Pardonable Lies

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...

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Title:Pardonable Lies
Author:Jacqueline Winspear
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Pardonable Lies Reviews

  • Kathy Davie

    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.

    Another 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,

    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.

    Another 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 mores 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 negatives...how 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!!

    It'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.

    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.

    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.

    , her father, is doing fine after his scare in

    , raising Derby winners in Kent with

    . She and her husband,

    , spend most of their time on their estate in Kent. Their son,

    , is overseeing family business in Toronto.

    is the family chauffeur;

    is the London footman who cares for the cars when George is in the country;

    is the most senior below-stairs employee with

    , the butler, down at Chelstone; and,

    is the servant who was poisoned.

    is Maisie's assistant. He's married to

    and they have their sons.

    is the man who took her under his wing at the behest of Lady Rowena.

    is the Ceylonese wise man who taught her all about meditation and yoga.

    , 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

    , a famous author and poet whom she married. They have three boys---

    ,

    , and

    ---and live in Biarritz.

    Her parents died of flu and her brothers all died in the war. But Pris has no idea where her brother,

    's body was buried or if he is missing in action. She does know where

    and

    are buried.

    hasn't quite given up asking Maisie out.

    would prefer to shoot her.

    is a thirteen-year-old girl accused of murdering her "uncle".

    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.

    is Lawton's fiercely loyal manservant.

    's plane crashed in France and it burned to ashes. But there's more to it than that. The

    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,

    . He does seem to be a politician with a heart. Even if he does cheat.

    ,

    , and

    are all psychics pandering to those who are grieving. It's only with

    that Maisie feels a chill down her spine.

    is head of the Laboratory of Psychical Research; his assistant

    is quite helpful.

    is the Parisian concierge who still remembers his clientele from thirteen years before.

    is a Vietnamese woman who runs Café Druk, a club that caters to a particular clientele;

    is in charge of the police in Sainte-Marie just outside Reims;

    runs the pension in Sainte-Marie;

    and her thirteen-year-old granddaughter,

    are the village's first family.

    was Madame's daughter who was executed by the Germans.

    was their crippled gardener.

    is an excellent mechanic.

    is an Englishman involved in the secret service.

    , an Australian, and his French wife

    run a pension near Bailleul where Maisie was stationed during the war.

    The 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

    told us by friends who believe they have good reason to withhold the truth.

  • Lorna

    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

    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

    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

    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 book.

    --Carl Sandburg (1878-1967),

  • Lynn Pribus

    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

    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.

  • Marti

    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 more “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

    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 more “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 more 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!

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    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

    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 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.

    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

  • Hannah

    #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 more 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

    #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 more 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 I

    the main character :(

  • Carolyn

    I really like the idea of a young woman setting up an investigative agency in the 1930s and Maisie Dobbs is becoming more 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

    I really like the idea of a young woman setting up an investigative agency in the 1930s and Maisie Dobbs is becoming more 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 more than the previous book in this historical mystery series, but I'm not sure if I will read any more. 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★

  • ♥ Sandi ❣

    3 stars

    I 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 more 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

    3 stars

    I 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 more 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 more for Billy than for Maisie.

  • Margaret H. Willison

    I just can't get behind these books. I keep reading them because I am a sucker for mysteries set in England between the two wars, and because Maisie is definitely a lovable character. I also enjoy them because Winspear has the good sense to describe in detail all the beautiful period clothing. The mysteries themselves, however, are thoroughly unsatisfying. I don't like Maisie's empathy method, where merely by mimicking people's posture, she suddenly knows their innermost thoughts. I don't like

    I just can't get behind these books. I keep reading them because I am a sucker for mysteries set in England between the two wars, and because Maisie is definitely a lovable character. I also enjoy them because Winspear has the good sense to describe in detail all the beautiful period clothing. The mysteries themselves, however, are thoroughly unsatisfying. I don't like Maisie's empathy method, where merely by mimicking people's posture, she suddenly knows their innermost thoughts. I don't like that Winspear doesn't play fair and give us the facts to toy with ourselves, like a confident mystery writer would, but instead holds them to her heart because she assumes that's the only way she can surprise us. And last but not least I don't like the sort of new agey, feel-goody, meditation and spiritualism angle of the books, which is especially bad here. Early on in the book Maisie leaves a spiritualist acknowledging that the woman has a "true gift" and I just... can't get behind that nonsense.

    Sherlock Holmes would never have stood for it. Neither would Mary Russell, even though she does believe in God.

    I will, however, probably keep reading these books when I encounter them in libraries, because I am dying to see the inevitable relationship between Maisie and Inspector Stratton.

  • Alyson

    I picked this up on a whim because I thought I'd give Maisie Dobbs one more chance (I was

    annoyed with the last book, but I

    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

    I picked this up on a whim because I thought I'd give Maisie Dobbs one more chance (I was

    annoyed with the last book, but I

    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.

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