Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs)

In this latest installment of the Maisie Dobbs series, Jacqueline Winspear does not disappoint.

Maisie finds herself investigating the death of an American cartographer who joined the British Army at the onset of WWI in 1914. When his remains are uncovered, he is found in possession of meticulously preserved letters from a woman who only signs her name as "The English Nurse" or "Tennie." His parents, established members of the Boston Brahmins, journey to London and hire Maisie to track down the mysterious woman with whom their son had a war-time affair.

But of course, it's not as simple as that, especially when Maisie reads the coroner's report and begins to suspect that it was not a shell and trench collapse that killed young Michael Clifton after all...

Devoted readers should be warned there is a bit of heartbreak in this book. Several of the character story lines have surprising developments, and Maisie herself forays cautiously once again into love.

Winspear--perhaps even more so than other authors--captures the undercurrent rumblings of the next impending war exceptionally well. She retains her vivid imagery and immersing sense of time and place. All in all, another satisfying read from a very pleasant and interesting series.

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