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

  • Kathryn

    Well, she did it again. The book is so well done; full of lots of history, new and old characters and of course Maisie. I'm trying to figure out how old she is now. In her 40s I think. It's just a great story and I shall miss her until the next book.

  • 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!

  • Claudia Silk

    These books are my guilty pleasure! Found this very interesting because it included a Dunkirk story.

  • Jean Poulos

    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.

  • Charlene

    One of the best in the series and I've read them all, so far. It's spring, 1940. There's several stories running here; the mystery concerns the disappearance of Joe, the young painting apprentice? He's been working on a crew painting RAF buildings with a fire retardant that gives him headaches and seems to be causing a personality change. Then there's the WWII story . . . Maisie and friend Priscilla are training as rescue ambulance workers, there's rumors that the British Expeditionary Force is

    One of the best in the series and I've read them all, so far. It's spring, 1940. There's several stories running here; the mystery concerns the disappearance of Joe, the young painting apprentice? He's been working on a crew painting RAF buildings with a fire retardant that gives him headaches and seems to be causing a personality change. Then there's the WWII story . . . Maisie and friend Priscilla are training as rescue ambulance workers, there's rumors that the British Expeditionary Force is in trouble in France and then there's Dunkirk. Maisie has her young ward, Anna, safe in the country but we see the worries of those still in London and those who have left.

    I enjoyed the author's acknowledgments, too, where she gives credit to her dad for inspiring the story; he was a fourteen year apprentice doing his part as a government painter also, and to her extended family who were in all theaters of the war & shared stories. And her own WWI family story is always the background, too . . . of how the horror of war damages lives for decades after treaties are signed.

  • 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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