Advance reader reviews of A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear.

A Lesson in Secrets

A Maisie Dobbs Novel

By Jacqueline Winspear

A Lesson in Secrets
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Apr 2011,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

Page 3 of 4
There are currently 24 member reviews
for A Lesson in Secrets
Order Reviews by:
  • Ann L. (Arnold, MD)

    A Lesson in Secrets
    This was a very entertaining mystery story. Maise Dobbs is a great character. Her fans will not be disappointed in latest adventure. Even though this book takes place in 1932, Maise is a very modern, independent woman. And she even
    uses meditation to help her solve crimes. It's fun to read about her.
  • Julie R. (Jefferson, ME)

    A Female Detective Icon
    Dectective stories often evolve via fierce horrific scenes of violence - not so of Jacqueline Winspear's, "A Lesson in Secrets" - as old friends from preceding books encourage the reader to become the sleuth in sorting through clues to solve the murder. If you enjoyed the first books of this series, you will not be disappointed with her latest novel. In addition, Ms. Winspear has woven bits of Maisie's past life into the story of this book so that readers unfamiliar with the character can still understand the references. I enjoyed the depth of character development and the author's fluid and straight-forward writing style. With humor. clarity and purpose, Maisie, as mystic and maverick, secures her detective agency, shares her sleuthing skills with government organizations and finds time to console her friends and family. Should we not regard and regale Maisie as one of the 19th century's top female detectives?
  • Patricia F. (Stony Brook, New York)

    A Cup of Tea, a Tapestry and Maisie Dobbs...
    To quote our Maisie Dobbs...."She often thought of the early stages of an investigation as something akin to working a tapestry.." Picture the development and working of a tapestry and seeing meticulous labor and utmost care going into creating an important work of art. What a wonderful metaphor for a Maisie Dobbs novel! Maisie is an accomplished, capable investigator who is conducting intelligence work for the Crown. Maisie secures a job as an instructor at St. Francis College and in her undercover role, investigates the murder of Dr. Grenville Liddicote, principal of the school. This is classic Winspear at her best..peeling back the layers of the investigation with the professionalism and class expected of the time period.

    Having read only two Maisie Dobbs' novels in the past, it was refreshing and welcoming to revisit Maisie and look ahead to more. It should be noted that enough information is included in each novel that each can be appreciated as a stand alone piece of work. A highly regarded addition to the series, A Lesson in Secrets will be read in one sitting.
  • Margaret R. (Atlanta, GA)

    A Lesson in Secrets
    I am a great fan of Jacqueline Winspear having read all of her previous books. They present a picture of British life and thought during and after World War I along with an intriguing mystery. Her characters are all interesting and well developed, but this particular book had a few too many subplots and participants in them with changing names. Still it was a good read and a pleasant change from your run of the mill mystery.
  • Carolyn G. (Catskill, New York)

    Loved the cover art too!
    A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear is set in 1932 in England where Miss Maisie Dobbs, intrepid inquirer, is enlisted by the Secret Service and Scotland Yard to go undercover at a Cambridge college founded to promote peace after WW I. The sixth in a series by Ms. Winspear, her current offering compels the reader with an engrossing tale of secrets and lies uncovered as Maisie investigates a murder and other intrigues at the College of St. Francis. Subplots involving Maisie's co-worker and an acquaintance round out a well-told story about Pre-WW II England when Nazi influences are rising.

    As a reader unacquainted with Ms. Winspear's earlier work, I found this novel to be engaging and enjoyable. It is an easy read which draws one into the plot with ease and interest. With just enough touches of English society (so much tea drinking!), the novel moves along from early scene setting to tidy finale, when all threads of the story are pulled together. I did feel that the subplots were unnecessary to the plot but did fill out the character of Maisie quite nicely. If you are a fan of English mysteries and appreciate a strong, steady female heroine, this is the novel for you. I plan to go back and ready all of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries which hopefully are as enjoyable as was A Lesson in Secrets.
  • Patricia M. (Davidson, North Carolina)

    A lesson in Secrets
    It took me a long time to get interested in this book. I had read another of Miss Winspear's books and found it quite interesting. This was a tedious read. Too many characters and too much detail. She is a fine writer and I look forward to another book from her.
  • Carolyn L. (Cincinnati, OH)

    Amazing Maisie
    As the world inches its way toward another war and zealot new groups in support of Hitler are on the rise, Maisie is asked by the British Secret Service to help with surveillance at a college in Cambridge that is committed to promoting peace. Not long after her arrival at the college, a murder occurs that puts Maisie at the center of new investigation that has all the twists and turns readers have come to expect and enjoy. Balancing this new assignment with several personal projects and her ongoing relationship with James, fans of Maisie Dobbs will continue to be more than satisfied.
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"

    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  131Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist


Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.