Book Review: The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear

September 1940 and Hitler’s Blitzkrieg attacks on Britain are in full swing.

Elephant and Castle London Underground Station Shelter: People sleeping on the crowded platform of Elephant and Castle tube station while taking shelter from German air raids during the London Blitz.
Civilians take shelter in Elephant and Castle Underground Station in south London during an air raid in November 1940.
© IWM (D 1568)

When an American war correspondent’s murder is concealed by British
authorities, Maisie Dobbs agrees to work with an agent of the US
Department of Justice to help an old friend discover the truth.

With German bombs raining down on London, Maisie is torn between
the demands of solving this dangerous case and the need to protect a
young evacuee. And what will happen when she faces losing her dearest
friend and the possibility that she might be falling in love again.

The American Agent is number 15 in a series of books centered on the life and investigations of Maisie Dobbs but this was the first book I’ve had the opportunity to read. Jaqueline Winspear elegantly weaves subtle but relevant plot points and character insights from previous novels into this book in a way that gives the Dobbs newbie just enough back story to feel connected while not distracting from the current narrative. I got the sense however that there is much more that I need to get to know about Dobbs and I’m curious to explore the other books in the series to get the full depth of character.

As a history nut, the WWII backdrop is what initially attracted me to this book but it was the multi-layered plot of deception and political trickery that kept me there.

The American Agent has been a great first encounter with Maisie Dobbs and it has left me wanting more; wanting deeper insight into the experiences and events that shaped her life to this point. I can understand why this series of books has amassed an almost cult following on the basis of the Dobbs character and I’m keen to go back and begin the journey.

Hardback / Allison & Busby / 26 March ’19 / £19.99 / Crime Fiction

Other books in the Maisie Dobbs series

About the author

Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in Kent and emigrated to the
USA in 1990. She has written extensively for journals, newspapers and
magazines, and has worked in book publishing on both sides of the
Atlantic. The Maisie Dobbs series of crime novels is beloved by readers
worldwide – always going into the New York Times top 10 on publication.
Jacqueline will be available for interviews, events and written features.
More info at:

author bio picture jacqueline winspeare

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