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INTRICATELY DRAWN MAP
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.