Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: The Mapping of Love and Death - 7th in the Maisie Dobbs Mystery series
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Release Date: April 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Mystery
Year/Setting: 1914, The onset of World War I
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Jacqueline's Website/Blog: www.jacquelinewinspear.com
The story begins in California, in 1914, just before World War I is declared. Michael Clifton, a cartographer (mapmaker) is making a map of the land that he has just bought in the Santa Ynez Valley in California. He bought this land because he is sure that there is a huge oil field under it. He is preparing to return to his home in Boston when war is declared in Europe. Michael who is the son of an Englishman who had emigrated to the United States feels that it is his duty to go and serve in the British armed forces. Three years pass and he is reported missing.
In April of the year 1932 Maisie Dobbs who is an investigator is hired by Michael's parents, who have been informed that his remains were found in France. They would like Maisie to find the nurse that Michael had been in love with and whose letters were found with his possessions. Maisie takes on the case which reminds her of the time that she spent during the war as a nurse in France and Belgium. Her investigation brings out the fact that Michael was murdered in the trench where he was found. During her investigation she comes upon many interesting characters. Mr. and Mrs. Clifton, who are anxious to put to rest the loss of their son; Billy Beale who works with Maisie in her office and is involved in a crisis at home; Detective Inspector Caldwell of Scotland Yard who has spent many moments trying to discourage Maisie from her tasks; and also people from Maisie's past including a man that she has known since childhood but who is now a definite love interest. She must solve a case of wartime love and will be lead into an affair between a young man from America and a surprising/mysteryious nurse.
This is the latest in a series of books about Maisie and her life. I wish that I had started with number one but, the author is very good at making all the characters known to the reader so it is not difficult to catch up. I don't usually love English mysteries except, of course, Agatha Christie, but this book is very close to her plots. You don't know who did it until the end and I couldn't even guess who the culprit was. I highly recommend this book to all mystery readers. It will keep you busy. Enjoy Maisie and I'll talk to you soon.
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