I love a good British mystery novel. And a good British mystery novel set in the fascinating time period following the Great War, World War I, well, all’s the better. A good British mystery novel with rich historical detail, not to mention a good British mystery novel with a smart sleuth who also happens to be a woman—well, that would be Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs in her latest adventure, The Mapping of Love and Death.
To sum up my review: I liked it. A lot. It was good. Very good. Interesting setting. Intriguing mystery. Fascinating backstory of war, in addition to wartime love and loss. Maisie is likeable and the story compelling. Want to know more? Here’s the publisher’s description:
In the latest mystery 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.
Mystery lovers of all kinds, British or otherwise, will enjoy The Mapping of Love and Death. Winspear has written an effective historical whodunit novel that entertains not merely through the mystery itself but also through the depth of the characters she creates. This is the seventh novel in the series featuring Maisie Dobbs; I will definitely be checking the library for other Maisie adventures!
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes…. Lisa would like to thank Harper Collins for providing a review copy of this book!