From Goodreads: 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.

I think I’ve been mourning the upcoming loss of any new Maisie for a whole year which is why I’ve put off writing this review. You know I’m trying to be good about this waiting stuff but really, I already have to wait until next year for more Downton Abbey-if you haven’t seen this Masterpiece Classics series you must. It’s absolutely wonderful, though you may want to wait until later in the year then you won’t have to wait as long for new episodes. And now, after the next Maisie, I’m done for a year or more. Boo hoo! I didn’t think ahead when I joined Book Club Girl’s I’m Mad for Maisie Read-along what I would do when I finished so quickly. Actually, I didn’t quite finish the read-along. I’m going slowly through the last book so my Maisie withdrawal won’t be as bad. But, I’m here to talk about book seven so-on with the review.

This episode in the Maisie series made me the saddest and the happiest of all the books so far. Maisie deals with a heartbreaking loss but also finds an unexpected love interest.  I knew the loss was coming but still found it hard, it was a character I had really enjoyed and found very interesting. As for Maisie’s new love well, I never saw it coming though looking back maybe I should have. I’ve become so invested in Maisie by reading the books so close together that I found this turn of events completely wonderful.

The mystery portion of the story was completely fascinating as it revolved around the role of cartographers or mapmakers during WWI. I had never really thought about how one would go about planning a war but the idea mapmakers would be used never crossed my mind. Then having read this it all made perfect sense. We learn about Michael Clifton through his journal and letters written to him by the girl he loves. He is such a lovely, spirited young man I was really hoping there was some mistake. And while he was indeed killed during the war there is a twist that left me satisfied there would still be some joy for his family.

Though this story is still deeply entrenched in WWI by the end we start to see Maisie moving on to the next phase of history. Sadly, the specter another war is starting to loom. But, it seems to be leading Maisie’s professional life in a new and exciting direction.

I don’t think there’s a need to say I loved this book and I have no problem saying that this is just as good if not better than the past books.  So, with one last book before my long dry Maisie spell I loving where the series is heading. And after listening to Ms. Winspear on Book Club Girl‘s show on Blog Talk Radio there is a hint at what’s coming and boy am I excited. I have to add it was a real thrill to actually have her answer my questions, now I know what “more caf than cafe” means.

Well, I’m off to finish A Lesson in Secrets and then pout about having to wait for more. I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done. Bet, you can’t guess which way I’m leaning (wink)?

So, is anyone doing anything fabulous this weekend? I’m planning on reading and getting my patio cleaned up now that all our rain seems to be over. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thanks to Book Club Girl for my copy of The Mapping of Love and Death.

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