Jacqueline Winspear Biography
Jacqueline Winspear was
born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher
education at the University of London's Institute of Education,
Jacqueline worked in both general and academic publishing, in higher
education and in marketing communications in the UK.
She emigrated to the United States in
1990, and while working in business and as a personal/professional
coach, she embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.
A regular contributor to journals
covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in
women's magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San
Francisco. She currently divides her time between Ojai and the San
Francisco Bay Area. Jacqueline is also a regular visitor to the United
Kingdom and Europe.
Jacqueline's first two novels:
of a Feather, along with her third novel,
Pardonable Lies, are set in the late 1920's and early 1930's,
with the roots of the story set in the Great War, 1914-1918.
Jacqueline's grandfather was severely
wounded and shell-shocked at The Battle of the Somme in 1916, and it was
as she understood the extent of his suffering that, even in childhood,
Jacqueline became deeply interested in the "war to end all wars" and its
aftereffects. As an adult her interest deepened to the extent that,
though she did not set out to write a "war" novel, it came as no
surprise that this part of history formed the backdrop of Maisie
Dobbs and other books in the series. The unique and engaging
character of Maisie Dobbs is very much a woman of her generation. She
has come of age at a time when women took on the toil of men and claimed
independence that was difficult to relinquish. It was a time when many
women remained unmarried, simply because a generation of men had gone to
war and not come home.
"The war and its aftermath provide
fertile ground for a mystery. Such great social upheaval allows for the
strange and unusual to emerge and a time of intense emotions can, to the
writer of fiction, provide ample fodder for a compelling story,
especially one concerning criminal acts and issues of guilt and
innocence. After all, a generation is said to have lost its innocence in
The Great War. The mystery genre provides a wonderful vehicle for
exploring such a time," explains Ms Winspear.
Maisie Dobbs, a National Bestseller, received an array of accolades
including New York Times Notable Book 2003, a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Mystery
2003, and a BookSense Top Ten selection. In addition, the novel was nominated
for 7 awards, including the Edgar for Best Novel -- only the second time a first
novel has been nominated in this category. Winspear won the prestigious Agatha
Award for Best First novel, the Macavity Award for Best First Novel; and the
Alex Award, which is presented annually by the American Library Association in
conjunction with the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust.
The sequel, Birds of a Feather, which was published in June 2004, became
a BookSense Top Ten pick in 2004. It was highly acclaimed by reviewers,
garnering nominations for the Southern California Booksellers Association Best
Mystery 2004, and that year's Independent Mystery Booksellers Association's
Dilys Winn Award.
Jacqueline's third novel, Pardonable Lies, was published by Henry Holt in
September 2005 as their lead fiction title. It went on to win the first Macavity
/ Sue Feder Best Historical Mystery Award. Next came her fourth book,
Messenger of Truth, which was nominated in 2006 for an Agatha Award for Best
Novel. This honor was gained by each of the first four Maisie Dobbs books!
Further books in the series have followed, as shown below.
Rights to develop a television series based on the Maisie Dobbs books were acquired by Film and General Productions in the UK but, at the time of writing, a series does not appear to be under development.
Series Order to Date
1. Maisie Dobbs (2003)
2. Birds of a Feather (2004)
3. Pardonable Lies (2005)
4. Messenger of Truth (2006)
5. An Incomplete Revenge (2008)
6. Among the Mad (2009)
7.The Mapping of Love and Death (2010)
8. A Lesson in Secrets (2011)
9. Elegy for Eddie (2012)
10. Leaving Everything Most Loved (2013)
This biography was last updated on 01/31/2011.
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