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
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011,
    336 pages.

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There are currently 24 member reviews
for A Lesson in Secrets
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  • Anne G. (Austin, TX)


    A Lesson in Secrets
    I've loved Maisie Dobbs ever since I met her eight novels ago. I think her kind spirit is the perfect foil to the sometimes grizzly crimes she investigates. I love that Billy her assistant isn't perfect and yet she continues to aid him and his family. In fact, it seems to be the imperfections in others that Maisie recognizes and with which she most readily bonds.

    In A Lesson in Secrets, Maisie is called away from her home and her job to assist the British Secret Service in Cambridge at a small private college. Setting herself up as a philosophy teacher will allow Maisie to observe the comings and goings and get to know the staff at the college all the while reporting back her findings. Of course the plot thickens when a death occurs on campus and Maisie begins to investigate. Meanwhile back home Billy is holding down the office with the new assistant, Sandra who soon becomes her own mystery.

    One of the things I liked most about this novel is the inclusion of the factual history that was concerning Brits of the day. Hilter's influence is rising and clandestine Nazi groups are meeting but should they be of concern to law enforcement officials? I suspect there's more of that to come in future installments.

    I think this book will be enjoyed most by those who have followed the series. If one comes into this book first there will be lots of questions raised about Maisie's past and characters who have been important earlier in her life. Besides, if you love Maisie the way I love Maisie you won't want to miss a single episode of her continuing saga.
  • Richard S. (Toledo, Ohio)


    A Lesson in Secrets
    This novel is most of all a story for Anglophiles. Set between two world wars, it includes most of the elements associated with popular perceptions of Great Britain: like titles of nobility; tea, lots of tea; Oxbridge; cockney rhyming slang; rigid class differences; the whole gamut of things Americans associate with the Brits. Nothing could be more British than the protagonist, Maisie Dobbs who is herself a symptom of changing times in England.
    All of this forms the framework for a carefully structured story about possible espionage and the murder of a famed College dean . There are serious issues and important topics discussed, but the focus is on the remarkable Miss Dobbs and the nation as envisaged by author Jacqueline Winspear. Readers should not expect realism, but should enjoy following Maisie as she leads them through the changing times with a cast of interesting characters.
  • Lori (Wayland, MA)


    A Lesson in Secrets
    I am a huge fan of the Maisie Dobbs series. Winspear writes beautifully about British life post-WWI. The characters are well-developed, and you learn about the trauma the war caused throughout the country. The mysteries are intended to stand alone, but I would highly recommend that they be read in the order written.

    This book starts a transition from post-WWI life to pre-WWII, and the on-going characters have the beginnings of major changes in their professional and personal lives. I recommend the book, but thought some of the minor storylines in it detracted from the main story. I look forward to the next in the series.
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