Friday, March 11, 2011

Maisie Dobbs (series) by Jacqueline Winspear

It is rare for me to come across a series such as this having NEVER heard of it before. I LOVE THESE BOOKS!! There are 8 and I read all 7. The newest just came out and I have it on hold and I can't wait to read it. If you like Alexander McCall Smith you will love these books. (As a side note, WHY have I not blogged any Alexander McCall Smith?).
Maisie Dobbs is a young woman of meager means. She is the daughter of a vegetable vendor in pre-WWI England. Upon the death of her mother, she goes into service as a housemaid of a weathly family. The family recognizes her uneducated intelligence and assists her in gaining an education. She comes under the tutelage of Maurice Blanche who is a doctor, an expert in forensics and an investigator. Maisie apprentices under Maurice and then becomes and investigator and psychologist on her own. The books follow her personal life and the cases she takes on. They include flashbacks and memories of the Great War, in which Maisie served as a nurse and lost her great love. It is a fascinating look at war and its continuing effects on society, relationships and people. It shows how out of the War, huge opportunities became available for the lower classes and women. I LOVE THESE BOOKS. :)

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

This book was a book club selection. Basic story: A woman who has an young, adopted son comes home one day to find a missing child flyer in the mail. The age-progressed picture on the flyer looks exactly like her son. She is a journalist, so she begins to investigate to find out who the missing child and if it could be her son.
I did NOT like this book. It is well-written but I found the story very contrived and complicated, beyond what is necessary.