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.
Love, love, love! This book has broken my recent DNF streak (three DNFs in a row!!) and I am "Happy. Happy. Happy." I finally feel like my reading mojo is back - Hurrah!
Once again, I fell in deep with a Winspear book. How could I not? Captivating story, fascinating characters, and a comforting familiarity that beckons for an armchair and cup of tea - what more could I ask for? And believe you me, I truly enjoyed spending my weekend all tucked up with Maisie, Billy, Pris, and the rest of the characters from this compelling new-to-me story involving maps, murder, and a documentary.
The Mapping of Love and Death brings Maisie new clients and a new love. Exciting, eh? I know I loved reading all about Maisie and her new beau - I have to admit that I screamed with joy when she got kissed (I swear, Maisie feels like a dear friend to me). And I did get a bit anxious when it appeared as if Maisie might not be open to a new relationship - luckily, I worried for nothing. As far as the new clients went- well, lets just say that Maisie handled quite an interesting case this time round. One that had her flashing back to her own past, along with that of a dead man's via his journals and some old love letters. It was such a treat to find out how Maisie sorted out all the pieces of information to figure out what exactly happened to Michael Clifton (her clients' son) - I always just think its amazing to see her mind in action. Especially, since I am usually wrong about 'who done it' - its frustrating to be wrong each time, but also kind of neat how Winspear's manages to keep the mystery 'mysterious' with twists and turns you hadn't even expected (I love it!).
Of course, the writing was terrific - it was engaging, suspenseful, and filled with quite a few surprises. As always, there were interesting topics to learn about, such as cartography, the nursing units during the war, and land rights. Winspear somehow manages to teach her readers about the past, without making it seem as if you are being taught - she just has that magic touch about providing information in such an engrossing way. I always feel as if I am reading a history book, as well as a detective novel and I quite like that mix of genre (makes me enjoy the book even more).
So, I would most definitely recommend The Mapping of Love and Death to fans of Winspear's beloved Maisie Dobbs series and to anyone and everyone who loves a good detective novel. You will thoroughly enjoy this book and eagerly seek out the rest of Winspear's novels. I know that I can't wait to read more Dobbs', especially Winspear's latest book, Leaving Everything Most Loved.
Here's a link to the TLC Book Tour schedule of all of the Maisie Dobbs books that were read and reviewed this month in celebration and anticipation of Winspear's new novel, Leaving Everything Most Loved. Check it out!
TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.