Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review: Pardonable Lies

Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
Henry Holt and Company, 2005 (first edition); 342 pages

Private investigator Maisie Dobbs is hired to determine whether a man declared missing in action, and later dead, during World War I is actually dead.

Essentially, I like the Maisie Dobbs series, and I have no idea why. Maisie is such a Mary Sue (although she's slowly getting better): she's mildly psychic, she has genius skills to rival Sherlock Holmes, she's pretty, she has rich friends who give her everything she could need or want, and she's got more than one eligible young man chasing her. Really.

While reading the book, I called every plot point a mile out. When I read mysteries, I don't try to solve them. If a clue jumps out at me and I happen to guess the culprit or motive, great. But more often than not, the ending comes as a total surprise. But with Pardonable Lies, I knew exactly what happened to the missing man before I was even a quarter of the way through the book. Still, I plan on continuing on with the series, mostly because I like interwar fiction.

Click and drag cursor over text below to see the crucial plot point.

Start here: When the man (I can't even remember his name now) was said to be a "sensitive young man who didn't like playing rugby" I said to myself, "He's gay, he changed his identity, disappeared during the war, and now lives in France with his boyfriend." Why'd I pick France? No clue. But I was right.

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