The Consequences of Fear: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

by Jacqueline Winspear

Paperback, 2021

Call number

MYST WIN

Collection

Genres

Publication

Harper (2021), Edition: 1, 348 pages

Description

Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML: INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As Europe buckles under Nazi occupation, Maisie Dobbs investigates a possible murder that threatens devastating repercussions for Britain's war efforts in this latest installment in the New York Times bestselling mystery series. October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he's shocked to come face to face with the killer. Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she's working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. Her two worlds collide when she spots the killer in a place she least expects. She soon realizes she's been pulled into the orbit of a man who has his own reasons to kill�??reasons that go back to the last war. As Maisie becomes entangled in a power struggle between Britain's intelligence efforts in France and the work of Free French agents operating across Europe, she must also contend with the lingering question of Freddie Hackett's state of mind. What she uncovers could hold disastrous consequences for all involved in this compelling chapter of the "series that seems to get better with every entry" (Wall Street Journal).… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member BarbaraRogers
WOW! What a wonderful new-to-me series to find. I had been reading the book blurbs on each new book as it was released – and they sounded like great stories – but I put off trying one because I thought it was still too close to ‘contemporary’ to suit me. I read very little that isn’t set
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in the Victorian or earlier eras. As I am becoming more and more disillusioned with the ‘woke’ historical romance books that are being written, I decided to branch out with more and more historical mysteries. This one is absolutely wonderful. I loved Maisie Dobbs – and YAY for me – I started with the book where Maisie gets married. The writing is excellent and the story and plotting are near perfect. What really brings the story home though, is the descriptions of life in WWII London during the blitzes. I absolutely felt as if I was running right along with Freddie as the bombs were dropping.

Freddie Hackett is twelve-years-old and is proud that he has been chosen as a message runner for the government. He is, of course, afraid of the bombs dropping, but those aren’t any scarier than his home life. If he keeps his father in enough coins to stay at the bar, maybe he and his mother won’t be beaten tonight. Freddie is a gifted runner who might be in the Olympics someday and as his feet are flying and he turns a corner toward his destination, he sees something unthinkable. Two men are in a fight, so he backs into a small doorway of a bombed-out home so the men cannot see him. When one takes a knife out and murders the other, Freddie loses his stomach contents. He remains quiet and still long after it is over – and then, shaking, he goes on his way to the delivery. He gets a really good look at the murderer – and guess who answers the door.

The police aren’t particularly interested in the murder Freddie reports, but Freddie is frightened, so he looks elsewhere for someone to help. That person is Maisie Dobbs. Maisie immediately believes the story Freddie is telling and begins an investigation despite her government office boss telling her to leave it be. As Maisie digs deeper and deeper into the case, she comes to learn that there are political implications to solving the crime. That, of course, doesn’t deter Maisie and she keeps going. She not only has to find the murderer, but she also has to keep Freddie, his mom, and his sister safe.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m so sorry I took so long to decide to give the series a try. Now, I just have to make time in my schedule to go back and read the first fifteen books. I can’t think of a single thing I’d change about the book – except I think it might be fun to have Mark more involved in Maisie’s case. I’m very happy to recommend this book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member bookchickdi
It's been two years since we had a Maisie Dobbs fix, as author Jacqueline Winspear published a memoir last year in place of her annual Maisie Dobbs historical mystery.

In 2019's The American Agent, London was dealing with the Blitz, the nightly bombing of London. Maisie and her best friend
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Priscilla drove an ambulance ferrying injured civilians, and Pris was seriously burned as they pulled injured children out of danger. One of Pris' sons was seriously injured during the evacuation of trapped troops in Dunkirk. It was a harrowing time for Maisie and company.

In the new novel, The Consequences of Fear, private investigator and psychologist Maisie Dobbs has been pressed into service in the SOE (Special Operatives Executive) by her old comrade Robert McFarlane. She is tasked with psychologically evaluating people who will be sent into France as spies.

At the same time, her private investigation office has a new case- a young boy who has been acting as a messenger witnesses a murder but the police seem to be reluctant to admit that there was a murder. Maisie and her able assistant Billy Beale work to discover why and what connection it may have to the French resistance working in London.

Maisie's personal life has taken center stage in this novel. Her young adopted daughter Anna is growing very attached to Maisie and Maisie's father and stepmother, and Mark Scott, who works at the American embassy in London, has become an important part of Maisie's life. Is Maisie ready to let love back into her life after the tragic loss of her husband years ago?

The Consequences of Fear is vintage Maisie Dobbs. The juggling of her private investigation work and confidential government work is becoming increasingly more difficult, and with the war ramping up in Europe, the next novels in the series are sure to examine that.

This is the 16th novel in the series, and not one that you can jump into without having background on Maisie Dobbs. Start at the beginning and you'll find Maisie's story as fascinating as I do. It's one of the only series that I have read every book, and it's a terrific series for high school age young women to read, as Maisie is a terrific role model. It's also a great Women's History Month read. Maise Dobbs fans will be pleased with this one.
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LibraryThing member brangwinn
I finished the 16th book in the Maisie Dobbs series and did not feel satisfied. Winspear seemed to be weaving several storylines together to set the stage for a new direction. In 1941, Maisie Dobbs not only has her detective agency, but she is actively involved in in helping the British government
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decide if new recruits have the personality to be a spy in World War II. She finds herself helping a young, impoverished boy and his mother and sister. Of course, she is concerned about finding time to spend with her adopted daughter. While doing all this she is trying to keep a romance going with a US Air Force officer. I have no doubt that Winspear knows where she is going with this story and I look forward to what she has planned for Maisie in the next book.
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LibraryThing member hemlokgang
Not my favorite of the Maisie Dobbs series, yet I love the characters which populate these stories. In this installment Maisie saves another family, evaluates potential spies' suitability for heading to France during WWII, solves a murder, ponders being in love, and most importantly, comes to terms
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with her complicated work/family balance. A good read!
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LibraryThing member etxgardener
The 16th installment in the Maisie Dobbs series and it’s 1941 and Maisie, besides having her detective business is also working for MI5 vetting candidates who are being vetted for espionage positions in France.

But meanwhile,one of the boys who is used to run messages for the government witnesses
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a brutal murder and turns to Maisie for help

Winspear perfectly draws a picture of the terror and the conflicting values in wartime, but it’s also good to see Maisie being happy in her personal life - and oh that Yank!
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LibraryThing member delphimo
Maisie Dobbs shines in this latest adventure and finds a soulmate, again. The year is 1941 and London suffers the perils of WWII with bombing and increased local crime. A young boy working as a message runner comes to Maisie with a story of witnessing a murder. Maisie juggles Freddie story, her
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secret government job, and her love life. The case with Freddie throws Maisie into thinking of Maurice, her teacher and mentor. Maurice taught Maisie to analyze the problem and not to jump to conclusions. Winspear brings in a wide array of family to let Maisie know that many depend on and support Maisie. All these minor characters float around Maisie: Anna, the adopted daughter, Priscilla and her family, the best friend, Mark Scott, Maisie’s boyfriend, and more in this supporting. Winspear also introduces the French people’s sense of Honor above all else. The plight of Charles de Gaulle during his exile in England “I call upon all French men who want to remain free to listen to my voice and follow me”. Winspear displays the humanity of the English and the French during the war.
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LibraryThing member acargile
Maisie Dobbs always delivers. I love these novels. The only thing that bothered me was that the bombings in the last book were so real and you felt the danger. Here bombings were mentioned but you didn't feel they were happening. It was like everyone was ignoring it. I know from reading The
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Splendid and the Vile that people did ignore the bombings to go on with their lives, but it still bothered me. I always wonder if each book is the end and then something happens and we know another book will be needed. Same with this one.
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LibraryThing member Lisa2013
I started book 1 with a friend and we were able to read the first 5 books. I read this last book over what would have been her birthday.

Great book for thinking about being ruled by fear or fear getting in the way or of not being at all ruled by fear. The subject felt very close to home for me so
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extra meaningful. I suspect I’m nearly alone here but I sometimes do get tired of nothing but happy endings in novels. Of course, in this book they come hard won and honestly and they’re not unrealistic so I don’t have major quibbles with them at all. My partly negative feelings are more a reflection of my own life, not of the book’s story which is superb, and my primary feelings of even the endings are actually positive.

This book #16 had an excellent mystery and particularly wonderful additional characters. As usual, I enjoyed all the returning/regular characters.

As with all of these books there is much that is amusing even though the books aren’t comedic.

This book has two dog deaths, dogs I loved from previous books. Luckily there is a new dog too.

Ever since the Return to Munich book there has been at least one American character. I hate the way the narrator of the audiobooks does an American accent. I never read just an audiobook but I sometimes listen at the same time as reading an e-book or a paper book. Since book 6 I’ve read most of these with e-books with audio books accompanying.

As usual the author’s note/extras at the end are wonderful.

Some quotes I liked:

“Children should always be believed until proven otherwise.”

“Fear was the scariest of emotions and it nestled there, growing ever stronger and sprouting shoots, a seed in the fertile soil of doubt.”

“Never let fears get in the way of happiness, because fear can lead to such irrational reasoning, and we can make dreadful mistakes, saying things we can’t take back.”

“And as she grieved, she realized that she had never trusted the world to keep herself or those she loved safe. From the moment of her mother’s death, she had known that terror could be around the next corner at any moment. Had there ever been a time when she felt the clutch of fear in her gut loosen its grip, so that she could have faith in the future?”

“And fear is really the most omnipresent of emotions, isn’t it? Fear and panic can be crippling for all concerned.”

“Hatred, revenge—they’re just as bad as trying to protect yourself from more hurt—they can make you brittle inside. And if you’re brittle, you break. One way or another, you break.”

“I believe it’s called ‘irrational reasoning.’ It’s what happens to people when they’re scared”

“It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it? I mean, it’s like dominoes—you touch one and then the others start to go, and sometimes they fall in the right direction and one person knows another and it all opens up like a flower.”

Is this the last Maisie Dobbs book? If so I’ll miss this series but feel I will feel satisfied having gotten to read all of the books. If it’s not the end I’ll look forward to future books and hope that I’ll be able to read them. A friend who read it recently thought this would be the last book because of the way it ended, and I’ve seen others make the same conjecture, but I can easily imagine this series continuing. I do see a book scheduled to be published in 2022, [book:A Sunlit Weapon|57355070], that doesn’t necessarily look like another Maisie Dobbs book. I’m curious about it and have shelved it on my to read shelf.

The tearing up of the letter killed me but 4-1/2 stars rounded up.
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LibraryThing member fromthecomfychair
I always enjoy hearing from Maisie Dobbs. The 16th book in the series was a good story, but I do wish the characters would stop drinking, and serving each other a cup of tea in every fourth paragraph. It got a little tiresome. But I do look forward to the next one. Why do all the Brits move to
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California (Winspear)? Is Britain really so awful?
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LibraryThing member shazjhb
I enjoy Maisie Dobson books. I spend my time working out how old she is. She solves crimes in an interesting fashion. A tv series would be fun.
LibraryThing member shayes1
My first Maisie Dobbs novel. Interesting storyline and the behind the scenes look at the spy activities during WWII.
LibraryThing member labfs39
Maisie Dobbs is now working for the SOE under Robbie MacFarlane giving agents a psychological assessment prior to their deployment overseas. She's also investigating a murder that young Freddie Hackett witnessed while running messages across London. With agents being killed and going missing, and
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MacFarlane putting up roadblocks to her investigation, Maisie's stress levels are rising and it's trickling over into her personal life and relationship with American Mark Scott. Not one of Winspear's best works, but still a quick enjoyable read with historical interest.
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LibraryThing member jamespurcell
This series continues to be informative, entertaining, and an engrossing read. England stands alone at this point in WW2 with allies, the French in particular as difficult to deal with as the Axis enemies. Maisie continues her investigative service as well as serving in certain clandestine roles in
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His Majesty's Service.
A murder witnessed by a teenage runner for several government services puts him in danger. Her subsequent attempts to protect him enmesh her in the murky morass that encompasses the SOE, French Resistance, and Vichy France. London's stiff upper lip during the Bomber Blitz provides the background as Maisie doggedly pursues her enquiries to a somewhat bitter end.
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LibraryThing member themulhern
Unspeakable schmaltz, yet I enjoyed it. Is it the improbable character of Maisie, the predictable story, or the carefully recreated conditions of life in London and in Kent? I can not say.
LibraryThing member diana.hauser
The Consequences of Fear is written by Jacqueline Winspear.
It is Book #16 in the Maisie Dobbs series.

“As Europe buckles under Nazi occupation, Maisie Dobbs investigates a possible murder that threatens devastating repercussions for Britain's war efforts in this latest installment in the New York
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Times bestselling mystery series.”
“October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he’s shocked to come face to face with the killer.
Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she’s working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. Her two worlds collide when she spots the killer in a place she least expects. She soon realizes she’s been pulled into the orbit of a man who has his own reasons to kill—reasons that go back to the last war.
As Maisie becomes entangled in a power struggle between Britain’s intelligence efforts in France and the work of Free French agents operating across Europe, she must also contend with the lingering question of Freddie Hackett’s state of mind. What she uncovers could hold disastrous consequences for all involved in this compelling chapter of the “series that seems to get better with every entry” (Wall Street Journal).”

Absolutely brilliant title and overall series. *****
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LibraryThing member cbl_tn
Maisie Dobbs has her hands full balancing work and family life with her adopted daughter. Her routine has her spending the first part of the week in London, juggling her private investigation business and her war work for an intelligence agency, assessing the psychological fitness and readiness of
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agents being trained to infiltrate occupied France. Her latest investigation crosses over into her intelligence work. A young boy who works as a courier for the government has witnessed a murder while delivering a message during an air raid, and he turns to Maisie for help. The trail leads to members of the French resistance.

The plot relies on too many coincidences, and the murder takes a back seat to intelligence operations. The developments in Maisie’s personal life are the highlight of the book. Maisie consoles her daughter, Anna, and her best friend, Priscilla, as they face the loss of those dear to them, and Maisie and her beau, American diplomat Mark Scott reach a crossroad in their relationship.
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