65 pages 2 hours read

Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2003

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Part 1, Chapters 5-7Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “Spring 1929”

Part 1, Chapter 5 Summary

Maisie has compiled a detailed dossier on Celia Davenham and prepares to interview her personally. Billy comes by to thank Maisie for helping one of their neighbors with a problem. In turn, she asks if he recalls anything about Vincent Weathershaw from his military service. Billy remembers Vincent and agrees to ask friends for more detail.

Maisie walks to a tea shop, Fortnum and Mason’s, hoping to see Celia Davenham. As she does, she reflects that her business has picked up, allowing her to explore her ongoing curiosity about Vincent’s death at her own expense.

Maisie deliberately sits near Celia, and when the other woman recognizes her from the cemetery, they begin to talk. Maisie assumes her mentor’s surname, introducing herself as Maisie Blanche. She gives the same cover story she provided at the cemetery, that she is a distant relative of Donald’s. Celia explains that one of her brothers died in action, while the other, a close friend of Vincent’s, also had a facial injury. Maisie explains that she worked as a combat nurse and in psychiatric care after the war ended. This is not merely a strategic ploy, as “the depth of Maisie Dobbs’s understanding of her situation was greater than Celia Davenham could possibly imagine” (38).