Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3) by Jacqueline Winspear | Review

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3) by Author Jacqueline Winspear

In the third novel of this unique and masterly crime series, a deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton, KC, to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but also to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. Determined to prove Ralph Lawton either dead or alive, Maisie is plunged into a case that tests her spiritual strength, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission will bring her to France and reunite her with her old friend Priscilla Evernden, who lost three brothers in the war, one of whom has an intriguing connection to the case.

Set against a finely drawn portrait of life between the World Wars, Pardonable Lies is “a thrilling mystery that will enthrall fans of Jacqueline Winspear’s heroine and likely win her new ones” (Detroit Free Press).


TLC Book ToursBook Details:
  Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3)

Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Genre: Literature & Fiction | Historical Fiction | Women Sleuths | Series
Publisher:  Picador
Published: June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback, 359 pages
ISBN: 0312426216
Source: Publisher
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Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

FTC Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.


“My child, when a mountain appears on the journey, we try to go to the left, then to the right; we try to find the easy way to navigate our way back to the easier path.” He paused. “But the mountain is there to be crossed. It is on that pilgrimage, as we climb higher, that we are forced to shed the layers upon layers we have carried for so long. Then we find that our load is lighter and we have come to know something of ourselves in the perilous climb.”

My Take

Pardonable Lies, the third in the Maisie Dobbs series, has so much going on in the story and so much going for it. I found myself flipping pages faster than usual in a Maisie Dobbs mystery.

I felt Jacqueline Winspear focused a great deal more on Maisie’s intellect, sensitivity, and sense of duty. In Pardonable Lies, Maisie commits to two clients about family members lost during the war. Although she uncovers some truths her clients may not wish to hear, she manages to report back to them without necessarily burdening them with all she has learned.

While solving the two military cases, Maisie finds herself drawn to help a young woman from an outlying village charged with murder. Maisie’s eye for detail and her keen sense of leaving no stone unturned may likely save Avril’s life for something better than she ever expected.

Jacqueline Winspear is a gifted writer. She handles descriptive language such that her reader feels a sense of time and place, and we can almost see the locale of each scene. Her research into the settings post-WWI give us a clear sense of the damages done and the impact on the people.

I’m already looking forward to the next in the series although each one I’ve read thus far can stand alone. Don’t hesitate to start reading wherever you choose. A mystery lover will find these books highly enjoyable.

Once again I say well done, Ms. Winspear!


Author Bio n Links



Jacqueline Winspear, Author

Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK.

She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.

A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women’s magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She currently divides her time between Ojai and the San Francisco Bay Area and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom and Europe.

Jacqueline is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, and other nationally bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for best novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.

Connect with Jacqueline Winspear:


Follow the rest of the Maisie Dobbs tour by clicking here.





3 thoughts on “Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3) by Jacqueline Winspear | Review

    1. I discovered Maisie Dobbs by a recommendation from a friend. So glad she mentioned the series. I’m enjoying reading them. I’ve also read other Winspear books, and they are equally good. Now, go catch up on Maisie!


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