The American Agent

The American Agent

Book - 2019
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Maisie Dobbs investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz in a page-turning tale of love and war, terror and survival.
Publisher: [New York] :, HarperCollins,, [2019]
Edition: Unabridged
Description: 1 audio disc (11 hr.) : digital, MP3 ; 4 3/4 in
Copyright Date: ©℗2019
ISBN: 9781982606596
Branch Call Number: SWMP Wins *


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Apr 20, 2021

This is book 15

Jan 29, 2021

I love this authors books. I was born in the docks of London during the blitz, so can relate to her stories, particularly how Londoners came together despite the horrors that they faced.

Dec 17, 2020

Not great but not bad, either. My first "Maisie Dobbs" mystery. Maisie is a character similar to Phryne Fisher, of the "Miss Fisher" series, an intrepid single woman who gets embroiled in major events, investigates murders with her loyal associates who recur in each new novel, has lovers and is a spirited emancipated woman in an era where that's rare. The book brings those historical events to life in a real way; the crime almost seems secondary. This one solves the murder of an American woman reporter in London during the Blitz whose burning ambition is to be a radio correspondent working for Edward R. Murrow. The lives of Britons enduring the nightly aerial bombing by German warplanes is vividly described and that's the best part of the book.

It seems as if the author is dutifully tagging all the bases that her readers expect but is a bit tired by this 15th novel.

Mar 02, 2020

I found it challenging to get through the last few chapters which I experienced as draggy with much unnecessary and distracting detail.

Feb 02, 2020

Yes, I've read all of the Maisie Dobbs books (in order), so I feel qualified in saying this is one of the better ones - welcome back Maisie!! This story takes place primarily in London during the blitzkrieg of World War II, and Maisie is not only a volunteer ambulance driver but is also called in by the Secret Service and Scotland Yard to help solve the murder of an American war correspondent - an adventurous, talented woman with ambitions to become one of "Murrow's boys." Winspear inserts actual news quotes at the beginning of several chapters which help to ground the story in fact. An underlying thread was that the American government was trying to stay out of the war and many American leaders were promoting isolationism, and trying to suppress the news of what was actually happening during Germany's blitz raids. This political seesaw gives the novel more depth than just solving the murder mystery. But what makes this book a must-read is Maisie. Her honest and thoughtful personality as she solves the complex mystery, her desire to adopt a little orphan girl she rescued in an earlier book, the potential loss of her best friend, and the possibility that she may be falling in love again.

Nov 01, 2019

Plot moves at the pace of treacle. Not one of Winspear's better novels.

Aug 15, 2019

Just finished listening to this book. It was terrific! I seem to love the stories more when they are set in England. I’ve been quilting and listening. The quilt is done, and I finished the book in 4 days. Yes, do read/listen to the books in order

Jul 30, 2019

During London's terrifying Blitz, Maisie Dobbs and her best friend, Pris, both nurses since WW I, share an ambulance ferrying the injured to hospitals. One night, they're joined by an American correspondent reporting on the war to her country. They're impressed by her enthusiasm and willingness to dig in and help. Almost before Maisie can get to bed, she's called by MacFarlane, her long-time government contact, who tells her the woman has been murdered in her apartment. He wants her on the case, along with Mark, an American who got Maisie out of Hitler's Munich in 1938. The details of the murder are kept from the press, as Catherine Saxon was the daughter of a ranking senator who wants the US to keep out of the war. Maisie's frustrated, as MacFarlane and Mark seem to be keeping information from her. She's also in a stressful situation personally because of the upcoming adoption hearing for Anna, 5, a refugee who she's come to love. Anna's as safe as anybody can be in England these days, living with Maisie's father and stepmother in the country. Still, they live on the route some bombers take leaving London, and they often drop “leftover” bombs, hoping to do some damage. One of these falls in Anna's school grounds, but doesn't explode. The children think this is exciting, but it's very dangerous until the authorities can defuse it. When finally Maisie learns who killed Saxon, and why, Mark can tell her why he's been involved. Some Americans, like Miss Saxon's father, want to keep the US out of the war. Further, some, even at the highest level, are pro Nazi. It was part of Mark's job to keep an eye on one of those in the American Embassy in London.

Jul 06, 2019

This book is terrific! I can not tell too much about this book without spoiling the earlier books, but Maisie is asked to help figure out who murdered an ambitious young American female reporter who was trying to get noticed by Edward R. Murrow. It is 1940 in England, and Londoners are enduring the Blitz: nightly bombing runs by the Germans. At worst, there is death and destruction; at best, there is acute stress and loss of sleep for everyone, day after day, week after week. And yet the British soldier on. The United States is not yet in WWII. Mr. Murrow’s radio broadcasts are urgent and compelling. They help Americans understand what the British are going through, how brave they are in the face of great danger, and what is at stake. But many Americans wants to stay out of the war at all costs (even to the point of appeasing Hitler), and one of those is an influential US senator who is also the father of the murdered young reporter.

We sometimes think we live in the worst of times today. I have felt that way myself. But what Londoners endured during the Blitz was much harder than anything we have faced (yet). Having to sleep in cellars every night because there are bombing raids every night; trying to work and function under enormous stress and with very little sleep; risking death or injury constantly; and enduring the loss of family members and friends who are killed or maimed in war or in the bombing runs. Air quality was terrible, and people were ill constantly as a result. This book gives us a sense of what that was like, and how the British made the best of it and kept on keeping on.

I am not minimizing the problems we face today: multiple threats to our democracy, foreign interference in our elections, the extreme impacts of the climate crisis, threats to our health and personal autonomy, etc. They are serious and far-reaching. But we do not have bombs falling on us and around us every night. (Maybe we would take today’s threats more seriously if bombs were falling on us.)

For anyone who is not already following this series, you have a great treat in store! Please start with the first book (called Maisie Dobbs) and read these books in order. You will love them!

Jul 05, 2019

Maisie and Billy take on a case of the death of an aspiring American woman journalist during the Blitz, while Maisie waits for her own court date to adopt Anna. American Mark Scott makes a re-appearance, providing an interesting Joseph Kennedy family side story. One of Winspear’s better outings.

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