About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Tonight I am putting up a post of a review written in 2008 when I first encountered Maisie Dobbs. It was my favourite work of fiction that year.
22. - 432.) Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear – A wonderful new character. Last year it was Walt Longmire. This year it is Maisie Dobbs. A jacket blurb likened Winspear to Alexander McCall-Smith’s books. It is an apt comparison. At its core the book is a mystery. It is not a great mystery. It is a great book. Maisie is far more than a detective as she seeks to restore the well being of her clients. From modest origins she reaches university at the start of WW I with the aid of Lady Rowan and Lord Julian. Her mentor, Maurice Blanche, is a wonderful wise man with abundant aphorisms. Maisie’s intelligence and humanity are striking. Her time as a nurse near the trenches and relationship with war surgeon, Dr. Simon Lynch, is a tender look at a couple in the midst of an overwhelming war. The story unfolds in 1929 as Maisie goes out on her own. The term detective agency is far too narrow a description of her services. Her adoption of a person’s posture to determine what they are feeling is unique. I longed for her to meet and ease the tormented Ian Rutledge of Charles Todd. I loved the New York Times comment “be prepared to be astonished”. Excellent. Hardcover or paperback by choice. (May 31/08) (Best fiction of 2008.)


  1. Bill - I'm glad you like the Maisie Dobbs character. I like it very much too, and I think Winspear does an especially good job of evoking the time. I find that era between World War I and World War II very interesting and Winspear portrays it well I think.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. It is hard to create a unique character and Winspear succeeded brilliantly.