Women Sleuths in
Historical Mysteries

World War I England

©1996-2013
womeninworldhistory.com

Maisie Dobbs

by Jacqueline Winspear

The primary character in this story is Maisie, a private investigator whose rise from the servant class is due to careful mentoring by her upper class employers. The second character is World War I, seen over time from the horrors of the battlefield to the devastating legacy it left on the minds and bodies of the survivors. Maisie too served in the war as a nurse, and her empathy for the ex-soldiers leads her to investigate an establishment where their lingering traumas are in danger of being exploited. Maisie’s complete life is told via a series of long, rather maudlin flashbacks. There is considerably more depth in Winspear’s details about “upstairs and downstairs” life, her accounts of the war and its aftermath, and in Maisie’s physiological approach to her new found trade.

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Women in World History Curriculum