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Birds of a Feather

A Maisie Dobbs Mystery

by Jacqueline Winspear

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear X
Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2004, 360 pages
    Aug 2005, 320 pages

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Power Reviewer

Birds of a Feather
A tight plot and likeable characters people this mystery set in post World War I England. Masie is a detective and a psychologist and uses both to solve interesting and informative crimes. This one is no different. Hired to find a runaway daughter, Masie stumbles on a serial killer. Well written, with believable and clearly drawn characters with interesting backgrounds and a spot on sense of time and place, this series gets better as it continues. While the second in the series, there is no need to have read the first before beginning this one.
5 of 5 stars
Power Reviewer
Cloggie Downunder

intriguing plot
Birds of a Feather is the second book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Now in a new office in Fitzroy Square with Billy Beale as her permanent assistant, Maisie Dobbs is still under the generous patronage of Lady Rowan Compton, living at the Compton's Ebery Street house and in the process of buying Lady Rowan's crimson MG. Maisie is engaged by a wealthy and highly respected self-made businessman and philanthropist, Joseph Waite, to find his daughter Charlotte, who has, once again, run away from home. A woman in her early thirties, the reason for Charlotte's disappearance is not entirely apparent, although it is obvious that neither her father nor the household staff have a good relationship with her. But is this rather unhappy young woman in hiding (and if so, where?), has she met with foul play or an accident, or has she taken her own life? Following up with Charlotte's very sparsely-populated address book, Billy and Maisie discover a link with a young woman recently murdered, and soon, in exactly the same manner, the same fate befalls another of Charlotte’s contacts. When Maisie tracks down a third contact, a weeks-old suicide also begins to look suspicious. Joseph Waite has not been entirely forthcoming with information, and it seems that Billy Beale also has a problem he is not sharing with Maisie. DI Stratton makes a premature arrest and dismisses Maisie's misgivings; he continues his pursuit of Maisie socially, but his are not the only attentions Maisie has to handle. As well as expanding on Maisie's support cast, this installment illustrates further what life was like in 1930's England in rich and poor households alike, describing clothing and accoutrements, customs and behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. It also touches on the themes of remembrance and reminders, guilt, resentment and forgiveness, shame and coercion. Maisie demonstrates the value of following one’s intuition, of listening to service personnel, of re-enacting certain situations and of empathy with witnesses and victims; she uses trace evidence and, as usual, gets valuable advice from her mentor, Maurice Blanche. Yoga, Pilates, a convent, chronic pain and narcotic abuse, and a decoy stand-in all feature. Another historical mystery with an intriguing plot and an exciting climax.

love this book
I have not quite finished the cd but love it and the reader. There is so much to ponder. I really like the slow paced but intriguing plot. One thing I love about this book is there is no bad language. Often, I have to take books back to the library because of language that bothers me. I don't understand why so many books use offensive language.
Power Reviewer

I'm not sure I would enjoy this as much if I were "reading" it rather than listening to it as I am on audio book. It is a British author, which certainly gives it more flavor than the strictly American version I would be giving it in my own reading! I find that I like how Maisie is growing up and while I may not want her to be my best friend, I am enjoying her more. I was able to figure out this mystery, but the story was still suspenseful.. Of course, I have to read the next one in the series, because Winspear ended with a bit of a cliffhanger!!!
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