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on 26 May 2010
How do you solve a murder that took place on a battlefield more than a decade earlier? With a little bit of luck and a lot of skill and intuition. When an elderly American couple engaged Maisie Dobbs when their son's body was uncovered on a French farm, they provided her with many love letters sent to him by an English nurse, as well as his journal. These documents provided elusive clues.

However, more important were the results of an autopsy which indicated that the man was killed by a blow to the head with a blunt instrument, rather than a Boche shell, which buried the dugout with his body and those of his bunkmates inside. Serendipity, of course, plays an important role in solving the murder, and Maisie certainly doesn't lack for that either.

The seventh novel in the series, which traces the adventures of a young woman from her humble beginnings to serving as a nurse during the First World War to becoming an accomplished investigator, this story demonstrates not only Maisie's growth as a detective, but also the changes in her life that presumably will become apparent in future installments. They are something to which one can look forward.

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on 14 September 2012
THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH by author Jacqueline Winspear is another chapter in the continuing adventures of Maisie Dobbs. Maisie is a "psychologist and investigator" in post World War I London. A nurse during the war, Maisie returned to London and was mentored by one of the most skilled men in his field. Detective Dr. Maurice Blanche. The bulk of this story takes place in 1932, when an American couple come to England seeking Masie's help in discovering who killed their son nearly 20 years earlier (WWI) and made it appear that he was a casualty of an enemy shelling. Their son was a cartographer who left America to enlist in the British Corps in order to volunteer his much needed services as a map maker to his father's homeland.

The Maisie Dobbs mysteries are a clever series, mixing cozy and historical fiction with a more traditional mystery. Their most appealing aspect, however, is the way Winspear develops her characters and pulls the reader into their lives. The mystery almost becomes peripheral and you actually find yourself more interested in finding out what happens to Maisie's family, friends, lovers and to Maisie herself than to the identity of the culprit. That is not to say that the mystery and its intricacies are not intriguing and well written, it's just that Winspear has created an engaging cast of characters and has made the world they inhabit so captivating, that the reader is literally transported to another time and place, one filled with history and life lessons, that they will want to visit again and again.

As discerned by Maisie's mentor Maurice Blanche, "All maps are drawn in hindsight, and hindsight if interpreted with care, is what brings us wisdom". A wise observation most of us can relate to and learn from as we map our own lives.
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on 9 January 2011
This series just get better and better ... to buy instantly when they come out - a must read. A truly original and very appealing character (and supporting cast), wonderful evocation of the times (this book is set in 1932)and also a page turning mystery plot, the whole very well written. No hestitation - five stars ... and, note to author ... more please!
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on 1 August 2013
This is the 7th book in what is at present a 10 book series
Maisie Dobbs was a Nurse in WW1 & the books start in the 1920s, this book starts in 1932
The story is about an American who was posted missing in the Great War & his body just been found in a field by a farmer, it turns out he was murdered So Maisie has been asked by his American Family to look in to it, she reads letters & his Journal to help her & her assistant Billy Beale, the American couple are attacked while at the hotel it looks like they are looking for the papers that Maisie already has.
This has many twists & who i thought it may have been or at least had more to do with it, but i was wrong the person is not a nice person he comes across as a not so nice person can't say who it is or i would spoil part of the book, this is well worth reading & i will be reading another one soon
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on 20 September 2011
As ever this Jacquline Winspear novel - the lastest I have read in the Masie Dobbs series continues to keep the reader held to the page.
Fast moving and keeping up the standard of previous novels we move a pace looking at the case of Michael Clifton.

By the end of this novel we are also - perhaps - see some of the cases yet to come.

We aslo say goodbye to some fo those we have grown to care about and hello to some new and intresting develpments.

This is as ever well worth the read!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 March 2014
The Maisie Dobbs mysteries are very intriguing, with far more depth than many other books in this genre. The period is beautifully evoked and the characters have real depth. The plots are quite complex and very well plotted.
Maisie Dobbs is a working class girl who seems to lead a charmed life; she works very hard and is intelligent, so she makes the very best of her opportunities, but she does seem to receive a lot of help from people who value and admire her. She mixes with the aristocracy and is accepted by them, unlikely as this seems given the social divisions at that period. however, providing one accepts this, these are excellent books which make rewarding reading.
'The Mapping of Love and Death' is one of the best in the series. Maisie accomplishes the difficult task of solving a murder which took place several years earlier. The gritty realism of the descriptions is quite moving. Maisie has to be tough and determined to carry through her commitment to the parents of the murdered man. Her private life develops, as she begins to love again, despite her commitment to independence.
The writing is vivid and grammatical. Jacqueline Winspeare is developing as a writer and this book is one of her most powerful.
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on 21 August 2013
Lovely gentle story which lulls you into thinking you're in for an easy read but dream on! The setting is post the First World War and the mood bridges a time when social rules are being rewritten and a woman's place is being redefined day by day. I love a mystery and its a real refreshing change to move away from America and a general trend. Maisie Dobbs books stand out as different and deceptive and never disappoint.
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The Mapping of Love and Death is the seventh book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobbs is engaged by a Boston couple, Edward and Martha Clifton, whose youngest son, Michael, died in the trenches in France in 1917. Not until fifteen years later were his remains found, and with them, letters from an English Nurse.

Michael was a cartographer who had just spent part of his inheritance on land in California that he felt sure bore oil. When the autopsy report shows that he was murdered, Maisie is asked to track down his unnamed nurse and, if she can, to find his murderer. To distract her from her task, James Compton returns from Canada for good, her mentor, Maurice Blanche becomes increasingly frail, and Billy Beal is understandably apprehensive about Doreen’s return from hospital.

This instalment explores the vital role of cartographers in war, as well as the important contribution of the many Nursing Units, and the purpose of cinematographers on the front lines. Maisie has to deal with DI Caldwell now that Stratton has gone to Special Branch; she is mugged, goes to car races, visits the School of Military Engineers and more than one hospital. The value of post-traumatic counselling is highlighted, and Winspear drags several red herrings through her plot to keep the reader guessing on more than one front. The final chapters see great changes wrought in Maisie’s personal life and presage possible major alterations in her career. Once again, an excellent read that will have readers seeking out the next book in the series, A Lesson In Secrets.
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on 12 June 2013
One of my favourite books by Jacqueline Winspear, ever since l read my first Maisie Dobbs book, l have been hooked, anyone interested in the 1920s for women and who like a detective story as well will love these books.
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on 28 May 2014
I started reading the series of Maisie Dobbs books when I received the first three as a birthday gift. I enjoyed these so much, they brought life during the First World War to life, that I purchased the rest of the series which I also found enjoyable.
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