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All of Jacqueline Winspear’s Books in Order!
Who is Jacqueline Winspear?
Born in 1955 in Kent, Jacqueline Winspear is a British novelist, famous for her series of historical crime novels centered around the character of Maisie Dobbs. Her grandfather’s suffering in the First World War was the starting point for her interest in the conflict, which would become the focus of her novels.
She studied at the University of London’s Institute of Education and then worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK.
She emigrated to the United States in 1990 and settled in California, where she embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer. She first became a regular in several publications before publishing her first novel, Maisie Dobbs, and the first in her series which has now sold millions of copies and for which she has won several mystery writing awards.
How to read Jacqueline Winspear’s Books in Order:
The Maisie Dobbs Series
The Maisie Dobbs series is set in the interwar period in England and revolves aroung Maisie Dobbs, a former maid who becomes a private investigator.
In the first novel in the series, published in 2003, Maisie Dobbs is hired to investigate a possible infidelity case. However, as she delves deeper into the case, she uncovers a darker conspiracy that takes her back to her own traumatic experiences during World War I.
After that, Maisie takes on various cases and struggles to come to terms with her past while the political landscape changes around her, during the interwar period in England, including the aftermath of World War I and the rise of fascism.
You can find more in our article about the Maisie Dobbs series.
- 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)
- The Consequences of Fear (2021)
- A Sunlit Weapon (2022)
You’ll find below the official synopsis for all the books:
- Maisie Dobbs – After World War I, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.
- Birds of a Feather – It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. But what seems a simple case at the outset soon becomes increasingly complicated when three of the heiress’s old friends are found dead. Is there a connection between the woman’s mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would want to kill three seemingly respectable young women?
- Pardonable Lies – A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche.
- Messenger of Truth – London, 1931. On the night before the opening of his new and much-anticipated exhibition at a famed Mayfair gallery, Nicholas Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police declare the fall an accident, but the dead man’s twin sister, Georgina, isn’t convinced. When the authorities close the case, Georgina takes matters into her own hands, seeking out a fellow graduate from Girton College: Maisie Dobbs.
- An Incomplete Revenge – With the country in the grip of economic malaise, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment to investigate a potential land purchase. Her inquiries take her to a picturesque village in Kent during the hop-picking season, but beneath its pastoral surface, she finds evidence that something is amiss. Mysterious fires erupt in the village with alarming regularity, and a series of petty crimes suggest a darker criminal element at work.
- Among the Mad – It’s Christmas Eve 1931 and Maisie Dobbs becomes involved in a race against time to find a man who proves he has the knowledge and will to inflict death and destruction on thousands of innocent people. And before this harrowing case is over, Maisie must navigate a darkness not encountered since she was a nurse in wards filled with shell-shocked men.
- The Mapping of Love and Death – Maisie Dobbs is hired to unravel a case of wartime love and death, an investigation that leads her to a doomed affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse.
- A Lesson in Secrets – In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ career goes in an exciting new direction when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to investigate of a web of activities being conducted by the emerging Nazi party.
- Elegy for Eddie – Maisie Dobbs takes on her most personal case yet, a twisting investigation into the brutal killing of a street peddler that will take her from the working-class neighborhoods of her childhood into London’s highest circles of power.
- Leaving Everything Most Loved – 1933. Maisie Dobbs is contacted by an Indian gentleman who has come to England in the hopes of finding out who killed his sister two months ago. Scotland Yard failed to make any arrest in the case, and there is reason to believe they failed to conduct a thorough investigation. The case becomes even more challenging when another Indian woman is murdered just hours before a scheduled interview.
- A Dangerous Place – Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability—and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gilbraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit and danger.
- Journey to Munich – It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. She is sent to Hitler’s Germany to retrieve a British subject from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.
- In This Grave Hour – Sunday September 3rd 1939. At the moment Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcasts to the nation Britain’s declaration of war with Germany, a senior Secret Service agent breaks into Maisie Dobbs’ flat to await her return. Dr. Francesca Thomas has an urgent assignment for Maisie: to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium as a boy, some twenty-three years earlier during the Great War.
- To Die but Once – During the months following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, Maisie Dobbs investigates the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a hush-hush government contract. Maisie’s investigation leads her from the countryside of rural Hampshire to the web of wartime opportunism exploited by one of the London underworld’s most powerful men, in a case that serves as a reminder of the inextricable link between money and war.
- The American Agent – When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered in her London digs, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. He is accompanied by Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie get out of Hitler’s Munich in 1938. MacFarlane asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon’s death.
- The Consequences of Fear – October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he’s shocked to come face to face with the killer.
- A Sunlit Weapon – October 1942. Jo Hardy, a 22-year-old ferry pilot, is delivering a Supermarine Spitfire—the fastest fighter aircraft in the world—to Biggin Hill Aerodrome, when she realizes someone is shooting at her aircraft from the ground. Returning to the location on foot, she finds an American serviceman in a barn, bound and gagged. She rescues the man, who is handed over to the American military police; it quickly emerges that he is considered a suspect in the disappearance of a fellow soldier who is missing.
The Jacqueline Winspear’s Standalone Novels
- The Care and Management of Lies (2014) – By July 1914, the ties between Kezia Marchant and Thea Brissenden, friends since girlhood, have become strained – by Thea’s passionate embrace of women’s suffrage, and by the imminent marriage of Kezia to Thea’s brother, Tom, who runs the family farm. Yet when Tom enlists to fight for his country and Thea is drawn reluctantly onto the battlefield, the farm becomes Kezia’s responsibility. Each must find a way to endure the ensuing cataclysm and turmoil. But will well-intended lies and self-deception be of use when they come face to face with the enemy.
- The White Lady (2023) – The private, quiet “Miss White” as Elinor is known, lives in a village in rural Kent, England, and to her fellow villagers seems something of an enigma. Well she might, as Elinor occupies a “grace and favor” property, a rare privilege offered to faithful servants of the Crown for services to the nation. But the residents of Shacklehurst have no way of knowing how dangerous Elinor’s war work had been, or that their mysterious neighbor is haunted by her past. It will take Susie, the child of a young farmworker, Jim Mackie and his wife, Rose, to break through Miss White’s icy demeanor—but Jim has something in common with Elinor. He, too, is desperate to escape his past.
Non-fiction books by Jacqueline Winspear
- What Would Maisie Do? (2019) – A one-of-a-kind illustrated companion to the best-selling Maisie Dobbs series, which invites readers into the beloved heroine’s world—and shares her wisdom and inspiration.
- This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing (2020) – After sixteen novels, Jacqueline Winspear has taken the step of turning to memoir, revealing the hardships and joys of her family history. Her story tackles the difficult, poignant, and fascinating family accounts of her paternal grandfather’s shellshock; her mother’s evacuation from London during the Blitz; her soft-spoken animal-loving father’s torturous assignment to an explosives team during WWII; her parents’ years living with Romany Gypsies; and Winspear’s own childhood picking hops and fruit on farms in rural Kent, capturing her ties to the land and her dream of being a writer at its very inception.
What should you read if you like Jacqueline Winspear’s novels?
If you like reading Jacqueline Winspear’s books, you may be interested in Charles Todd‘s work, or in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series.