Blog Book Tour | “A Dangerous Place” {11th release of the Maisie Dobbs series} by Jacqueline Winspear

Posted Thursday, 19 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “A Dangerous Place” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I requested and borrowed the first novel (“Maisie Dobbs”) as well as the entire series to better understand the flow of continuity and the origins of the Maisie Dobbs series of which I borrowed via my local library.

Unfortunately, due to time and circumstance, I only read portions of “Maisie Dobbs” (the first novel) for the blog tour and was not obligated to post a review for it. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Reflections on behalf of “Maisie Dobbs”: the first of the series:

Prior to soaking inside A Dangerous Place, I wanted to acquaint myself with who Maisie Dobbs was behind the series which has become a benchmark of cosy historical mysteries with a formidable lead female investigating unique scenarios whilst breaking out of station and class circles in an era of time where women did not quite have the full freedoms they have in today’s modern world. On paper, Maisie Dobbs was a young girl of thirteen who entered into service at the bequest of her father after her mother’s tragic death; a choice to choose between a life of poverty and a chance to make a mark on the world on her own terms. Her father’s love for his daughter was without bounds as he wanted to give her everything she deserved but simply could not afford on his costermonger wages.

She was under tutelage of a prominent private investigator until the Great War erupted and changed life as everyone knew it to be prior to World War I. During the war, Maisie took up her role as a nurse, seeing as much of the battlefields as she dared felt she could survive handling as she nursed the men who came into her wards; the wounds they carried were only half seen to the naked eye, but felt more intuitively by the heart and conscience. This is an ability she carried through to her sleuthing years, as after the Armistice she settled herself into the role she had meant to take-on prior to war: private investigations, continuing the legacy of her tutor Maurice Blanche whilst her benefactor at arms, Lady Rowan is his wife; a close confident of Maisie, and guiding light to her affairs.

Maisie Dobbs might have had a tragic situation take her formative years for a shock, but it was how she was determined to rise out of the ashes of where her childhood ended and lay claim to a future she could not only become proud of but prove to her father she would survive anything life threw at her, Maisie Dobbs found an unusual alliance in the couple (Maurice Blanche & Lady Rowan) whose house gave her a position in service. You could say, she had a guardian angel looking out for her and giving her what she needed at the times in which she needed everything the most. This cocoon of acceptance and support, is what gave her the foundation she needed before and after the Great War.

Maisie was tutored by a man who appreciated sociology and the observations on how the conditions of being human are not limited to psychology and environment. The whole of a person’s being is rooted half by our humanity and half through the experiences of our lives. The best investigator who has a compassionate conscience towards the well-being of both her clients and the people of whom she is investigating will walk the line between where ethics and justice merge together. A direct reflection upon the good of how information can affect a life or how information can subtract a negative result out of a grievance or misunderstanding therein. There are always two sides to every pence, thereby giving two sides of a revelation sparked out of a keen intellect whose deduction extends past the obvious and digs deeper in the heart and conscience. Maisie Dobbs is one such investigator who strives to find a balance between seeking the truth and using the truth to set people free.

Maisie articulates her conscience in her reactions to what happens when her observations deposit her into another person’s reality. The way in which she fuses her own being to that of her observant party is a keen tip of insight on behalf of Winspear, that Maisie likes to study people from the inside out. She formulates an impression on them whilst seeking the truth they might not even realise they are revealing bit by bit in appearance, personality, and countenance.

Winspear allows a beautiful open dialogue between Maisie and her mentor Maurice, through the conversations Maisie brings forward to mind as she wrestles out the best method to unravell the fabric of truth from the moving mirrors of shadows which attempt to forestall what she is uncovering from being brought to light. The past does not always want to be let out in the open nor revealed to all parties who make enquiries. The war plays a key role in eluding to a history that doesn’t quite want to be recollected nor does it want to remain forever silent; no, some ghosts are hard to quell but must be willed back into the conscience of the present.

This first novel of the series, takes us forwards and backwards through where we meet Maisie Dobbs at the jump-start of her new career as a private eye to the myriad past of her benefactor Lady Rowan and how her life intersects with Maisie; giving depth and a level of back-story that draws your eye forward into the text with such a wanton hope of finding more about the characters whom you warm to instantly from having met them a quarter of a novel ago. You are dedicated to their stories because they are openly sharing their life and world with you from page one. It is as if you were a part of their inside circle, privy to their internal thoughts and the intimate moments wherein they share the bits they might think are outside of view.

Blog Book Tour | “A Dangerous Place” {11th release of the Maisie Dobbs series} by Jacqueline WinspearA Dangerous Place
by Jacqueline Winspear
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit, and danger.

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability—and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England: her aging father, Frankie Dobbs, is not getting any younger.

On a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn't ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, "You will be alone in a most dangerous place," she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.

And the danger is very real. Days after Maisie's arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar's Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on "the Rock"—arguably Britain's most important strategic territory—and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, War Drama

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780749018825

Series: Maisie Dobbs,

Published by Harper Books

on St. Patrick's Day, 2015

Pages: 320

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

The Maisie Dobbs series: {info on series}

Maisie Dobbs

Birds of a Feather

Pardonable Lies

Messenger of Truth

An Incomplete Revenge

Among the Mad

The Mapping of Love and Death

A Lesson in Secrets

Elegy for Eddie

Leaving Everything Most Loved

*A Most Dangerous Place

Available FormatsHardback, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #MaisieDobbs

About Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline WinspearJacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other national bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels.

Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.

My Review of A Dangerous Place:

Picking up with the series this far afield, it was not a surprise to me to find Maisie Dobbs had become a psychologist in the years since I had read her whereabouts in industry from the first installment of this series, until now. She had a keen gift for understanding the turmoil of the soul and for drawing out the goodness in the spirit, whilst giving her charges and clients each a measure of solace. Her instincts were keenly tuned and gave her a measure of grace to understand exactly what they needed to hear and what they should hear even if the news was not to their liking. Seeing she re-established herself in her trade as a bridge between psychology and investigations, is nearly as though the writer and I landed on the same kinetic page of intuition in regards to Maisie Dobbs! What fun!

Her life has progressed out of the nineteen hundreds and twenties straight into the thirties where another war was about to brew and more anguish would be felt reverberating through the world. Many more innocents would be lost to battlefields and peace would be a near unthinkable quest towards reassurance the world could move forward after it was over. We find her half a world away from London, settling first in India and now in Gibraltar her own spirit cannot yet be cleansed of a war of unrest.

Winspear has a way of weaving emotional heartache into her prose as deftly as if we were within sight of her character Maisie and could feel the intensity of her heart hitting us in waves of heated angst. In this, Winspear continues to draw a direct connection between Maisie and her audience, as we are in-step alongside her as she tackles this new leg of her journey, whilst trying to discover how to put right what cannot be found again. The continuity in keeping Maisie intricately entwined with Maurice Blanche and Lady Rowan was a spot-on refreshing nod towards having Maisie’s life tapestry eloquently woven out of hearts and souls.

Shifting points of view and a time-line of devastation and heart-wrenching news that a newlywed would not wish on anyone, Maisie Dobb’s life between her betrothal and the sudden death of her husband and babe is difficult to process, as it is told through a series of letters which are included in A Most Dangerous Place. I am sure the events themselves are illuminated for us in past novels, but to dip inside her personal living hell as she tried to make palatable sense of what was happening to her nearly felt as if I should not be reading the letters at all. As if they were a bit too personal yet part of me felt attached to them, as if they could be the only way in which to understand Maisie now in Gibraltar.

Maisie Dobbs succumbed to her calling to be one of the few who would honour the dead by resolving the finality of their exit; her mentor and her tutor etched inside her a sense of purpose in this regard. She finds herself caught inside a mystery of a deceased gentlemen who by appearances was killed for a reason not known to his family; this particular case she takes in her steed leads her down other avenues. Drawing her closer to the life she must return to in England but with a shroud of gloom looming over her shoulders as to be returnt from whence you originally came is not always the best course of action to take. For Maisie Dobbs, returning to England is a doom of fate in of itself and yet, perhaps a healing moment to reconcile what is still left undone. Her travels took her away from herself and away from anything that was familiar, yet at some point, all travellers have to return to where ‘home’ is based and own up to whom they greet in the mirror.

Her condition of being whilst she is travelling reminds me a bit of PTSD, as she is consumed by her grief as much as she was consumed previously by the hallows of war and the images of whom she served as a nurse. Her soul is older by the experiences she has lived but despite the fact she feels she’s becoming numbed to letting anything affect her, an unexpected body proves the point that she still has quite a lot of life still left to live and a lot of work to be completed on behalf of those who have lost their voices to the grave.

She truly felt more alive whilst she was noodling out a thread of thought to paint a light on what is hidden from sight than she was to deal with the hours in which her heart plagued her spirit with it’s fever of memories. She needed to find a way back into the comfortability of her own skin before she could pursue any further route of aligning herself back inside her future. For her, time stalled out a bit, giving her a reprieve where she could be a bit reckless and non-complacent with her choices, but mindful of how danger and intrigue are two partners in a dance where if you miss a clue it could foretell your doom.

This is how Maisie Dobbs heals and recovers from tragic loss; she nearly re-invents who she is through the work she provides to others in need. She gets in over her head at times, but it is the self-worth of knowing how important what she does has a benefit for others in a time and place where seeking out the truth is not as common as it should be. Maisie Dobbs is a remarkably strong woman and one I will be reading about for years to come. This is only my first jaunt inside her world, and I couldn’t be happier with the acquaintance because she gets you to think about what is plausible whilst giving you a firm scope of the reality of her era.

On the refreshing discovery of Jacqueline Winspear:

Although I had this brilliant plan to read the entire series via hardbacks and an audiobook via my local library, as originally this blog tour stop was scheduled for mid-April, I couldn’t wait to dig inside my first Maisie Dobbs novel, as I simply had this ‘sense’ I would love her at first meeting. This goes back to when my library gained a new branch, six years ago come May whereupon I took up the notion to ‘get back into reading’ with such a hearty vengeance as to make-up for the time I had lost the years I did not have a library to pull from. This was a period of awakening for me in 2009, as not only was I discovering new authors of mystery and romance, I was re-discovering my love for literature as a whole. I would pull together lists and compiled a ‘to be read’ navigational route before I even knew what a “TBR List” entailed.

During this period of discovery, I found Phryne Fisher (on behalf of the Miss Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood; also an Aussie/BBC drama entering it’s 3rd Series) alongside Maisie Dobbs, Molly Murphy (on behalf of the mysteries by Rhys Bowen, Mary Russell (on behalf of the series involving Holmes retirement years by Laurie R. King) and Aunt Dimity (on behalf of the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Alterton) amongst others before discovering the suspense series of novels by Simone St. James or the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber in latter years. I was only able to dig inside the Mary Russell and Aunt Dimity series, as during any period of time you slate to ‘discover’ new authors, your not always in a keen position to ‘read them’ as you find them! Laughs.

I’m quite thrilled to bits my entrance into Maisie Dobbs was delayed until A Dangerous Place was published as it gave me a bit of a nudge to pick up the series, and sort out who Maisie Dobbs is at long last! Timing I believe is half of the joy in reading — what we might find to read during one year, might become the beloved book you’ve soaked inside another year! Timing truly is important in life; in all manners of instances.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This book review was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

{ click-through for the road map for the tour }

TLC Book Tours | Tour Host

I regret my review of  the new Maisie Dobbs was delayed a bit out of my control, as I was unexpectedly off-line the day of my tour stop, experienced a heavy downfall of rain, and had a heap left to read as I became behind on my readings this week as I previously disclosed due to my illness and medical affliction from last week. I attempted to keep close to my deadlines, but today, Thursday proved to get away from me. I regret I might have missed some visitors seeking my impression of the novel, but I hope they will return to see how much I love Maisie Dobbs and was positively thrilled to be on the blog tour!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

See what I am hosting next:

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

 Reader Interactive Question:

When it comes to formidable women like Maisie Dobbs and Phryne Fisher, what do you find the most attractive about their self-confidence and the way in which their minds resolve the crimes they find alight in their path to solve? What excites you the most about women sleuths over the men (i.e. Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse, Inspector Ian Rutledge, etc)?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Dangerous Place”, book synopsis, author biography and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

Tweets I’ve Shared on Behalf of this Novel:


About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 19 March, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Father-Daughter Relationships, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Geographically Specific, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, India, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Loss of an unbourne child, Mental Health, Nurses & Hospital Life, PTSD, Sociological Behavior, Sociology, the Thirties, The World Wars, TLC Book Tours, War Widow

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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “A Dangerous Place” {11th release of the Maisie Dobbs series} by Jacqueline Winspear

    • Hallo, Hallo Heather,

      In the years since I first hosted this beautiful blog tour featuring #MaisieDobbs, I’ve spoken to my Mum about the character and the series; we want to do a buddy read of the series once of these years and follow the whole journey of where Maisie Dobbs shall take us! I love that I’ve inspired her into this series – as this was my first entry point into Maisie Dobbs and I loved what I discovered about her whilst I hosted the blog tour. Mum and I always share a lot of mutually loved stories and genres; however, this is the first Historical series I’ve convinced her she would love to read! This is one of those moments of gratitude I was thankful a book and a series entered my life whilst hosting a blog tour as it helped develop a conversation about reading this with my Mum.

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