April 2011 Indie Next List
“Put on the kettle, lock all the doors, and settle in for a fabulous read with the newest adventure of the indomitable Maisie Dobbs! It's 1932, and Maisie takes a job with the British Secret Service, going undercover to investigate ties between a small Cambridge college and the rising Nazi Party. When the head of the college turns up dead, Maisie finds herself torn between the Service and Scotland Yard in a complicated case involving echoes of the last war and omens of the next. A Lesson in Secrets confirms Winspear's place at the top of the list of historical mystery writers.”
— Kristine Kaufman, The Snow Goose Bookstore, Stanwood, WA
In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs' career takes an exciting new turn when she accepts her first assignment for the British Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities "not in the interests of His Majesty's government."
When the college's controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, Maisie is directed to stand back as Scotland Yard spearheads the investigation. She soon discovers, however, that the circumstances of Liddicote's death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillance.
To unravel this web, Maisie must overcome a reluctant Secret Service, discover shameful hidden truths about Britain's conduct during the Great War, and face off against the rising powers of the the Nazi Party in Britainall as the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon.
About the Author
Jacqueline Winspear is the "New York Times" bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs novels. The first in the series, "Maisie Dobbs", won the prestigious Agatha Award for Best First novel, the Macavity Award for Best First Novel, and the Alex Award. She won an Agatha for Best Novel for "Birds of a Feather" and a Sue Feder/Macavity Award for Best Historical Mystery for "Pardonable Lies". Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent in England. Her grandfather had been severely wounded and shell-shocked in World War I, and learning his story sparked her deep interest in the "war to end all wars" and its aftereffects, which would later form the background of her novels. Winspear studied at the University of London's Institute of Education, then worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK. She immigrated to the United States in 1990 and embarked on her life-long dream to be a writer. In addition to her novels, Winspear has written articles for women's magazines and journals on international education, and she has recorded her essays for public radio. She divides her time between Ojai and the San Francisco Bay Area and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom and Europe.
“Maisie is one of the great fictional heroines, equal parts haunted and haunting.”
“The combination of period detail and intricate storytelling makes A Lesson in Secrets seem distant enough to be romantic but sufficiently modern to engage our sympathies.”
-Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
“With an affecting storyline and graceful prose, Winspear has again created a powerful and complex novel, one that will linger in memory as a testament to her talent and her humanity.”