Maisie Dobbs

I’m going to blame Cloud Atlas, the novel of much buzz and fanfare by David Mitchell.  Once I got over the hump of struggling to get into it – to read more than a page or two at a time, I found that it was a really good book.  Really good. But the journey up and over that hump was a rough one.  I almost didn’t make it.  And I never give up on a book, no matter how bad, boring or bucolic.  Whatever.  Alliteration.  It’s where it’s at.

After finishing Cloud Atlas, which was around November of last year, I took a book reading vacation.  Which is weird.  Because I would usually devour a novel a week.  On this book reading vacation, I did read myself some YA, because let’s face it.  I couldn’t truly go cold turkey.  And reading material intended for someone half my age (or, erm…. crap.  A third of my age) totally counts as reading.

I finished that Sweet Valley Confidential piece of garbage in about a day.  It was bad.  And not bad like “oh come on, you knew it was going to be bad,” but bad like Francine Pascal had a conversation with herself that went like this:

– Why will these vapid little tween girls not desist in sending me their pitiful fan letters?
– What has become of me?  I know the word “tween.”
– After all these years, they still love Jessica and Elizabeth!
– The fools.
– Fools who have paid me millions for churning out saccharine trash.
– Perhaps if I were to wipe my ass and call it a novel, they would buy that.
– That is a brilliant idea!

But I read it.  No book left behind.

And today, I finished my first adult novel (at least I’m pretty sure it’s for grown-ups… kinda.  It is sort of Nancy Drew-esque.  Please don’t burst my bubble.) in months and months.


Also, it was really good!


It was the first in a series of eight, which means that I can just go chomping through these for a while.

So, Maisie Dodds.  She’s this World War I era British girl who goes to work as a maid.  Her employers pick up on her extra cleverness and sponsor her education.  Cambridge is interrupted by the war and Maisie goes off to France as a nurse.  Afterward, she starts her own business as a private investigator, and this book is the story of her first mystery solved.

Sometimes she wears a cloche.  And she has a pearl tipped hat pin.  And a nurse’s watch.  And from what I can tell, her nurse’s outfit was just like the one that one of my paper dolls had when I was five.

It is entirely possible that I fell enamored of the style and sentiment of the era more than the actual story telling, but I was engaged in the story and the character.  Although she is a little stuffy and not so quirky, but she’s awfully smart and sensible and always knows just what to say.

Even though it wasn’t a challenging read, I’m still feeling pretty chuffed* to have finished a whole grown-up book that perhaps I will do it again**!

*See what I did there?  I used a cute little British word, just like a Maisie Dobbs character would.

**For my next act, I will be reading the 2nd Maisie Dobbs book.

1 Comment

Filed under Book crave

One response to “Maisie Dobbs

  1. I need to read an actual book again. I’m a huge life-long reader, but haven’t read a gripping book in a while. I’m currently reading Jennette Fulda’s new book “Chocolate and Vicodin”, but I only read it while on the elliptical at the gym. Which I haven’t been doing enough of lately, so it’s slow-going. That’s pretty much my only reading time these days. I have a comparative lit degree. I should read more books (less blogs?).

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