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. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man's wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie -- who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter -- to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich. The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie's travel plans. Her nemesis -- the man she holds responsible for her husband's death -- has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help. 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.
Publisher’s Summary: adapted from Audible.com
It's early 1938 when Maisie is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the British Secret Service and sent to Hitler's Germany on an undercover mission. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man's wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie – who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter – to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.
Knowing the inimitable relationship Maisie had with her mentor, Dr Maurice Blanche – and knowing the confidence he had in her abilities – it is gratifying to witness her being called to serve in his place. Before Blanche died, he told Maisie she would be called upon, and so she is, in Journey to Munich. Trouble is, it is not only the British Secret Service that is interested in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis, Canadian newspaper magnate John Otterburn – the man she holds responsible for James’ death – is desperate and has asked her for help. Otterburn’s selfish, spoiled, daughter, Elaine – who was to have piloted the fatal test flight James took – has deserted her husband and infant, and he believes her to be in Munich.
Winspear nails the thrill of danger and intrigue in Journey to Munich. And Orlagh Cassidy is just the one to narrate the tale. When I started the Maisie Dobbs series, this twelve installment was the last available novel, and I presumed incorrectly it would be the finale. Its ending is highly satisfying – and it surely would have worked very well as a conclusion. That said, I’m thrilled to learn that a thirteenth novel will be available in Canada in spring 2017: In This Grave Hour –’ll be waiting!
Maisie returns to England to face the ghosts of her past. She is not anxious to go back to her childhood home, nor does she want to spend time with her in laws. She opts to temporarily move in with her old friend Priscilla and that is just what she needs. Although her peaceful stay does not last long as she is approached to handle a sensitive mission to Germany for her country. As much as she doesn’t want to do it she knows she will and in a way knows it’s what she needs to get her out of her funk.
As Maisie pursues her assignment she soon learns that all is not as it seems and she was not told everything she really needed to know. Thrown into the mix is the request of her husband’s former employer who wants her to find his daughter who has disappeared somewhere in Germany. All of this takes place just as Hitler moves into Austria and the Reich strengthens it’s hold on the people of the region. Maisie finds herself caught in a dangerous place once again.
I enjoyed this book. It was a return to the Maisie I first fell in love with. She has changed due to the major events she has experienced but she is back to being a smart, decisive woman. She is back in control of her life and moving forward. Unfortunately the times to come are not good as well all know from history. While the book ends with Chamberlain’s appeasement, Hitler did not pay any attention to what England or the rest of the world. Soon England will be at war and I’m sure Maisie will be elbow deep in fighting the Nazis to the best of her abilities. I’m glad she has found herself. I’ll look forward to the next book now despite my not wanting to read WWII books. This is a character I’ll follow into that second Great War.
I had a hard time putting this book down. It was full of twists, turns and spies from assorted countries all trying to deal with a very great evil.
Why is everything a secret? They need to get a British man home from Munch. Will that happen? Massie got to go to Germany as a family member of the man who being held by Hitler.
Massie needs to be careful and Also protected. Will she return back home safe or will she be caught?
Jacqueline Winspear has become one of my favorite authors with the first book that I got to review. I will be looking for more of her books. I love to finish off the rest of the books in this series. She captured my attention the min you start reading. It takes a bit before getting to the story of a book. She gives a little background about Massie Dobbs from the earlier book and continues on in this book.
I have followed Maisie and company, with all their ups and downs and truly feel like they are friends. Each spring I look forward to catching up with everyone in Maisie's world.
When we left Maisie at the end of book 11, A Dangerous Place, she was returning home to England after a stay in Spain during their civil war. She had suffered two devastating losses and was grieving. It was a very somber and sad story, and we didn't see many of Maisie's friends and family.
Book 12, Journey to Munich brings Maisie back home, trying to rebuild her life. She is living with her best friend Priscilla and Pris' family, who adore Maisie. Soon Maisie is recruited once again to help the British Secret Service.
Maisie agrees to go undercover in Munich to help bring home a British businessman who is being held prisoner by the Germans. The year is 1937 and the Nazi party is growing in power. The man is believed to be in a concentration camp, and Maisie must impersonate his daughter to rescue him.
Times are dangerous in Germany, and another world war is on the horizon. Memories of the horrors of WWI remain in Maisie's mind, and she fears for the future of Europe.
Maisie has also agreed to help find the daughter of another powerful man in England, to convince her to come home. She has a connection to this young lady, one that she would rather forget, yet she agrees to try.
Journey to Munich is a strong entry in the Maisie Dobbs series. Maisie has gone through so much, it's good to see her back on her feet and trying to move her life forward. The storyline is interesting, and as always, Winspear has done her research into what life was like at that time, in that place.
We get to see more of the gang- Pris, Sandra and my favorite Billy- and the end of the book the readers are rewarded with the possibility that Maisie and company will be back together working to solve cases.
As England moves closer to war once again, I expect that the next books in the series will deal with this. England lost so many young men in WWI, an entire generation, that the prospect of going through that again is a frightening one.
Maisie Dobbs is an incredibly strong literary heroine, and these books are great reads for young women and for anyone who enjoys historical mysteries. For a woman in her era to do the things that Maisie does with such strength, compassion and intelligence is a wonderful example for girls. She has her flaws too, and that makes her human.
I give Journey to Munich my highest recommendation and it is one of the best books in the series.
Maisie has been many things - housemaid, student, nurse, psychologist, private investigator and an agent for the British Secret Service. Maisie is such a wonderfully drawn character - her intellect, determination, courage, kindness, loyalty and stalwartness have all endeared her to me. Winspear has moved Maisie's personal life along from that first book - although not always in a direction I wanted - and I have happily followed along.
But I also appreciate Winspear's plotting. She draws on historical fact, social mores and customs of the time periods and mixes in an always intriguing mystery.
The series began in the years of WW1 and Journey to Munich finds us on the cusp of WWII. A British citizen has been held captive for two years in Dachau. The Germans have agreed to his release - but only to a family member. Maisie is sent in to facilitate that release, appearing as the man's daughter. I found the impetus for this plotline fascinating....
"Journey to Munich was inspired by a story told by my mother of a man she worked for in 1944, when she was seventeen years old.......told her that before the war he had been set free from a German concentration camp into the hands of the British government after they had paid for his release."
A secondary plotline involving someone from Maisie's recent past tests her personally. There were a few plot points that thought were a bit unrealistic, but they didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
Winspear does a fantastic job of bringing time and place to life - the months just before all out war is declared again and the danger that was Nazi Germany.
And the ending is just perfect - I can't wait for the next installment in this series. Although this book could be read as a stand alone, I recommend starting with the first book.
Why is everything a secret? They need to get a British man home from Munch. Will that happen? Maisie got to go to Germany as a family member of the man who being held by Hitler.
Maisie needs to be careful and Also protected. Will she return back home safe or will she be caught?
Jacqueline Winspear has become one of my favorite authors with the first book that I got to review. I will be looking for more of her books. I love to finish off the rest of the books in this series. She captured my attention the min you start reading. It takes a bit before getting to the story of a book. She gives a little background about Maisie Dobbs from the earlier book and continues on in this book.
Maisie Dobbs has just come home recently from being on a ‘sabbatical’ of sorts. Her husband had died in an accident and the shock had caused her to miscarry their first child. So she went to lose herself. Which she did. Only recently finding herself again, to come back home.
Turns out some people from her past have a large favor to ask her. There is a man of great import currently stuck in Dachau, and the British government want him back. The Nazi’s have agreed but require a family member to show up to claim him. Since the man’s wife had recently died and his only child was dying from consumption, it made it difficult. But Maisie looked very similar to the man’s daughter, had some spy training and was known to the men in charge of getting the man back. She was the perfect candidate.
After spending the better part of a week in immersive training for the mission Maisie is given her final briefing, her documents and sent on her way. When she arrives she is met by an embassy man who is to help guide her through the Nazi bureaucracy in trying to reclaim her ‘father’. On top of this, the family responsible for the death of her husband asked her to try and convince their prodigal daughter to come home. Of course none of it goes as smoothly as planned.
It is 1938 and Maisie, now back from Spain, has decided that she needs to reenter into life instead of perpetually mourning her dead husband, James. She begins looking for a new apartment and also reesatablishing herself as a professional detective, wen she is approached by her old pals from MI-6, Brian Huntley and Robert MacFrland to help retrieve an important member of the British scientific community who is being held by the Nazis in Germany. Additionally, her old nemesis, John Otterburn, learns of her mission and implores her to help track down his wayward daughter and to bring her home.
Against her better judgement, Maisie agrees and soon finds herself in the thick of Nazi Germany., Masie is still a prig and far too self-punishing for my taste and alo shows her usual penchant for not following orders which, I would think, would be fatal in a secret agent, but this would seem to be the path that the author has now set out for her - at least until the books come to the end of the war. There also sems to be an interesting American, Mark Scott, who is in the fledgling American intelligent services who will be playing a role in future books. He's smart & a bit of a wise as and seems to have Maisie's number. Let's hope he provides some future leavening to her otherwise buttoned-up life.
Being in Munich in 1938 gives Maisie a very clear picture of what is to come. It goes without saying that the Germans don't release the Englishman in a timely manner, and Maisie has to keep her composure and her cover while the Nazis play cat and mouse. This is a good, solid mystery that puts the reader right in the middle of a world that's on the brink of going completely mad, and I enjoyed it even though there are some rather large holes in a secondary plotline involving a family called the Otterburns.
I don't think Winspear is capable of writing a bad book, but I have to admit that, after reading A Dangerous Place, almost all the luster has been knocked off this series for me. This was always a series in which I bought and read each new book as soon as it came out. I was so invested in Maisie! But my feeling of being betrayed is staying with me even though I realize I'm being a bit silly. After reading Journey to Munich (which I did not buy), I am still two books behind, and I feel no urgency whatsoever to catch up. This may very well be the last book I read in this series. And now I feel as though I'm in mourning.
It is clear that Munich is a dangerous place, and the sooner Maisie can get out, the better...
There was a thrum of dread, you could feel the current of fear as the Nazi power was evidently rising.
(I worry about Priscilla's sons.....)
For the most part, I thought this shift from detection to espionage worked better than Maisie's prior spy missions. However,
There are the usual twists, turns, drama & suspense. But all's well that ends well. Maisie returns to London and it appears that she will open up her old office.
I like this series very much. Though must admit that I've only read them as audiobooks.
Maisie Dobbs, properly Lady Compton, but she won't use it because it reminds her of what she's lost, is starting, very slowly, to recover from the loss of her husband and her unborn child. She's back in England, spending time with her friend Priscilla, her father Frankie, and her stepmother Brenda. Europe is sliding toward war, though, and British intelligence has a mission for her though, something they believe only can do well enough.
They need her to go to Munich, posing as the daughter of a British industrialist and "boffin" who has been imprisoned there for two years. The Germans have finally agreed to release him--but only into the custody of a family member. He has no surviving family except his daughter, and she's too ill to travel. Maisie, though, speaks French fluently and German passably, and is close enough to the daughter in appearance that she be made to pass for her, especially since Miss Donat wasn't a socially active woman when she was well.
So against her better judgment, after a few weeks of training in spycraft and learning to be Miss Donat, Maisie is off to Germany.
She encounters all the malicious bureaucracy of early Nazi Germany, but patience, persistence, and going with her experience and training finally leads to the moment when she is inside Dachau, seeing for the first time the man the Germans have imprisoned for two years as her "father," Mr. Donat.
That's when her mission goes off the rails, and becomes a mire of mystery, confusion, and intrigue.
And accomplishing her mission may force her to ally with the woman she holds responsible for her husband's death.
I think Winspear had hit a point in the Maisie Dobbs novels where, if she didn't break form, Maisie would have nothing to do that wouldn't be repetitive. Anne Perry worked through a similar problem with the Thomas & Charlotte Pitt series; eventually, Thomas's rise through the police ranks reached the point where he had to become head of the department, but doing it wouldn't be plausible for a character of his relatively lowborn origins. So Perry gave him a major change in direction.
Winspear appears to be doing something very similar here. It's true the book ends with Maisie saying she's never doing another intelligence mission, and getting her old team together in office space not far from their old office--but she seems to have very different plans, even if they haven't been articulated to the reader yet.
This Maisie is older, more hardened, more confident, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Winspear goes with her in the future.
I bought this book.