The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear


Historical MysteryThe Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear

The Mapping of Love and DeathJacqueline Winspear; Harper 2010WorldCatEdward and Martha Clifton approach Maisie Dobbs about their son, Michael. He had left his home in America in 1914 to join the war as a cartographer. He was killed and body was not found. Now, in 1932, his body as been found with his comrades buried in a foxhole. The elder Cliftons visit her to find the woman who wrote to him during the war. Plus Edward Clifton noticed a fact on the death certificate. It appears Michael was murdered before the sniper fire that killed all the men.

The day after their visit to Maisie the Cliftons are attacked in their hotel room. Now Maisie has two mysteries to solve – the past and the present. She first has to take the letters from The English Nurse found on Michael’s body and. They need to dry out so they might be readable. After the attack, Detective Inspector Caldwell comes calling on her as well. Scotland Yard is very interested in the attack on the wealthy American couple. They reluctantly agree to share information.

Maisie starts with the British military. She interviews the men referred to her down the line, ending with Michael Clifton’s immediate officer. Most barely remember him. She also discovers enough in the letters to determine which units the nurse may have been with in France. Plus, Edward Clifton had left England as a young man and the family business that was left behind failed. Is there any connection there?

As for the two mysteries involved in The Mapping of Love and Death, they were fairly able to foresee as Maisie uncovers the clues. Maisie, with her assistant Billy, keep on the case, keep interviewing people, keep digging back into the history of the war.

The strength of these novels is the way Jacqueline Winspear winds the mysteries leftover from World War I and Maisie’s present together. Maisie is dealing with the ill health of her mentor, Maurice Blanche. She gets up to the countryside more than usual to see Maurice as well as spend some time with her father. She starts “keeping company” with a new beau that could be a problem. Although she is able to logically follow the Clifton’s mystery, her own life is in turmoil.

If you haven’t read any of the Maisie Dobbs series, The Mapping of Love and Death one isn’t a good one to start. The mystery is fine yet predictable in a number of ways. The personal story lines rely on the past books to make them stronger for the reader. If you’re already familiar with the series, you’ll get pulled in by Maisie.

Notice:  Non-graphic violence

More books by Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

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