To Die but Once

To Die but Once

Spring 1940. With Britons facing what has become known as "the Bore War"—nothing much seems to have happened yet—Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate the disappearance of a local lad, a young apprentice craftsman working on a "hush-hush" government contract. As Maisie’s inquiry reveals a possible link to the London underworld, another mother is worried about a missing son—...

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Title:To Die but Once
Author:Jacqueline Winspear
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To Die but Once Reviews

  • Erikka

    I just love this series. These mysteries are so well crafted, the historical aspects are so authentic, and Maisie is such a beautifully developed character that I feel like you live in the book more than read it. Every Maisie Dobbs book is an experience, not just a book. The exploration of war profiteering, the challenges of adoption for single women in the 1940s, and the evacuation of Dunkirk were all particular high points of this adventure. I also found myself worrying about the fictional chi

    I just love this series. These mysteries are so well crafted, the historical aspects are so authentic, and Maisie is such a beautifully developed character that I feel like you live in the book more than read it. Every Maisie Dobbs book is an experience, not just a book. The exploration of war profiteering, the challenges of adoption for single women in the 1940s, and the evacuation of Dunkirk were all particular high points of this adventure. I also found myself worrying about the fictional children of fictional Maisie’s fictional supporting character friends. You know a book is well written when you actually tell your husband “Boy, I hope young Billy comes home...the Beales don’t need another loss after Lizzie.” Lol

  • Stephanie

    Another excellent entry in the MAISIE DOBBS series. I have been wondering how Winspear would handle the introduction of the second World War, and how it would impact our main characters, all of whom were touched by the First in significant ways. In TO DIE BUT ONCE, we have this introduction, and it's both quite personal and part of the larger history, with a plot point hinging on Dunkirk.

    It is essential to have read prior books in the series before this one, as many characters from throughout th

    Another excellent entry in the MAISIE DOBBS series. I have been wondering how Winspear would handle the introduction of the second World War, and how it would impact our main characters, all of whom were touched by the First in significant ways. In TO DIE BUT ONCE, we have this introduction, and it's both quite personal and part of the larger history, with a plot point hinging on Dunkirk.

    It is essential to have read prior books in the series before this one, as many characters from throughout the series make appearances. The mystery Maisie is looking to solve is not the prominent story, and I wonder if we might be coming to the end of the series, as things feel as though they are being tied up slowly and in a satisfying way. After all, it's not likely we readers will stand for the second generation of characters -- Priscilla and Billy's boys among them -- to die in battle.

  • Ann

    I love this series, the growth of Maisie's character is a draw and the variety of her cases. Set against the backdrop of war, WWI in the early books and now WWII, wartime in Great Britain, shadowed in the minds of the characters, adds to the depth.

    Maisie's character has faced much opposition throughout the series. As a child, facing economic and class challenges; in business as a female, and as a woman in a male dominated profession. Her intelligence and drive, support from friends and mentors,

    I love this series, the growth of Maisie's character is a draw and the variety of her cases. Set against the backdrop of war, WWI in the early books and now WWII, wartime in Great Britain, shadowed in the minds of the characters, adds to the depth.

    Maisie's character has faced much opposition throughout the series. As a child, facing economic and class challenges; in business as a female, and as a woman in a male dominated profession. Her intelligence and drive, support from friends and mentors, and the opportunities opened to women in wartime have contributed and shaped her character.

    We've seen Maisie worn down by grief, doors slammed in her face, and rising above it all for a majority of the time. There are more challenges ahead. It feels like Maisie represents all of us.

  • Peggy

    Happily, I received an uncorrected proof of To Die but Once as a Goodreads Giveaway. Even better, I found it be an excellent entry in one of my very favorite series. Set in the spring of 1940, while the public slowly learns the news about British troops trapped in France, less noble acts than sailing to Dunkirk are taking place. War is full of tragedy, including on the home front, where greed and callousness have tragic consequences. There is a heartbreaking thread throughout the book - the chil

    Happily, I received an uncorrected proof of To Die but Once as a Goodreads Giveaway. Even better, I found it be an excellent entry in one of my very favorite series. Set in the spring of 1940, while the public slowly learns the news about British troops trapped in France, less noble acts than sailing to Dunkirk are taking place. War is full of tragedy, including on the home front, where greed and callousness have tragic consequences. There is a heartbreaking thread throughout the book - the children of those who survived the Great War are going off to fight the next one. And while Maisie sorts out her case, she needs to sort out the next chapter in her own life. I wish her all the best!

  • Jean

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. This is book fourteen in the Maisie Dobbs series. Maisie was a nurse in World War One; then trained to be a psychologist/investigator after the war. The story opens in May 1940. Great Britain is again at war with Germany. Maisie has been hired to investigate the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old boy, Joseph Combes. He is an apprentice painter working for a company that has a government contract to go about the countryside to paint a special fire-retardant

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. This is book fourteen in the Maisie Dobbs series. Maisie was a nurse in World War One; then trained to be a psychologist/investigator after the war. The story opens in May 1940. Great Britain is again at war with Germany. Maisie has been hired to investigate the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old boy, Joseph Combes. He is an apprentice painter working for a company that has a government contract to go about the countryside to paint a special fire-retardant chemical on strategic government and military buildings.

    The book is well written and researched. The author has the story set with a background of Dunkirk and the battle of Britain. This is a great historical novel. The plot twist and turns around family drama. I have read that Winspear bases a lot of the plot on her own family’s experiences. If you enjoy historical novels this book would provide you great enjoyment.

    I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is ten and a half hours. Orlagh Cassidy does a superb job narrating the book. Cassidy is one of my favorite narrators. Cassidy is an actress, voice over artist and award-winning audiobook narrator.

  • Deanna

    To my relief, this is still a solid, nearly fluff-free historical mystery series. It’s slow-moving and subtle in its flow of tension and drama. The main character is barely quirky in a refined, quiet way.

    I don’t wait anxiously for the next in the series but when I get to it I’m pleased to have had another visit.

    Please may this positive review not jinx the series into a series-killing what-happened-here disappointment. I’ve had a run of those and when I do, I get tend to get spooked for all my

    To my relief, this is still a solid, nearly fluff-free historical mystery series. It’s slow-moving and subtle in its flow of tension and drama. The main character is barely quirky in a refined, quiet way.

    I don’t wait anxiously for the next in the series but when I get to it I’m pleased to have had another visit.

    Please may this positive review not jinx the series into a series-killing what-happened-here disappointment. I’ve had a run of those and when I do, I get tend to get spooked for all my favorite series. Winspear is confidence-inspiring, though, in her quality consistency, attention to detail, and apparent disinterest in melodrama, cheap emotional manipulation, and over-sentimentality. Knock knock knock on a wooden bookcase.

  • Holly

    After I started this, I realized that I skipped the 13th book! How I missed that one last year is beyond me! I still love this series and I’m liking the way WWII is being introduced. Looking forward to more from Maisie Dobbs.

  • Phrynne

    Book 14 in the series and set right in the middle of World War 2. The author writes very movingly about events surrounding Dunkirk and the threat of an invasion of Britain from the point of view of the people left behind who knew only what the censor allowed them to know.

    In the course of the book Maisie searches for the truth about a missing fifteen year old boy, helps put a major criminal behind bars and discovers a spy. In her personal life she tries to adopt an orphaned girl and helps her fr

    Book 14 in the series and set right in the middle of World War 2. The author writes very movingly about events surrounding Dunkirk and the threat of an invasion of Britain from the point of view of the people left behind who knew only what the censor allowed them to know.

    In the course of the book Maisie searches for the truth about a missing fifteen year old boy, helps put a major criminal behind bars and discovers a spy. In her personal life she tries to adopt an orphaned girl and helps her friends cope with having their sons involved in the fighting and the war effort. There are some very interesting descriptions of how it was to travel at that time. Petrol was rationed and rapidly becoming unavailable to ordinary people and trains were overloaded with troop movements.

    All the characters in these books have really grown on me as the series has progressed. There are still some loose ends though so I am hoping for another book - or several even!

  • The Library Lady

    I like Maisie immensely more in this period of her life than I did in the earliest books, but there is a bit too much going on in the plot here. The central mystery gets buried in other plot lines and there is a final twist (not related to the central mystery) that brings in another plot line that doesn't really relate to the rest of the book. But it's a fascinating period in British history, and Winspear bases a lot of the plot on her own family's experiences, so the details ring true. This nee

    I like Maisie immensely more in this period of her life than I did in the earliest books, but there is a bit too much going on in the plot here. The central mystery gets buried in other plot lines and there is a final twist (not related to the central mystery) that brings in another plot line that doesn't really relate to the rest of the book. But it's a fascinating period in British history, and Winspear bases a lot of the plot on her own family's experiences, so the details ring true. This needed a better editor, but her fans won't care.

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