Setting: London and Munich in 1938
Synopsis: Maisie Dobbs has returned to London from her nursing work in Spain, and the British government has asked her to help them retrieve a man being held prisoner at Dachau. Maisie goes to Munich while posing as the prisoner’s daughter.
Review: I was up and down with this book, and ultimately felt that this was a very solid addition to the Maisie Dobbs series.
Maisie Dobbs has returned to London from her nursing work in Spain, and is contacted by the British government to help them retrieve prisoner Leon Donat from Dachau. The German government will only release Donat to a family member, so Maisie impersonates his daughter.
Journey to Munich starts out fairly slowly, and while this was somewhat irritating to read (I wanted to get to the action!), after finishing the book I realize that this build up was necessary.
Without spoiling events from previous Maisie books, I will say that Maisie is in a transition period. The previous book, A Dangerous Place, was all transition with Maisie finally regaining her confidence and determination at the end of the book. Journey to Munich is much the same. Maisie is trying to figure out her place in London and takes a one-time job with the British government. She is also contacted by Lorraine Otterburn to help find her daughter who has abandoned her family to live in Munich.
Once Maisie gets to Munich, the story comes to life, and Munich in 1938 was a fascinating place, and I was unaware of the publishing history Munich has. It was interesting to learn about, and to see Hitler and how his influence was in the city, as WWII has not started yet.
There are a few new characters added, one of which, an American named Mark Scott, breathes new life into the Maisie books, and I hope we see him again in future installments.
I go back and forth with Maisie’s character. Sometimes her choices really irritate me, and she is not someone I think I would be friends with in real life. She’s far too reserved and judgmental, with that “I’m always right” attitude. But, she makes for a fascinating character to read about, and I’ve enjoyed reading her story throughout the years.
Journey to Munich has more backstory mentioned than in previous books. Old cases and characters are brought up and explained, and this was very helpful to me. I really appreciated this as it reminded me of things I had forgotten about and characters that I couldn’t remember how they fit within the story.
I was a little irritated with Maisie as I felt she was constantly sabotaging the plan to get Donat out of prison because she kept trying to find the Otterburn’s daughter. So, there were some irritating places were I thought Maisie caused her own problems.
The ending to the Donat plotline is powerful, and there is a twist that I did not see coming. And the book ends with wonderful scenes that put a smile on my face and makes me excited for the next book in the series.
Bottom Line: Excellent historical mystery. Fans of Maisie will love this book.
I bought this book and got it autographed at an author event put on by my local bookstore, Copperfield’s Books. It was a fun event, and Jacqueline Winspear is always a delight to listen to (I have seen her speak before). I encourage everyone to go to author events whenever possible as you can connect more with authors and their works.
If you’d like to read my review of A Dangerous Place, which was book #11 in the Maisie Dobbs series, click here. It also happens to be my very first blog post! And how exciting – I just recently met my first year blogging goal of 100 followers. Thank you for following my blog and reading my posts!