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Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

>> Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Published: 2004
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 311
Challenge: 2nds Challenge #1

This is the second book in the Maisie Dobbs series. When I read the first one I had described it as a gently told period piece. My only and minor disappointment in the first book of the series (Maisie Dobbs) was that there wasn’t much of a mystery to it and that it was primarily introducing the recurring characters and setting them up with their backstories. I was pleased to see that this second book has more of a mystery to be solved and that it retains the gentleness and atmosphere in the storytelling that I enjoyed so much in the first book.

When reading this book I could easily envision it unfolding in my mind much like watching a black and white movie on a rainy Saturday afternoon while curled up on the couch under a quilt with a cup of tea.

Maisie is a 30 something single woman in 1930 London working as a private investigator. She and most of the characters in the book are still coping with the aftereffects of World War I and an economic depression. This setting and time period are nearly characters themselves in the book.

The investigation that kicks off the story seems simple enough. The successful and powerful owner of a chain of shops hires Maisie to find his runaway daughter. This runaway is herself in her 30’s and this is not the first time she’s run from her father’s apparent controlling environment. Maisie begins by learning more about the missing Charlotte Waite and her friends, but when the friends keep ending up as murder victims, Maisie is soon investigating much more than a missing person case.

I liked that there was more mystery to this one, and I liked that it was a very atmospheric type of story. I was a bit annoyed by the pseudo-psychic intuition moments that Maisie has and felt that they only served to diminish her excellent investigative skills. Ultimately it’s Maisie’s investigative abilities and not her pseudo-psychic abilities that solve the case. The ongoing stories of Maisie, her father and her friends continues to be an interesting backdrop to the mystery.

I’m definitely looking forward to continuing with this series.

8 comments:

Vickie 10/17/2007 12:00 PM  

This is one of my choices for the challenge, too. I enjoyed the first in the series, but, like you, I was wondering where the mystery was. Glad to know it shows in the second and hopefully subsequent books in the series.

SuziQoregon 10/18/2007 7:59 AM  

Vickie: Definitely more mystery in this one without losing the good aspects of the first one. I think you'll like it.

Anne Bradshaw. 10/19/2007 2:49 PM  

I popped on over from Tristi's and can see I need to return often. Thanks for all the reviews. Most helpful.

You might enjoy the little critter on top of my blog today :-)

Anne Bradshaw. 10/19/2007 2:50 PM  

PS

Meant to say how much I love that photo top of you blog!

SuziQoregon 10/21/2007 9:23 AM  

Anne: thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the compliment on the photo - I took that at Cannon Beach, Oregon a few years ago.

Booklogged 10/22/2007 7:09 PM  

I've been enjoying this series, too. I think you describe the books perfectly - gentle and atmoshperic. I'm looking forward to book 4.

ML 10/23/2007 10:18 AM  

I love it that you partake in the challenges. I'm so chicken. I always make a list of books I want to read in a specific time frame, and then not stick with it.

I'm putting this series on my TBR. I really liked your review.

SuziQoregon 10/23/2007 8:51 PM  

Booklogged: I like that you're one book ahead of me in the series and still enjoying it :-)

ML: I've learned the hard way to pick and choose my challenges and overlap books when I can. I really try to only sign up for challenges where at least part of the books I choose are already on my TBR list.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

I do moderate comments on posts older than 14 days in order to control spam. I will approve your legitimate comments as soon as I can.

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