• A Sunlit Weapon

  • A Novel (Maisie Dobbs, Book 17)
  • By: Jacqueline Winspear
  • Narrated by: Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,198 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the latest installment of the New York Times best-selling series, a series of possible attacks on British pilots leads Jacqueline Winspear's beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs into a mystery involving First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

October 1942. Jo Hardy, a 22-year-old ferry pilot, is delivering a Supermarine Spitfire - the fastest fighter aircraft in the world - to Biggin Hill Aerodrome, when she realizes someone is shooting at her aircraft from the ground. Returning to the location on foot, she finds an American serviceman in a barn, bound and gagged. She rescues the man, who is handed over to the American military police; it quickly emerges that he is considered a suspect in the disappearance of a fellow soldier who is missing.

Tragedy strikes two days later, when another ferry pilot crashes in the same area where Jo’s plane was attacked. At the suggestion of one of her colleagues, Jo seeks the help of psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs. Meanwhile, Maisie’s husband, a high-ranking political attaché based at the American embassy, is in the thick of ensuring security is tight for the first lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, during her visit to the Britain. There’s already evidence that German agents have been circling: the wife of a president represents a high value target. Mrs. Roosevelt is clearly in danger, and there may well be a direct connection to the death of the woman ferry pilot and the recent activities of two American servicemen.

To guarantee the safety of the first lady - and of the soldier being held in police custody - Maisie must uncover that connection. At the same time, she faces difficulties of an entirely different nature with her young daughter, Anna, who is experiencing wartime struggles of her own. 

©2022 Jacqueline Winspear (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about A Sunlit Weapon

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Another excellent Maise Dobbs installment

Jacqueline Winspear has again written a wonderful entwined mystery which is well researched. It is enhanced by the narration of Orlagh Cassidy, who gives Maise’s voice the perfect inflection and grace it deserves. Well done! (Just a note though, “Morris” Blanche should be changed back to the original French pronunciation of “Maurice” that it is in all the other Maise Dobbs series.) Thanks to both Ms Winspear and Ms Cassidy for hours of enjoyment!

4 people found this helpful

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So good

I loved it as usual and it had multiple subplots, so I could barely get anything else done. I just had to get to the end. My only complaint would be the pronoun is toon of Maurice’s name by the narrator like Morice. It would stop me cold. “Who is that?”
I had to think about it. Then I would remember it was her mentor.

3 people found this helpful

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Learned so much

About WWII and the men and women who served. The information presented at the end about women pilots was illuminating. Great mystery too!

2 people found this helpful

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Sappy + could use consistency in narration

Have enjoyed many Maisie Dobbs books but this one dragged. Did appreciate the info about women pilots and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Would be nice if the narrator, who really is usually very good, would review her previous audiobooks to be more consistent in voices as well as how she pronounces “Maurice”. In the majority of the Dobbs books, she says it in the French manner, in one book (not remembering off hand which at this moment), she says, “Morris” which seems to be how Ms. Cassidy is handling the name this time around. Rather jarring, that.
This was an OK listen, but not sure I will purchase future audiobooks.

1 person found this helpful

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Not up to Par

I have read/listened to every Maisie Dobbs book. I am sorry to say I was disappointed in the story line in this one.
Why does everyone feel the obligation to make a statement on Racism? Although I agree there was much
mistreatment and segregation of the races in WW2 I felt this book was very "Preachy" and this theme took over the premise
of the story which was supposed to be about planes being shot down by spies.
The rest of the plot was a little too complicated by very damaged characters and did not resolve in a coherent way.
Disappointed ! Please stay out of the political/social arena in future books. Narration was perfect.

1 person found this helpful

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The best in the series!!

This latest edition of the Maisie Dobbs books was my very favorite. It's an excellent example of historical fiction. I highly recommend you listen to all the Maisie Dobbs books. The narration is absolutely wonderful as well.

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Another well-written Maisie Dobbs mystery

I always enjoy Maisie Dobbs mysteries. They are full of historical events and complex storylines. This is no exception. I really enjoy the narrator’s interpretation and voices. Very good book to hear!!

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Aviatrices honored in the latest Dobb's mystery

Following her earlier exemplary writing about shell shock /PTSD, mental health, unemployment and other issues circa WWI, author Winspear highlights the social ills of bullying and prejudice in this latest mystery, as well as the toll of grief - all in the course of solving crimes and mysteries and probing the psyches of all involved.
An enjoyable tale which lets us know the brave women pilots who ferried planes for the RAF.

However, am I the only one who finds Cassidy's narration barely tolerable? Her voice is syrupy and affected - both in narration and with Maisie's voice, so treacly at times it hurts my teeth. (I like the narrator of the very first book much better, but Cassidy has gotten all the rest.) I wish she could just make a plain flat statement at times, rather than purring with sweet affectation, and I think the book and characters suffer from her interpretation, with some rare exceptions.

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Very Enjoyable Mystery Set in WWII

Always enjoy Masie's work and mysteries. This one had the added pleasure of WWII historical info on British society during the war and how people did (and did not) face the challenges. Looking forward to her next one!

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Love the racial component

Another lovely mystery in the series - now in WW II and focused on aviation. She wove into the plot different characters dealing with racial prejudice - beautifully dealing with a painful topic. There were soul-shaking reminders of how hard life was for Black people in America, and how important it is to accept and love the differences we all have.