The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
August 1914. As Michael Clifton is mapping land he has just purchased in California’s beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, war is declared in Europe—and duty-bound to his father’s native country, the young cartographer soon sets sail for England to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed as missing in action.
April 1932. After Michael’s remains are unearthed in France, his parents retain London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs, hoping she can find the unnamed nurse whose love letters were among their late son’s belongings. It is a quest that leads Maisie back to her own bittersweet wartime love—and to the stunning discovery that Michael Clifton was murdered in his dugout. Suddenly an exposed web of intrigue and violence threatens to ensnare the dead soldier’s family and even Maisie herself as she attempts to cope with the impending loss of her mentor and the unsettling awareness that she is once again falling in love.
I picked this book to read for the January/February 2012 Cozy Mystery Challenge hosted by Debbie’s Book Bag. The challenge was to read a cozy mystery with love in the title.
This is my first Maisie Dobbs mystery. I believe it’s book six in the series, but even so it wasn’t too difficult to follow along.
What I liked about the book: It takes place in Britain between World War I and World War II, a time period I generally like. Maisie is an interesting character – a strong female character and rather methodical. I must admit that Winspear fooled me. I generally figure out the culprit before the end of the book, but this time I was wrong. I’ve read some reviews of this series that suggest that this would be a good TV series. While the book was ok, I think that I would probably enjoy a TV series more.
What I didn’t like about the book: There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book per se. It’s just that with my overwhelming to be read pile, for me to add a new series to my regular reading, that series has to be truly outstanding. This one just didn’t do it for me.