02 March 2017

Eighth in a Binge-Worthy Historical Mystery Series | A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear


In the summer of 1932, the career of psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an undercover assignment from the British Secret Service. Sent to pose as a junior lecturer at a private college in Cambridge, she will monitor any activities “not in the interests of His Majesty’s government.”

When the college’s controversial pacifist founder, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, however, Maisie is directed to stand back as her colleagues in Scotland Yard spearhead the investigation. But she soon discovers that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty members and students under her surveillance. To unravel this web, the investigator must overcome a reluctant Secret Service, discover shameful hidden truths about Britain’s conduct during the Great War, and face off against the rising power of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—as the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon.

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I’ve been binge-reading the Maisie Dobbs series since the beginning of the year, and I’ve had an absolutely wonderful reading experience. Independent and intelligent Maisie Dobbs is a pleasure to follow through mystery after mystery—she hasn’t yet failed to amaze me with her skillful piecing together of all the clues. And the eighth book of the series, A Lesson in Secrets, is no exception, offering all the elements a Maisie Dobbs fan should expect.

Maisie Dobbs has certainly come a long way from her first novel appearance. At this point in the series, she is in the process of acclimating to both her recently inherited wealth, which elevates her further from her poor beginnings, and an unexpectedly steady romantic relationship, which seems to pose a threat to her beloved career. Then, as an added change, her career heads in a new direction when she partners with the Secret Service and goes undercover. (Yet, through it all, she remains the level-headed, empathic, and observant character readers love.)

Maisie’s new case has, as usual, interesting ties to World War I—but readers finally begin to see the daunting approach of World War II, too—and as she investigates under the guise of a lecturer at a pacifist-minded college, the truth behind all the secrets she encounters unfolds with excellent mystery. Well-crafted and well-paced, the mystery involves murder, conspiracy, and deceit and will surely keep readers intrigued to the end.

All in all, I enjoyed A Lesson in Secrets. I highly recommend it and the entire Maisie Dobbs series to readers interested in historical mystery (with a strong female lead).


Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a complimentary copy of A Lesson in Secrets and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.


  1. I love binge reading a series like this, especially when there are so many great book in it!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    1. Yes! It's just wonderful. Thanks for stopping by, Heather!