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April 25, 2011

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Julie P.

I have had a great time with Maisie over the past few months. Thank you for hosting this read-along.

Here's the link to my review: http://www.bookingmama.net/2011/04/review-lesson-in-secrets.html

1)I liked that Maisie went undercover -- brought something new to the story. This aspect made the series a little more interesting rather than just a traditional cozy.

2) I loved how Winspear incorporated the Nazi party into this story. I think she's been hinting to it for the past few books. I really felt as if she capture both the followers' behavior as well as the nay-sayers'.

3) I found it odd that he wasn't in this book more. I like that there still together and I found it interesting to see Maisie's vulnerable side with her relationship insecurities. I'm not entirely sure that they will end up happily ever after though.

4) I do think there is a slight chance that Maisie would change her career in the future, but where would we be as far as a series goes? :) I found myself still hoping that Maisie and Stratton would end up together, so who knows? If both end up as teachers somewhere.....

5)Not really sure about this one. I love that Maisie is helping those less fortunate and feels that responsibility to others. And I can totally see her mentoring a younger girl to fill her motherly need, but I am still holding out hope that Maisie won't end up entirely alone....

Word Lily

1,2) I was thrilled about the expansion/new directions of Maisie's career. I think it's a good fit for her.

3) I really, really, really hope they make it. I'm scared she's going to screw it up, though.

4) She's always been teaching, to a certain degree (Billy, even her clients), so it's no surprise she enjoys it. She doesn't seem willing to part with the investigative aspects of her work, though. (And I don't think James would require that.)

5) No. I refuse to consider that Maisie's work necessitates her being alone. :)

Katie

1. I liked seeing Maisie in a new setting - I don't know much about Cambridge, though I've spent time in Oxford. Interesting to see her in academia again.

2. It's chilling to watch the progression of the Nazi Party in Germany and in Europe at large...those of us reading now know the end of that story. I'm glad Winspear touched on it...Maisie certainly can't ignore such a thing.

3. I don't know about Maisie and James...I like them together, but I'm afraid she'll push him away, fearing a marriage would change or end her career.

I've loved the Maisie books...thank you so much for introducing me to them.

Julia

I have another critical review of this book, I’m afraid. See my post here: http://pagesofjulia.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/a-lesson-in-secrets-by-jacqueline-winspear/

1. I didn’t think she went very far undercover, since she was open in her connections to Scotland Yard, and opened up easily to Francesca Thomas. I felt like she took her role a little lightly; her loyalties to the new boss couldn’t have been that strong as she kept on promising to keep people’s secrets, like Thomas’s. I’m not sure this plot feature works for me; I think Maisie is at her best when she’s self-motivated and her movements are her own. It fell a little flat.

2. Again, I’m not sure we delved deeply enough into the fascism argument for it to be a strong plot element. It just felt cursory; like, Winspear wants to get Maisie on record beforehand as being anti-fascist, and then move on.

3. I love James and am very impatient to see Maisie’s personal life shaken up a bit. I hope something definitive happens in the next book, one way or the other. I’m very much rooting for them to be together, but even the alternative would be preferable to more wishy-washy-ness on Maisie’s part.

4. I was sorry we didn’t see more of her teaching – maybe get to know some students, maybe see her intellect or her classroom prep. This is another element I felt wasn’t handled with much depth, and I was sorry; I think Maisie could be a strong teacher, and role model/mentor, and it should help her develop personally as well. But her teaching behaved as more of a tool to get her into the college than a fully developed plot element.

5. That’s certainly the danger; and it’s not new since her inheritance.

Thanks y'all, it's been lovely. :)

Diane (bookchickdi)

I so enjoyed the Maisie series! I'm glad I took part. My review here:
http://bit.ly/f97DC0

As to the questions
1) It was exciting to see Maisie undercover; it adds a new dimension to the series.

2) I see this as foreshadowing to Maisie's coming involvement in war-time intelligence for Britain, taking over for Maurice. Will it cause conflicts for her because she has already seen the horrors of war up close?

3) I too missed James. Maisie has to decide what many working women today are faced with- can she have a career and a marriage? Easier now than in 1932.

4) I don't see Maisie leaving behind her business,but maybe focusing more on the 'psychologist' side than the 'private investigations' side ?

5) I hope that Maisie can integrate her philanthropy with her personal life. Can it be easier for women than men to do that because of society's expectations of women?

Thanks for hosting!

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