Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Release Date: 2010
Source: This book was given to me by TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: In the New York Times bestselling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death—an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse.
August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe. Michael—the youngest son of an expatriate Englishman—puts duty first and sails for his father's native country to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed among those missing in action.
April 1932. London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs is retained by Michael's parents, who have recently learned that their son's remains have been unearthed in France. They want Maisie to find the unnamed nurse whose love letters were among Michael's belongings—a quest that takes Maisie back to her own bittersweet wartime love. Her inquiries, and the stunning discovery that Michael Clifton was murdered in his trench, unleash a web of intrigue and violence that threatens to engulf the soldier's family and even Maisie herself. Over the course of her investigation, Maisie must cope with the approaching loss of her mentor, Maurice Blanche, and her growing awareness that she is once again falling in love.
Following the critically acclaimed bestseller Among the Mad, The Mapping of Love and Death delivers the most gripping and satisfying chapter yet in the life of Maisie Dobbs.
My Review: In 1914, Michael Clifton, an American who joined the British army to fight in WWI, bought a piece of land in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. He was never to return to America again. Believing he was killed in action, Michael Clifton’s parents discover Michael’s journal and a box of love letters and hires Maisie Dobbs to find the author of the letters. As Maisie sets out to find the woman who loved Michael Clifton, she learns that there may be more to Michael’s death. She comes to the realization that instead of being killed in war, Michael most likely had been murdered.
I really like Maisie Dobbs in this novel. She was a strong, sensible heroine. Maisie comes across to me as a workaholic. She is devoted to her case, and never stops working to get to the bottom of the truth. Maisie is also a caring woman. She cares about the victim, whom she never met, and his family. Even though she is persistent in her case, Maisie experiences moments of sadness and also love that she never thought was possible. Thus, Maisie has to navigate through her profession and her personal life. Maisie is forced to make hard choices in order to find happiness.
Overall, this book explores the dreams and ambitions of a young American soldier that sadly never came to fruition. The characters are fleshed out, and I wished that there were more appearances of the side characters, for instance, Maisie’s father, James Compton, and Priscilla. The mystery was predictable. You would know who the bad guys are as soon as they make their appearance on the page. However, I didn't mind about the mystery, I was more enthralled with the victim’s story and wanted to know more about him. The time period seemed to come alive, and I felt as if I had transported back into the 1930s. Thus, this was a solid mystery, and I look forward to reading more of the Maisie Dobbs series.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
About Jacqueline Winspear
Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.
Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, www.jacquelinewinspear.com, and find her on Facebook.