Welcome to my podcast, The Crime Fiction Lounge.
I have pleasure in bringing you this fascinating interview with The New York Times Bestselling author, Jacqueline Winspear – Author of the Maisie Dobbs Crime Mysteries. Jacqueline was born and raised in Kent and emigrated to the USA in 1990. She has written extensively for journals, newspapers and magazines, and has worked in book publishing on both sides of the Atlantic. The Maisie Dobbs series of crime novels is beloved by readers worldwide – always going into the New York Times top 10 on publication.
The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear
The American Agent
When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered at her London flat, 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. They are joined by an agent from the US Department of Justice—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.
As the Germans unleash the full terror of their blitzkrieg upon the British Isles, raining death and destruction from the skies, Maisie must balance the demands of solving this dangerous case with her need to protect Anna, the young evacuee she has grown to love and wants to adopt. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue being played out in Britain, Maisie will face losing her dearest friend—and the possibility that she might be falling in love again.
Order Your Copy of The American Agent today:
To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear
To Die But Once
To Die But Once opens in May 1940, and unfolds against the drama of Germany’s European advance and the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches of Dunkirk. On the home front, Maisie Dobbs becomes involved when a local pub landlord and his wife express concern about their son, who has not been in touch recently. Young Joe Coombes, a happy-go-lucky lad who is not yet sixteen years of age, has been working away from home—he is an apprentice to a painting and decorating company with a lucrative government contract, and the work requires a crew of painters to work away from home, and Joe is the youngest on the crew. His father tells Maisie that Joe had been acting strangely of late, and complaining of headaches. Could the lad have been enjoying his first taste of freedom a little too much? Or is there something more serious at the heart of his lack of contact.
Among other troubling discoveries, Maisie’s investigation uncovers a connection to a well-known London family involved in organized crime—and one member who will not hesitate to resort to extreme violence. Maisie has never shied away from danger, but now there’s someone else to consider: Anna, the orphaned evacuee she welcomed into her home and her affections. And as she does her best to reconcile her professional and personal responsibilities, two people close to Maisie’s heart put their lives at risk among the Dunkirk flotilla. But the investigator—who knows far too much about the tragic cost of war and the peril facing soldiers stranded on the beaches of France and their rescuers—is powerless to do anything except wait.
Get Your Copy of To Die But Once here:
In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear
In This Grave Hour
Sunday September 3rd 1939. At the very 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.
In a London shadowed by barrage balloons, bomb shelters and the threat of invasion, within days another former Belgian refugee is found murdered. And as Maisie delves deeper into the killings of the dispossessed from the “last war,” a new kind of refugee—an evacuee from London—appears in Maisie’s life. The little girl billeted at Maisie’s home in Kent does not, or cannot, speak, and the authorities do not know who the child belongs to or who might have put her on the “Operation Pied Piper” evacuee train. They know only that her name is Anna.
As Maisie’s search for the killer escalates, the country braces for what is to come. Britain is approaching its gravest hour—and Maisie could be nearing a crossroads of her own.
Get Your Copy of In This Grave Hour here:
Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear
Journey to Munich
It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs has returned to England from war-torn Spain. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks toward Fitzroy Square—a place that holds many memories for her—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release an important British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s daughter—his only child—is gravely ill and his wife deceased, the Secret Service need a first-class female agent to present herself in the guise of his daughter at Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich. They want her to bring home a man crucial to Britain’s war plans.
The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s journey to Munich. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is desperate for help of a more personal nature.
Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .
Get Your Copy of Journey to Munich here:
A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
A Dangerous Place
The year 1937 finds Maisie, reeling from recent personal tragedies—the happiest period of her life has ended abruptly, and after a period of time seeking solace in America, and once again in India, she decides to return home. But as her ship sails closer to England, she is overcome with fear that she is still not ready to take up her past life. She disembarks in Gibraltar, ignoring an ominous warning from the ship’s captain—she has arrived in a dangerous place. Gibraltar is indeed perilous: this key British stronghold is a hub of clandestine activity, overrun with intelligence operatives, double agents, and refugees fleeing the Spanish Civil War just across the border.
Soon after her arrival on “the Rock,” Maisie stumbles upon the body of Sebastian Babayoff, a member of the town’s close-knit Sephardic Jewish community. Over objections from the local authorities, Maisie begins looking into his murder. Before long, she finds herself under scrutiny by the British Secret Service—and other interested parties.
As she follows the evidence deep into a web of geopolitical intrigue, Maisie discovers that working again after such a long hiatus tempers her feelings of despair. It is only after she has unraveled the truth about Babayoff’s murder that Maisie feels able to return to England. What she chooses to do instead will astonish readers.
Get Your Copy of A Dangerous Place here:
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
Leaving Everything Most Loved
London, 1933. Two months after the body of Usha Pramal is found in the brackish water of a South London canal, her brother, newly arrived in England from India, turns to Maisie Dobbs to find the truth about her death. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, evidence indicates that they failed to conduct a full and thorough investigation.
Before her death, Usha was living at an ayah’s hostel, alongside Indian women whose British employers turned them out into the street—penniless and far from their homeland—when their services were no longer needed. As Maisie soon learns, Usha was different from the hostel’s other lodgers. But with this discovery comes new danger—another Indian woman who had information about Usha is found murdered before she can talk to Maisie.
As Maisie is pulled deeper into a vibrant culture she finds fascinating, her investigation becomes clouded by the “unfinished business” of a previous case, and by a growing desire to see more of the world—to follow in the footsteps of her former mentor, Maurice Blanche. And there is her lover, James Compton, who gives her an ultimatum she cannot ignore.
Bringing a crucial chapter in the life and times of Maisie Dobbs to a close, Leaving Everything Most Loved marks a pivotal moment in this “outstanding” series (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review).
Get Your Copy of Leaving Everything Most Loved here:
Click Below To View the Rest of the Maisie Dobbs Series by Jacqueline Winspear
Amazon Author Page: Jacqueline Winspear
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Special thanks to Jacqueline for joining me in this episode of The Crime Fiction Lounge.
Bye, until next time!
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