hope, revenge, forgiveness, and the need to live a full life. The formation of who Maisie is unfolds throughout the book. She is a strong woman, conscientious, tolerant and compassionate. Her title of psychologist and investigator might well read psychic investigator, given her abilities and attunement to nature. There were many strands to be woven in this tapestry, with a lot of knots and tangles. The mysteries maintained a strong level and I was happy to see so much of the tapestry tied off in the Epilogue.

    The many characters in the book are victims of the very crimes they were involved in and you cannot help but feel the fear and incitement for what was done without even realizing why. The despicable but lazy “Lord of the Manor” of the village is one of the feeblest strong-arms I’ve ever met in a book, I think. Does he deserve the outcome? Most probably, but maybe it was once again the easy way of doing things. Overall, a very honest and satisfying read, you can be sure I will be reading more of Maisie’s cases. Thanks to Jacqueline Winspear for one of my new favourite series! I recommend this book for the light mystery it is, a great antidote for between heavier tomes, enjoyable and fulfilling; I do like a book that I can learn something new from, too.

  • Julia

    My favorite Maisie Dobbs novel yet.

    I have a notion that Jacqueline Winspear creates her plots the same way Maisie Dobbs solves her mysteries - by sketching out a map containing each clue onto a large canvas until she can see how all the pieces fit together. What I find wonderful about a Winspear mystery is that her canvas doesn't just include who did it, with what, where and when. I suspect it is painted in colors to reflect the season and the clothes Maisie wears, and I'd guess that the overar

    My favorite Maisie Dobbs novel yet.

    I have a notion that Jacqueline Winspear creates her plots the same way Maisie Dobbs solves her mysteries - by sketching out a map containing each clue onto a large canvas until she can see how all the pieces fit together. What I find wonderful about a Winspear mystery is that her canvas doesn't just include who did it, with what, where and when. I suspect it is painted in colors to reflect the season and the clothes Maisie wears, and I'd guess that the overarching themes that she addresses in each book are added to the canvas too. They certainly square up beautifully in the book, in an almost poetic, end of a sonnet sort of way.

    Reading

    is not like reading an Agatha Christie mystery. I figured out all the twists of the plot before the end of the story. But I wasn't in it just for the riddle, but for the writing and the character development and the peak into an England of the early thirties, hops picking and Roma life.

  • Marianne

    An Incomplete Revenge is the fifth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. James Compton, son of Maisie’s long-time patron, Lady Compton, is in the process of purchasing a large estate at Heronsdene, Kent for the family company, but some incidents of petty crime, vandalism and small fires in the area are cause for concern, so Maisie is engaged to conduct enquiries. It is early autumn of 1931, and as these cases all seem to occur during the hop harves

    An Incomplete Revenge is the fifth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. James Compton, son of Maisie’s long-time patron, Lady Compton, is in the process of purchasing a large estate at Heronsdene, Kent for the family company, but some incidents of petty crime, vandalism and small fires in the area are cause for concern, so Maisie is engaged to conduct enquiries. It is early autumn of 1931, and as these cases all seem to occur during the hop harvest, it is especially convenient that her assistant, Billy Beale usually takes his family for a working holiday hop-picking at this time, and is able to contract to the farm on said estate. The waters are muddied, somewhat, by the influx of large groups of Londoners and gypsies, all taking part in the harvest, and the fact that the villagers of Heronsdene seem reluctant to involve the police or fire-brigade. It appears that the land-owner, Alfred Sandermere, is a poor businessman and not well-liked by his tenant farmers or the villagers. A theft from the Manor house, blamed on two young London boys, sees Maisie visiting the gypsy matriarch in search of information. Maisie notices that the mood in the village is unusual: there is an undercurrent of fear in addition to the resentment and suspicion that the presence of the Londoners and gypsies usually brings. It seems the villagers are still keenly feeling the wartime loss of many of their young men, and are strangely hesitant to discuss the Zeppelin raid that occurred in 1916. In trying to determine if this is a case of sabotage, insurance fraud, opportunistic theft by itinerant workers or something else entirely, Maisie’s investigations lead her to encounters with a determined journalist, a dishonest vicar, a loyal dog, some reticent villagers, a luthier and a very snobbish land-owner. She helps to fight a fire, learns to dowse for silver, attends two funerals, dances with gypsies, reconciles with an old friend and picks some hops. Winspear touches on school bullying, prejudice against gypsies and anyone who is different, mob mentality and, of course, revenge. Her extensive research into gypsy customs and beliefs and into hops and hop picking in the early 20th century is apparent in every page. This gentle-paced mystery has quite a twist in the tail: a shocking crime that only becomes apparent in the last few chapters. Once again, an excellent read that will have Winspear fans looking forward to the next book in the series, Among The Mad.

  • Tonya

    On to the next

  • Hannah

    By far my favorite Maisie Dobbs installment since the very first book.

    I was beginning to wonder how much longer I could stomach Maisie with her psychic abilities, her coldness and her all around off-putting-ness. It's very rare that I will continue with a series in which the main character annoys me so very much, but in the case of this series, I'm willing to put up with her because I do like the style of Winspear's writing, the time period, the slow plotting, and the issues that the mysteries b

    By far my favorite Maisie Dobbs installment since the very first book.

    I was beginning to wonder how much longer I could stomach Maisie with her psychic abilities, her coldness and her all around off-putting-ness. It's very rare that I will continue with a series in which the main character annoys me so very much, but in the case of this series, I'm willing to put up with her because I do like the style of Winspear's writing, the time period, the slow plotting, and the issues that the mysteries bring to the forefront; namely, the problems faced by the lost generation following World War I. Winspear weaves these elements effortlessly throughout each of her books, and while Maisie herself doesn't impress me, almost every other element does.

    This offering takes the reader to the farmlands of Kent during the autumn hop picking. Maisie has been asked to look into some mysterious petty crimes and fires in an around the village of Heronsdale, where a brickworks factory is being considered for purchase by her client. As always, Maisie learns much more then she originally set out to find, and we as the reader learn more about the human condition and the effects of war, revenge and suffering on the human heart. Maisie comes in for her own share of suffering, grief, and finally acceptance in some personal matters, and seems to move forward in her own journey toward healing. Apart from one strange episode of dowsing for hidden treasure (?#%?), Maisie is relatively *weird-free* in this installment (

    ....), and much more palatable to my taste this time around.

    I have experienced a renewal in my enjoyment of this series and this sleuth, and will happily journey on with Maisie for the next mystery:

    .

  • Deena

    These aren't bad... after all, I keep reading them! But there are several things about them that I find annoying.

    I am uncomfortable with the mixture of "sixth sense" and pretentious academic psychology that Maisie supposedly combines to solve her cases. The review at the end, when she returns to the sites she visited during the case, seems to me a contrived device that is essentially pointless. Perhaps I also prefer my mysteries less cerebral.

    In this particular book, a specific annoyed me. App

    These aren't bad... after all, I keep reading them! But there are several things about them that I find annoying.

    I am uncomfortable with the mixture of "sixth sense" and pretentious academic psychology that Maisie supposedly combines to solve her cases. The review at the end, when she returns to the sites she visited during the case, seems to me a contrived device that is essentially pointless. Perhaps I also prefer my mysteries less cerebral.

    In this particular book, a specific annoyed me. Apparently, Ms. Winspear has never actually disposed of the ashes of a cremated person. "carefully tipped... ashes into a gentle breeze" my arse. They'd be in a heap at your feet, or all down your clothing. Human ashes don't behave that way. Ms. Winspear should either have checked it, or left it alone.

    All of that being said, I'll probably keep reading the series.

  • Celia

    Maisie leaves London and heads to Kent in the middle of hopping season to undertake some investigations into a brickworks and the surrounding village.

    While I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series (if you're completely unfamiliar, think post-WW1 solo female detective, a former nurse with painful history), there are several elements to the series that don't click with me - Maisie's psychic abilities are up there (I like fantasy, I just don't like psychics in historical fiction), as is her overly formal t

    Maisie leaves London and heads to Kent in the middle of hopping season to undertake some investigations into a brickworks and the surrounding village.

    While I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series (if you're completely unfamiliar, think post-WW1 solo female detective, a former nurse with painful history), there are several elements to the series that don't click with me - Maisie's psychic abilities are up there (I like fantasy, I just don't like psychics in historical fiction), as is her overly formal thought process and communication with other people. Maisie is supposed to draw people in and have them confide in her, and yet it puzzles me sometimes why people do so when faced with her cold calm exterior.

    In this book, we get some sort of explanation for Maisie's psychic gifts when we discover she has Gypsy heritage. *sigh* A little romanticised and... well, silly, for my taste, but it doesn't overwhelm the story, which is a nice little mystery firmly rooted in the War, as are most of Maisie's investigations. I do like the way this series brings to life post-war England, and the way the war has affected so many lives, the very heart and spirit of the country.

    Maisie has to let go of a painful link to her past, and it is nice to see a consistent maturing of her character as the books go on. I will definitely keep reading these, despite never rating them too highly - I like Maisie despite myself.

  • Phrynne

    I wonder what it is about this series of books that makes me keep on reading even though I am not totally enthusiastic about them! I find Maisie an odd character, not particularly likeable and even a little cold. This book also irritated me with more information than I really needed about gypsies and the author's romanticising of them. Nevertheless the mystery was good, the story was interesting and the post World War One setting was delightful. That may be the secret. I do enjoy all the histori

    I wonder what it is about this series of books that makes me keep on reading even though I am not totally enthusiastic about them! I find Maisie an odd character, not particularly likeable and even a little cold. This book also irritated me with more information than I really needed about gypsies and the author's romanticising of them. Nevertheless the mystery was good, the story was interesting and the post World War One setting was delightful. That may be the secret. I do enjoy all the historical details and

    does that side of things extremely well. I am sure I will continue with the series:)

  • ♥ Sandi ❣

    3 stars

    This is the 5th book of the series of Maisie Dobbs. Again, not a book that I was wildly happy with. The whole plot seemed to be a bit dull. However there were some characters in this book that were a fun surprise. And as the books continue we are seeing Maisie's life evolve, with the death of her first love, Simon, and the inclusion of a few more characters that are sure to show up in future books. Still looking for that one book in the series that i truly enjoy.

  • LJ

    First Sentence: The old woman rested on the steps of her home, a caravan set apart from those of the rest of her family, her tribe.

    An old friend hires investigator Maisie Dobbs to investigate matters relating to a potential land purchase. Petty thefts have been blamed on London boys there to help pick hops, but the residents also distrust the Gypsies who are there. Maisie has discovered small fires which have occurred each year but no one reported them to the fire departments or police. A family

    First Sentence: The old woman rested on the steps of her home, a caravan set apart from those of the rest of her family, her tribe.

    An old friend hires investigator Maisie Dobbs to investigate matters relating to a potential land purchase. Petty thefts have been blamed on London boys there to help pick hops, but the residents also distrust the Gypsies who are there. Maisie has discovered small fires which have occurred each year but no one reported them to the fire departments or police. A family was killed during the war by a Zeppelin attack, yet no one will talk about it. Maisie must put together the pieces together while also dealing with her feeling regarding the soldier she loves who has been in a coma since the war.

    This is my second foray into Maisie Dobbs. I didn’t care for her first time and, I must admit, nothing much has changed. Winspear does include information on the gypsies that I found interesting until it became redundant. She also includes details to the point of minutia on things that aren’t particularly important. Her descriptions are informative but not evocative so that a feeling for the sense of place is missing.

    As a character, Maisie is the sort of person who would annoy me if I knew her. Yes, I can justify some of it by remember she’s experience the trauma of war, but not all. There is arrogance to Maisie that surpasses self confidence and is somewhat unappealing as it borders on arrogance. Her friend, Priscilla, is the complete antithesis to Maisie and annoying in her own way. In fact, the most interesting characters in the book were Maisie’s father followed closely by the dog.

    The story itself is just not gripping. There’s no real suspense or emotion; everything is at a distance and somewhat dispassionate. The number of coincidences is overwhelming; Maisie’s perfection at everything becomes tiring. Everyone is willing to talk to her. There is no struggle or effort really required; it’s all quite neat and rather placid.

    For those who like cozies; no violence, no real threat, no swearing, no sex, no real evil, this would be perfect. Unfortunately, that’s just not my taste so although there were parts that were interesting, it was not really my cup of tea--single malt whisky, please.

    AN INCOMPLETE REVENGE (Hist Mys-Maisie Dobbs-England-1931) - Okay

    Winspear, Jacqueline – 5th in series

    Henry Holt and Company, ©2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780805082159

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