Last Updated on April 13, 2020 Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the popular Maisie Dobbs series, a historical mystery series set in post-WWI London, featuring Maisie, a former maid who is a psychologist and private investigator. The books took the world by storm, and historical mystery lovers are buying every new book in the series, which 15 novels.
Here are the Jacqueline Winspear books in order for the Maisie Dobbs series and the author’s standalone works.
New Jacqueline Winspear Books
Maisie Dobbs Series in Order
- Maisie Dobbs, 2003
- Birds of a Feather, 2004
- Pardonable Lies, 2005
- Messenger of Truth, 2006
- An Incomplete Revenge, 2008
- Among the Mad, 2009
- The Mapping of Love and Death, 2010
- A Lesson in Secrets, 2011
- Elegy for Eddie, 2012
- Leaving Everything Most Loved, 2013
- A Dangerous Place, 2015
- Journey to Munich, 2016
- In This Grave Hour, 2017
- To Die but Once, 2018
- The American Agent, 2019
- What Would Maisie Do?, 2019 (non-fiction companion book)
Other Jacqueline Winspear Books
- The Care and Management of Lies, 2014 (standalone novel)
- Private Investigations: Mystery Writers on the Secrets, Riddles, and Wonders in Their Lives, 2020 (anthology)
- This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing, 2020 (nonfiction memoir)
Who is Maisie Dobbs?
Maisie Dobbs is a young woman who was once a maid. Next, she did her part in the war as a nurse, and after the war ended, she began working as a PI. Her skills in psychology and knowledge of meditation helped her greatly in solving the cases.
Maisie is an independent woman who is determined to make a life for herself and rebuild the world around her any best way she can, even if it means helping others solving their problems. Her business is called M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations, and is set up in Fitzroy Square.
Back in the day, when at the age of 13 she was put to work for a wealthy family, she discovered their library and her love for reading. She is noticed by Maurice Blanche, who takes upon himself to teach her all sorts of things, including logic, psychology, Eastern spirituality. Maisie ends up in college at Girton College, Cambridge, but she has to stop her studies when the war breaks out. She then becomes a nurse.
She embodies the empowered women who were literally the first generation to have jobs related to wars (nursers, ambulance drivers, anything that would help war-related efforts.
To get the most out of her character, reading the Jacqueline Winspear books in order should be followed, since each book loosely builds upon the other one. The reader learns something about Maisie and the time period from every book.
Jacqueline Winspear Biography
Jacqueline Winspear was born in 1955 in Kent in England, where she also grew up. She graduated from the University of London’s Institute of Education, following which she started working in several areas such as academic publishing, higher education, as well as marketing communications. During WWII, her family moved to Kent to a safer and quieter place away from the big city.
The Jacqueline Maisie Dobbs books were initially inspired by the author’s grandfather’s experiences during WWI, which left huge physical emotional scars in her grandparents. In an interview, the author mentioned that her grandfather was severely wounded and shell-shocked during The Battle of the Somme in 1916, following which he would always walk with a limp and would wheeze with destroyed lungs.
Also, the times after WWI meant lots of women remained alone without a spouse. Still, these women had to make it forward. Independence grew more fierce, and this is the time when Maise Dobbs really came into her own. In part, however, the Maisie Dobbs character was also inspired by one morning when the author was stuck in traffic and began daydreaming. By the time she got to work, her character was fully fleshed out with a history as being born in the poor area of Lambeth at the end of the 1800s.
In 1990, Jacqueline Winspear moved to the United States, to California where she began working as a personal and professional couch, during which time the also began realizing her dream of writing books, of becoming a published author. After writing Maisie Dobbs, and sending it to the publisher, they asked about a second book in the series, so the author Jacqueline Winspear began fleshing out ideas for next novels.
The Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs series begins with the year 1913, when Maisie is a housemaid who enrolls in WWI as a nurse. Once the war is over, Maisie begins working as a private investigator, who uses her knowledge of psychology and yoga to solve cases.
Reading the Maisie Dobbs books in order will take the lover of historical mysteries from 1913 all the way to 1930, and then over the next few books to 1938 when Maisie begins working with the British Secret Service at the beginning of WWII.
In The American Agent, published in 2019, Maisie is in the middle of WWII when she has to investigate the murder of an American journalist, Catherine Saxon, who was found dead in her apartment in London. Maisie is working together with Mark Scott, another American, who once Maisie escape Munich in 1938.
In additional to writing her bestselling series and her standalone novel, Jacqueline has also written several articles in women’s magazines. She has also written a non-fiction illustrated companion book to the Maisie Dobbs series titles What Would Maisie Do, which includes reflections on the value of respect, grieving, importance of departure, and many others. It includes period photographs, and even prompts coming from various observations series’ readers.
The Jacqueline Winspear books allow readers all over the world to learn of a time and place that is not so well-known outside the local circles: England between the two main World Wars. Each war has been thoroughly investigated and commented on in many fiction and non-fiction books, but this gray area between the two wars was less so. People were already traumatized by the first World War, and they were slowly started to recuperate when the second World War broke out.
The author gives a very realistic view of how life was for the poor, rich, and anyone in between during those times. The aftereffects of war touched everyone.
For her unending research, the author reads books – memoirs and fiction novels, along with various records from that time period. She also regularly checks the archives at the Imperial War Museum in London, as well as visits places in England and France that were parts of the battlefields in the time.
Jacqueline Winspear received the following awards for her books:
- Agatha Award for Best First Novel for Maisie Dobbs in 2003
- Macavity Award for Best First Novel for Maisie Dobbs in 2004
- Agatha Award for Best Novel for Birds of a Feather in 2004
Praise for Jacqueline Winspear Books
A female investigator every bit as brainy and battle-hardened as Lisbeth Salander. (Maureen Corrigan)
The reader familiar with Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency . . . might think of Maisie Dobbs as its British counterpart . . . Winspear has created a winning character about whom readers will want to read more. (The Associated Press)
Maisie Dobbs catches the sorrow of a lost generation in the character of one exceptional woman. (Chicago Tribune)
If you like classic mysteries . . . you’ll love Winspear’s Birds of a Feather. (The Denver Post)
In addition to providing a very good mystery, Winspear does a smashing job describing the bravery exhibited by everyday Britons as the fear of invasion becomes ever more real. (Kirkus)
Maisie Dobbs is always looking for truth and the underlying motives in her cases. Her stories are ones that this reviewer always wants to read because of her character, values and thoughts on life…. A story about WWII and England that is close to the heart. (Bookreporter)