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A Lesson in Secrets : A Maisie Dobbs Novel [PDF / Epub] ★ A Lesson in Secrets : A Maisie Dobbs Novel By Jacqueline Winspear – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk In the summer of 1932 Maisie Dobbs’s career takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Secret Service Posing as a junio In the summer of Maisie in Secrets Kindle Ö Dobbs’s career takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Secret Service Posing as a junior lecturer she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities “not in the interests of His Majesty’s Government”When the college’s controversial pacifist founder and principal Greville Liddicote is murdered Maisie is directed to stand back as Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Richard Stratton spearhead the investigation She soon discovers however that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear A Lesson PDF/EPUB or inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillanceTo unravel this web Maisie must overcome a reluctant Secret Service discover shameful hidden truths about Britain’s conduct during the Great War and face off against the rising powers of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—in BritainAs the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon this pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs foreshadows new challenges and powerful enemies facing the psychologist and investigator.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 322 pages
  • A Lesson in Secrets : A Maisie Dobbs Novel
  • Jacqueline Winspear
  • English
  • 07 June 2016

10 thoughts on “A Lesson in Secrets : A Maisie Dobbs Novel

  1. Phrynne Phrynne says:

    Number eight in the Maisie Dobbs seriesI think I liked this one the best in the series so far I really enjoy all the historical facts about England in the period between the two World Wars and I love following Maisie to places in London and its surrounds which I know uite wellThe mystery was handled well and I did not guess the culprit until uite late in the piece Maisie herself is in a good place her assistance being sought by a certain Government agency shows she is well regarded which is an accomplishment for a woman in those times Her love life is as rocky as usual and I do not actually have high hopes for the current union Maybe I will be proved wrongA thoroughly enjoyable outing with Miss Dobbs and I look forward to reading the next one very soon

  2. Hannah Hannah says:

    Rating Clarification 25 StarsDisappointing installment in the Maisie Dobbs series Certainly this one had the potential to be a real turning point in the series as Maisie and Great Britain in general move further away from the Great War and now feel the first ominous rumblings of Hitler's rise to powerI had begun to enjoy these books again after the last two in the series Among the Mad and The Mapping of Love and Death both of which were extremely entertaining reads and developed Maisie and Billy's characters very nicely Somehow this offering left me feeling like the series has taken 2 steps back regarding character arc I didn't really get a good sense that Maisie or Billy had advanced since the monumental changes in the last book Something was off IMO Winspear just phoned this in and it didn't have the same feel as I've encountered in her previous books Some of my concerns are addressed in the following spoiler so read at your own risk view spoiler I simply Do Not buy into Maisie's romantic relationship with James Compton It's so stilted and vague that it took me a while to realize that she was actually having sex with him Talk about a closed door romance this was of a locked room in a convent I really feel of a connection between Maisie and Richard Stratton and hope Winspear will eventually chart a romantic relationship into those waters Another thing I don't care for is how Maisie treats Billy Beale like a daft side kick She lied to him and is freuently condescending to him Billy is a grown man with a family and deserves respect then Maisie is currently according him Same goes to Maisie's attitude toward her father Frankie She acts like this proud man should suddenly stop the hard work of a lifetime and turn into some pampered doddering old fool that lives off his successful daughter's Lady Bountiful largesse Leave Frankie alone to live a life of working class dignity hide spoiler

  3. Judith Starkston Judith Starkston says:

    Jacueline Winspear fans won’t need any prodding to read her latest Maisie Dobbs mystery A Lesson in Secrets The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves This is her eighth book in the series and by now you should have been gobbling up these first rate novels set in the years following World War I Maisie’s character makes for uncommonly good reading Winspear avoids all the simplistic predictable versions of independent female sleuth that have proliferated over the years She has described how in her childhood she observed her grandfather who was gassed and wounded with shrapnel in the Great War and her grandmother who was injured in a munitions factory explosion She had uestions that got only partial answers—this was not the generation to talk about their war experiences She noticed the remarkable women in her neighborhood who had built lives without husbands or children because so many of the men in their generation had been killed Maisie Dobbs appears to have had a long sensitive birthing in Winspear’s fertile imagination although she describes first “seeing” Maisie almost fully understood in a flash while driving one day which she calls her moment of writer’s grace All her characters not only Miss Dobbs herself will reach into you in ways that go well beyond the usual mystery novelIn A Lesson in Secrets Maisie takes a new direction professionally working undercover for the Secret Service As her mentor Maurice had written to her “I have observed your work in recent years and it does not claim the full measure of your skill or intellect” Never comfortable without a challenge Maisie chooses the “new path” Maurice had hinted at Her love life also takes some mysterious turns which is not surprising for someone who is as suspicious of the possibility of “happily ever after” as Maisie isWhile her assignment from SIS involves monitoring activities in a Cambridge college “not in the interests of the Crown” rather than hunting down murderers she still manages to find a dead body As she discovers there are a number of people who might have been willing to kill this man with a complicated hidden past A Lesson in Secrets set in 1932 depicts the conflicting political currents of the years leading up to World War II Maisie and the Secret Service do not see eye to eye about who the true threats to the Crown will prove to be Not only is this assignment part of a fascinating spider web reaching across Europe but clearly we have to come I can’t wait but of course now that I’ve read A Lesson in Secrets I will wait patiently for one year Thank goodness Jacueline Winspear writes a book a year

  4. Deb Deb says:

    I love the Maisie Dobbs series and I looked forward to this newest installment Maisie is recruited by the British intelligence to go undercover as a philosophy lecturer at a peace college at Cambridge It's 1932 and there is a growing fascination with Hitler's rhetoric Maisie's brief is to find out whether any of the peace activities are damaging to the Crown On the home front Billy's wife is expecting a fourth child James Compton seems to be less than truthful and Sandra a former Compton servant has been arrested for breaking and enteringOne of the appeals of these novels for me has been Maisie's studied reflective manner Another appeal has been the way the author manages to evoke the time period in which the novel is set For some reason this novel seemed to plod much too slowly for me I kept waiting for the story to happen In some ways I felt this book was a place keeper something to mark the inexorable march towards war but not go too far Don't get me wrong I'm glad I read it and I will continue to read this series but this particular installment just didn't wow me

  5. Melissa Lenhardt Melissa Lenhardt says:

    I’m not sure how or when I first discovered the Maise Dobbs series I think I happened upon the first book Maisie Dobbs at the library Intrigued by the setting – England between the wars – I picked it up and immediately liked the character It was an interesting mystery novel in that a large portion of it was a flashback to the character’s past I can’t even remember her first case truth be told It was Maisie and her personal story that kept me interested Since then I have waited anxiously for the release of each book Fans of the series are blessed that Winspear seems consistently capable of publishing a book per year Each year I read the book immediately and am always a bit let down at the end because I know that there is another year to wait for the next chapter in Maisie’s storyMaisie’s storythat is what keeps me coming back While I enjoy the mysteries and am especially pleased that each mystery reveals a bit of British history as it relates to World War I – most often events in the War that show the Crown and people in power in a less than favorable light – I do feel this aspect of the era is tapped out At this point in the series it is fall 1932 14 years since the Armistice and that people are still holding on to the grudges and ills of the past seems of storytelling crutch than a necessity Maisie says at least once a book that she was a nurse in the war Her friend Priscilla always gets teary eyed and worried when looking at her three sons named after her three brothers lost in the war Maisie’s loyal sidekick’s Billy Beale skills running communication wire during the war always comes in handy in some way I understand on one level the need to give some historical character details for those new to the series but there comes a point in real life where constant reference to “back in the day” becomes annoying Unfortunately that time has come for the Maisie Dobbs seriesMaybe Winspear has realized this In A Lesson in Secrets Maisie goes undercover for the Secret Police a job she has fallen into because of her late mentor’s spy past and her body of work as a respected private inuiry agent to a small college in Cambridge The goal of this college St Francis is to foster peace by bringing in students from across the world together in the hopes that they will return to their homeland and become advocates for peaceful solutions to the world’s problems Of course the British government thinks something shady is going on It is Maisie’s job to find out just what While she is there as a lecturer in Philosophy the college’s founder is murdered The story from that point has it’s feet in two different eras – the war of the past which relates to the college founder’s murder and the war of the future as Maisie uncovers what is a universal truth no matter the era – young people are especially gullible to bombastic political rhetoric In this case during this time the rhetoric is fascismBecause the Maisie Dobbs series is so character driven each mystery has somehow enabled Maisie to grow to let go bit by bit the scars that World War I left on her as a nurse in the war natch As I said earlier it is the character that keeps me coming back to these books Watching her grow while learning a bit about hidden British history has been a treat However the mystery in A Lesson in Secrets seems to be there because that’s the formula Winspear has created It doesn’t in any way move Maisie as a character forward In fact an aspect of it mutiny and desertion on the front lines was covered fully and much deftly in a previous book In short it is the least engaging portion of the novel Which is a major problem because Maisie spends most of her time trying to solve that murder instead of focusing on her secret agent job of uncovering the nefarious doings of easily manipulated young peopleThough I’m sure the British would like to wipe this stain from their history it is a fact that many many British were sympathetic to Hitler’s ideas when he first came on the scene The Prince of Wales the future King Edward was a supporter of Hitler If he had not abdicated the throne for the American divorcee Mrs Wallis Simpson we would have a very different world today Hitler and his brand of fascism was not seen as a threat to the Crown some thought of it as a solution to their problems The Crown was worried with the Red Menace in Russia and were willing to hand wave the less palatable aspects of Hitler’ ideology So when Maisie goes to her Secret Service boss and tells him that there is evidence of fascism at St Francis and not communism he dismisses her concernsI’m sure it is very difficult for a 21st century author to write about that time – the rise of fascism – with the ignorance reuired to make it believable The problem is we know their future We know that England will change its tune when Hitler marches across Europe We know that Hitler will kill millions of Jews in concentration camps We know that those children in 1932 will be going off to war in 1939 It is difficult to write believable ignorant characters when such knowledge is almost part of our DNA For a few books now Maisie and her mentor Maurice have dropped little hints of concerns about people like Oswald Mosely and “what’s happening in Europe” Their opinions about almost everything seem a bit too on the noseWhich brings me to a concern I have harbored for Maisie for a few books now She is turning into a Mary Sue For those of you unfamiliar with the term a definition A Mary Sue sometimes just Sue in literary criticism and particularly in fan fiction is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms lacking noteworthy flaws and primarily functioning as a wish fulfillment fantasy for the author or readerIn fan fiction Mary Sues are usually author inserts – a character that is a thinly veiled avatar for the writer While I don’t think that is the case with Maisie and Winspear I do think that Maisie suffers from “idealized and hackneyed mannerisms and is lacking in noteworthy flaws” Maisie always solves the case knows the right thing to say and when gets people to open up to her with little to no effort investigates rings around the police helps out her friends when they’re in need is always compassionate to those that deserve it and holds negative opinions about no one in particular except maybe men that avoided serving in the war the government for not doing all they can for veterans and now has a wary eye on fascists But those people deserve to be disliked don’t they Her biggest flaw as far as I can tell is that she is emotionally closed off and is slow to open herself up to other people She hides behind an overly professional proper demeanor She did make some progress in this book however She called men that she has known and worked with for years by their Christian names instead of their tongue twisting titles It’s only taken seven booksI’m sure it sounds as if I didn’t like the book and I have grown tired of the character of Maisie On the contrary I did like the book but didn’t love it and I like Maisie immensely But I think it’s time for Winspear to deviate from her formula When her mysteries stop directly affecting Maisie they can no longer hold the book up I spent the majority of A Lesson in Secrets skimming the mystery for information about Maisie’s personal life That is a major problem for a mystery novel especially when the tidbits about her personal life are fleeting and rather shallow But on that laterI would like to see Winspear deviate completely for a book and maybe do an homage to Agatha Christie with a murder at a grand estate Now that Maisie is in a relationship with a Viscount it would be easy to put her in that situation Make it even interesting by setting it at her friend Priscilla’s house in France and have a Hercule Poirot type character that Maisie is competing with to solve the manor murder Better still – have Maisie lose out on the unacknowledged competition and not solve the murder firstMaisie Dobbs is the only mystery series that I follow because I’ve always believed that long drawn out series sacrifice character growth for the formula The story should serve the character not the character serving the story I had never felt that about Maisie until this book I felt a germ of dissatisfaction with the last book The Mapping of Love and Death with the sudden romance between Maisie and a thinly drawn character that has however been around from the beginning James Compton He spent the majority read all of the first six books in Canada with a one line mention here and there He appears in book seven and after a few chance encounters with Maisie they start dating In A Lesson in Secrets they’re involved in a full on affair But Winspear spends too little time on the relationship and it feels shallow and rushed as a result Compton as a character and the relationship as a sub plot are so underdeveloped that it is difficult to feel or even understand Maisie’s happiness This book would have been a perfect opportunity for Winspear to develop Maisie’s personal life Instead she has Compton in Canada for 34 of the book and Maisie worried for a few paragraphs sprinkled over a couple hundred pages if James is really in Canada or in London without telling her Honestly why would we care one way or the other Winspear hasn’t taken the time to show the two together We think Maisie is happy because she should be happy not because we’ve been shown her happiness in any detailI will confess that part of my dissatisfaction with Maisie and Compton stems from the fact that there is another character that has been around for uite a while has been fully developed but honestly only slightly and seems much suited to Maisie Winspear has dropped enough hints about the two throughout the series that I believe Richard Stratton is the man Maisie will eventually fall in love with But here’s the thing I don’t think I have the patience to wait It has taken Winspear eight books to cover three years of Maisie’s life At that rate and with Winspear publishing a book a year it will take 16 years to get to Germany invading Poland and 17 or 18 to the Battle of Britain If Compton breaks her heart or my prediction she dumps him because he will want her to uit her career and dedicate her life fully to being the wife of a Viscount and future Lord it might take Maisie three or four years to get the courage to even go out on a date That is 8 10 publishing years right there Then there’s the fact that at the end of A Lesson in Secrets Stratton resigns from Scotland Yard as a detective and is off to Essex as a mathphysics teacher in a boarding school Seriously Really I’m sorry I’m just not that patientI can hear my detractors now “If you’re just in it for the relationship then you don’t truly appreciate the series It is a mystery first and foremost” To that I disagree Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot novels were first and foremost mystery series There is no character development in her investigators at all and very little background given Maisie Dobbs is primarily a character study Maisie in fact stands in for all of England and the changes in society that were wrought by the Great War – the entrance of women into the workforce in professional capacity Maisie as a successful woman in a man’s profession the breakdown of the class system Maisie having a relationship with a man that is well above her in class and the loosening of rigid VictorianEdwardian morals as evidenced by the sexual nature of her affair with Compton I do give Winspear full credit for giving Maisie a sex life and not making her a spinster another reality of post war Britain But this has all been a long time coming As a faithful reader and one that recommends these books to others I have a right to be somewhat dissatisfied with the snail’s pace of character growth that Winspear has createdAm I looking forward to the next book Yes Will I buy it and read it immediately on release Most likely Do I have high hopes that Winspear will deviate from her formula Yes Do I think she will No I respect that Maisie is Winspear’s character and she has the right to do with her as she likes I also have the right to stop reading if I lose interest and unfortunately I’m perilously close

  6. Marianne Marianne says:

    A Lesson In Secrets is the eighth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British born American author Jacueline Winspear After being somewhat ineptly followed for some ten days psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs finds herself recruited into the Secret Intelligence Service by Brian Huntley as was hinted by her late mentor during his last days to work a job in conjunction with Robbie MacFarlane of Scotland Yard Special Branch Having signed the Official Secrets Act she is to pose as a psychology lecturer at The College of St Francis whilst observing for activities that are not in the interest of the Crown But when she has been there only a week the Principal of the College Greville Liddicote a staunch pacifist is murdered And a little research reveals uite a few possible suspectsWhile Maisie is away Billy Beale manages the Investigations business although he is to some degree distracted by the impending birth of his fourth child Luckily Maisie is able to convince her reluctant employee to become her tenant in a new cottage in which she invests some of her newfound wealth A former flatmate comes to Maisie in distress recently widowed and with some doubt about the accidental nature of her husband’s death Sandra accepts a job but remains unsettled Maisie’s relationship with James Compton encounters a few hurdles In this instalment Winspear touches on conscientious objection mutiny amongst the troops Nazism fraud organised crime and protection rackets the role of women in the resistance and a nerve disorder that sounds a lot like Multiple Sclerosis Maisie is frustrated at the Secret Service’s focus on Communism at the expense of Fascism and Robert Stratton makes a surprise move A baby is born and Maisie visits Wandsworth Prison As always Winspear blends historical fact with fiction while her plot takes a few twists before the murderer is revealed It will be interesting to see where the next book Elegy for Eddie takes this resourceful heroine Another great read

  7. ♥ Sandi ❣ ♥ Sandi ❣ says:

    275 starsI failed to like this book in the Maisie Dobbs series I was disappointed I think I see a pattern in Winspear's writing that I don't care for It appears that her method of deepening or darkening a mystery is to add characters Characters that give absolutely nothing to the story being read If this is her way of covertly masuerading the mystery in her storyline I am saddened There was one thing that did surprise me in book It stated that Maisie had black hair and blue eyes That is not how I pictured her at all

  8. Joe Joe says:

    A Lesson in Secrets is the eighth book in a series but the first for me; so reading it already felt like uncovering a bit of a secret The protagonist Maisie Dobbs a highly insightful but cagey detective who rarely let's her friends or her audience know exactly what's on her mind She's a likable character who with a rich past; though it often felt like much of that past was re told from the earlier seven novels But the secrets go deeper than the main character This is a mystery story with murder and conspiracy and nazis But the author pulls a bit of a switcheroo; the murder itself is fairly bland and the way the case is solved is arbitrary with some obvious red herrings The real mystery ends up being the life the victim a university president and anti war activist; which is revealed slowly over the course of the novel and builds to a worthy emotional climax This is also a novel that on the surface is about war and philosophy and intellectual debate Maisie poses as a philosophy teacher and one of the climactic scenes is set at a college debate But the author goes out of her way to include minimal politics or philosophy The focus of this novel is on people and the past

  9. Dawn Michelle Dawn Michelle says:

    Another excellent addition to the Maisie Dobbs series I really enjoy this series and this one had me guessing from the very beginning And just when I thought I had it all figured out I was TOTALLY wrong WOW I love it when that happens There was one thing I was right about and I am unsure of how Maisie didn't see this and truly rolled my eyes at the reveal of the mystery as she is much smarter than that; it was the only part of the book that rang untrue It was interesting to see how much the secret service was dismissing fascism and the approaching rise of Adolph Hitler Maisie can see just how dangerous this all is and it was very frustrating to see just how she and her fears about the rise of fascism is dismissed and thought of as ridiculous As these are Historical Fiction and therefore researched you have to know that there were people who dismissed the insanity of Hitler and who didn't see just how their own English people could be permanently swayed by such a loud mouth I fear that we here in America have fallen prey to the same kind of madness that is exhibited in this novel And it both saddens and terrifies me A very good read; I highly recommend this series to anyone

  10. Karen Karen says:

    35 stars

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