Monday, March 21, 2011

The Mapping of Love and Death - Jacqueline Winspear

The Mapping of Love and Death is the 7th book in Jacqueline Winspear's series featuring Maisie Dobbs.

This wonderful series is set in the past in England. The first novel began in the 1920's and this seventh offering is set in 1932. Maisie Dobbs is a unique creation. She began as a servant in a mansion at age thirteen. When her employer took an interest in Maisie and her intelligent, inquisitive nature, she sponsored her education. Fast forward to 1932. Maisie has had psychological training, served as a nurse in the war and now owns and runs an Investigative Agency.
"The path from there to here had been far from straight, had looped back and forth, yet always with an imagined place ahead - that she would be a woman of independent means would rise above her circumstances."
This latest outing finds Maisie employed by the Clifton family. Their son Michael's  body has just been recovered - he was killed during the war. With his body were unsigned letters from a nurse he seems to have fallen in love with. The family would like to connect with her. Maisie is hired to track her down. But examination of Michael Clifton's body reveals that he was murdered before his unit was bombed and killed.  Could his mapping skills and land purchase just before the war have something to do with his death? The case involves much more than first thought.

The Maisie Dobbs series are such a comfortable, almost genteel read, if you will. The social customs, manners and mores of the times are all faithfully observed in Winspear's writing. I enjoy being transported to this time period. The Great War brought many changes to England. Class and gender lines are changing. It has been interesting to watch Maisie's growth as she acquires knowledge, confidence and skills over the last 6 books. Of course, detection methods during this time are greatly different from the modern day detective novel. It is refreshing to see crimes solved the 'old fashioned' way, with a lots of legwork, questions and thought. I admire Maisie's quiet intelligence and her calm demeanor.

Winspear also includes an ongoing secondary storyline in addition to the mystery of every book. Maisie's personal life - her search for love and happiness- is just as interesting.

Read an excerpt of The Mapping of Love and Death. The 8th book in this series - A Lesson in Secrets- releases this week.

Maisie Dobbs is perfect for curling up under a quilt with a pot of tea - just a great historical mystery series with an intriguing protagonist.
Check out what others on the TLC Book Tour thought - full schedule here.


Anonymous said...

I've recently found that I really enjoy books set in and around The Great War, so I really think I'd like this series.

Thanks for being on the tour!

bermudaonion said...

I don't think I've read a bad review about a book in this series. I need to get it so I can share it with my mom.

Ann Summerville said...

These have a great setting.

Anonymous said...

excellent articles, useful for me. keep writing and happy blogging.