Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Word Lily review

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear, book 4 in the Maisie Dobbs series (Henry Holt, 2006), 336 pages

In January 1931, journalist (and fellow Girton alum) Georgina Bassington-Hope comes to Maisie because, although the police have ruled her painter twin brother’s death accidental, Georgina doubts that conclusion.

I loved that this installment in the series had Maisie delving into the arts! I enjoyed the introduction of artist-characters, as well as the use of galleries and studios as backdrops.

Like the earlier books in the series — Maisie Dobbs [my review], Birds of a Feather [my review], and Pardonable Lies [my review] — I loved the setting (both in time and in place), and Maisie herself is irresistible.

I love the tension, how Maisie lives and works between worlds.

There were a few typos that should never have made it into print.

I did feel Maisie acted a bit out of character in this installment, but I may be alone in that. I’m eager to see how several ongoing situations resolve.

A couple quotes:

“Now there were even more threads for her to gather up and spin onto bobbins. It was as if she were herself an artisan, standing before a giant loom with her skeins of wool, each one held ready to form part of the finished scene, the picture that would reveal the circumstances of Nick Bassington-Hope’s death. All she had to do was create the warp and then the weft, her shuttle flying in and out, up and down through the threads, laying her hands across the panel, her fingertips testing for tautness and give, the comb pushing the weft down to ensure close weaving without the hint of a space.”

~page 182, Messenger of Truth

“Perhaps it was the freedom to strike out on one’s own path, seeing not a risk in that which was new, only opportunity.”

~page 182, Messenger of Truth

I was prompted to get back to this series by Book Club Girl’s read-along, Mad about Maisie. Here’s the discussion of this title. The discussion of book 5, An Incomplete Revenge, begins March 14.

I was irked by Pardonable Lies, which prompted my extended separation from the series. That irritation has subsided at least somewhat — and recur too badly with Messenger of Truth, so I’m ready for another dose of Maisie.

Back to the art thing for a minute. One of my favorite aspects of this volume is how it presents and interacts with the ethical choices to tell or not tell, to publish or not, how an artist’s work can, potentially infringe on the freedom of his or her family members. Which is something I’ve pondered for quite some time.

Rating: 4 stars

About the author
Jacqueline Winspear (Facebook), originally from England, came to the United States in 1990; she lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Other reviews
Booking Mama
Book Chick DI
Pages of Julia’s blog
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

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13 responses to “Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

  1. I am just reading blogs and there have been several reviews of Winspear’s books today. Glad to see so many people discovering the series or reading some of the later ones. I really enjoy this series, but since I read an ARC of her newer book I have to wait until next year for more!

  2. I’m glad you came back to the series and from the looks of the next novel, you’ll get a bit more art next time as well as Maisie is weaving and dying wool in the first chapter!

  3. I really want to start this series! Everyone seems to love Maisie!

  4. I’m loving this series, thought I’m only through the first two. So good!

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