Sunday, March 20, 2011

A LESSON IN SECRETS: A Maisie Dobbs Novel By Jacqueline Winspear


A Maisie Dobbs Novel

By Jacqueline Winspear

5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, Resourceful, Courageous & Organized

A Maisie Dobbs novel is always an easy read, mainly because the author has developed a character that is intelligent, resourceful, courageous and's like sitting down with an old friend.

In this latest work, Maisie is enlisted by the British Secret Service to go to Cambridge as a junior professor to find out if post-war unrest is being fomented by communist interests in the university world of teachers and students.

In her usual descriptive way, Winspear draws you in to the college atmosphere of Cambridge with its unique architecture, student hangouts, hideouts, and activities.

Maisie is employed at the College of St. Francis, where students from Europe and England are studying ways to better understand each other and find a way to make peace work. She discovers that it is not only communism that is trying to make inroads into the English way of life. More importantly, she feels that the threat of the National Socialism Party of Adolph Hitler is a more serious problem.

In the middle of all this, there is a murder that revolves around a children's book!

Maisie's careful untangling of this complex story takes the reader along with her to an exciting finish.

Description from Amazon:

Maisie Dobbs' first assignment for the British Secret Service takes her undercover to Cambridge as a professor—and leads to the investigation of a web of activities being conducted by the emerging Nazi Party.
In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs' career takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard's Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities "not in the inter-ests 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 Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Richard Stratton spearhead 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 theNationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—in Britain.
As the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon, this pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs foreshadows new challenges and powerful enemies facing the psychologist and investigator—and will engage new readers and loyal fans of this "outstanding" series (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tomorrow's Guardian By Richard Denning

Tomorrow's Guardian
By Richard Denning

5.0 out of 5 stars Diving in and out of times and realities...March 13, 2011
This review is from: Tomorrow's Guardian (Paperback)
Tom Oakley is an ordinary 12 year old English schoolboy, except he is plagued with too-real dreams of historical characters where he becomes that person. Then he begins to have day-dreams just as vivid and his behavior become questionable to his teachers and earns the ridicule of the school bully. 

Tom learns from a raffish Welshman that time is not just the hands moving on the clock or the sun in the sky. Time is multi-dimensional; moving in parallel time streams including his own timeline with all of the history that makes up the world he know.  He also learns that he is a Walker, capable of transporting himself through time. Learning to control his gift takes him on adventures that are wilder than his wildest dreams. It also introduces him to people and ideas about doing what is right. 

Denning has handled the confusion, frustration, impetuousness, and anger of a young boy faced with the impossible very well. Working with different timelines and realities takes real imagination and organization, and the book reflects that.

Product Description from Amazon:

Tom Oakley experiences disturbing episodes of déjà-vu and believes he is going mad. Then, he discovers that he's a "Walker" - someone who can transport himself to other times and places. Tom dreams about other "Walkers" in moments of mortal danger: Edward Dyson killed in a battle in 1879; Mary Brown who perished in the Great Fire of London; and Charlie Hawker, a sailor who drowned on a U-boat in 1943. Agreeing to travel back in time and rescue them, Tom has three dangerous adventures, before returning to the present day. But Tom's troubles have only just begun. He finds that he's drawn the attention of evil individuals who seek to bend history to their will. Soon, Tom's family are obliterated from existence and Tom must make a choice between saving them and saving his entire world. Tomorrow's Guardian is a Young Adult Fantasy Novel.


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