To Die but Once

To Die but Once

Book - 2018
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While investigating the disappearance of an apprentice craftsman who had been working on a secret government contract, Maisie discovers links to the London underworld.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062436634
0062436635
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY WINSPEA 2018
Characteristics: 325 pages ; 24 cm

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DorisWaggoner
Oct 05, 2018

One of the best in a very strong series. Some of the characters have been with Maisie since the beginning, when she was a teenager during "The Great War." Now she's grown and changed, and learned a lot from what she's suffered. Here we're on the cusp of WW II, more into the war than many Brits realize. The story begins with a 15 year old apprentice painter of government buildings, a job he and his parents hope will keep him out of military service. Many parents, however patriotic, have the same goal for their children. Some of them will go to questionable lengths to keep their children safe. But parents can't always keep their children safe. This novel is, therefore, partly one of heartbreak. Winspear's novels always include strong research, and this one includes the heroic civilian efforts of Dunkirk. There are also several hints of Maisie's future, both in what she'll be asked to do, and in her personal life.

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sandraperkins
Apr 14, 2018

I LOVE this series! And for all of you who also love this series, this is an especially good book in the series.

Why do I love this series? Maisie Dobbs is a fascinating character--she is highly intelligent and intuitive, and she has been trained by her mentor to use her intuition very effectively. She is a strong woman (and she has had to be strong, given all she has gone through in this series). She was a nurse in the battlefields of WWI, and she has continued to endure hardships and tragedies, as well as some good fortune. The plots of the books are excellent, and there are several other characters who are almost as compelling as Maisie.

In this latest book, Maisie and her team are investigating more than one mystery. There are frequent references to wartime details, like carrying a gas mask everywhere, and observing the barrage balloons overhead. This book also includes the evacuation from Dunkirk, and we experience the stress and worry that Londoners felt when their army was trapped on the coast of France and the invasion of England seemed imminent.

The evacuation of the British Army from Dunkirk was indeed heroic, but was not without great cost, as this book shows.

Maisie's personal story continues to evolve as well, and there are positive developments there.

As I read this book, I kept thinking about what we are going through today, with all of the chaos, fear and uncertainty in our own country and in the greater world. What we are experiencing is challenging, but people in history have survived greater challenges and come out stronger as a result. There are no guarantees, but reading about past challenges (that were overcome) can show us that all is not lost.

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