Title: The Mapping of Love and Death
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Paperback: 368 pages
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
From the Publisher:
August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California’s beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe. Michael—the youngest son of an expatriate Englishman—puts duty first and sails for his father’s native country to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed among those missing in action.
April 1932. London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs is retained by Michael’s parents, who have recently learned that their son’s remains have been unearthed in France. They want Maisie to find the unnamed nurse whose love letters were among Michael’s belongings—a quest that takes Maisie back to her own bittersweet wartime love. Her inquiries, and the stunning discovery that Michael Clifton was murdered in his trench, unleash a web of intrigue and violence that threatens to engulf the soldier’s family and even Maisie herself. Over the course of her investigation, Maisie must cope with the approaching loss of her mentor, Maurice Blanche, and her growing awareness that she is once again falling in love.
The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear is the seventh Maisie Dobbs novel, and the third I have read. While the book can easily stand alone, it is my belief readers will want to know more about Maisie, I know I shall be back reading. In The Mapping of Love and Death, the book opens in 1914 where cartographer Michael Clifton is setting sights on places to drill for oil when war is declared in Britain. Even though Michael is born an American, he feels a strong duty to serve and travels to Britain and is assigned work as a cartographer in the Great War. By 1916 he is reported missing and in 1932 his body is recovered and Maisie Dobbs a London psychologist and investigator along with her assistant, Billy Beale, find themselves being hired by Edward and Martha Clifton to discover what happened to their son and to locate a woman known only by her love letters as “Your English Nurse”. Maisie soon learns the case is not at all as simple as it appears and finds herself in situations she could not have foreseen. Winspear takes the reader back to another time, just after the Great War and through detailed and vivid prose, the reader is taken on a several journeys, all the while Maisie tries to solve the murder. The Mapping of Love and Death reads quite similar to a cozy mystery, yet cannot be classified as such as all the characters are not known upfront, rather the reader uncovers the mystery with Maisie. I enjoyed following the clues, trying to get ahead of Maisie and I found it fascinating how Winspear was able to weave in Maisie’s past from the Great War into this story as she is confronted with constant reminders of the past and her quest to move forward with her life. The Mapping of Love and Death was a delightful mystery and one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys an intriguing mystery. The next Maisie Dobbs novel, A Lesson in Secrets, will be released in April.
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education, and in marketing communications in the UK.
She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.
A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women’s magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She lives in California and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom and Europe.
Jacqueline’s novels thus far—Maisie Dobbs, Birds of a Feather, Pardonable Lies, Messenger of Truth, An Incomplete Revenge, and Among the Mad are set in the late 1920s and early 1930s, with the roots of each story set in the Great War, 1914–1918. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards.
To learn more about the author and her books, please visit her website.
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I received a complimentary copy of The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.