(from Edelweiss) In this latest entry in the acclaimed, bestselling mystery series-“less whodunits than why-dunits, more P.D. James than Agatha Christie” (USA Today)-Maisie Dobbs takes on her most personal case yet, a twisting investigation that will take her across London, from her childhood neighborhood to the highest echelons of power
Early April, 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden-peddlers selling fruit and vegetables on the streets of London-Eddie Pettit was kindness itself. A little “slow,” he was a gentle soul, more boy than man, with a gift for calming the most challenging horse. His recent death in a violent accident has shocked his friends and neighbors. They believe Eddie was the victim of foul play, but the police won’t investigate. Their only hope of finding the truth is Maisie Dobbs.
Maisie has known these men from childhood when her father, Frankie, worked alongside them. Determined to do right by Eddie, she plunges into the investigation. The search for answers begins amid the working-class streets of Lambeth, where Eddie lived. But before long, Maisie is following threads of intrigue to a powerful press baron, a “has been” politician lingering in the hinterlands of power named Winston Churchill, and to the doorstep of a writer who is also the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla.
The story of a London affected by the march to war years before the first gun is fired, and of an innocent victim caught in the shadow of power, Elegy for Eddie is one of Jacqueline Winspear’s most poignant and affecting novels yet in her superb bestselling series.
Hurray, hurray, hurray Maisie’s back and she’s just as wonderful as I’d hoped she’d be. The thing I love about this series is the depth of which we get to know Maisie and cheer for her happiness and success. But more on that later, first I want to talk about the mystery because this one was first rate. As Maisie looks into the death of Eddie Pettit she finds herself learning more about up coming world events then she ever hoped to know. I have to admit I was kept guessing the whole time and when it was resolved I was thoroughly (but sadly) satisfied with the outcome. With past, but not all, Maisie stories they mystery isn’t always the thing but in this case the mystery was worthy of, I think, a Christie nod. Maisie is at her best when she observes and makes logical leaps in thought and that’s just what she did here. From the first sad death until the final summation all the pieces fit together very well and make perfect sense.
Now, as for our girl Maisie. One of the things I love about Maisie is she’s a complicated, very real, person trying to figure out who she is and what her place is in the (and her) New World Order. My heart always cries a little as Maisie tries to fit between two worlds, even as the old world of class is dying out. I always worry about giving away too much in a review, especially when I’m not sure how far along in the series anyone is. So, let’s just say Maisie’s love life is complicated and she’s still trying to find her way. I don’t know what camp anyone else is in but I’m firmly in the “I like who she’s with now” camp. Wasn’t that a nice “not” giving it away??
There other thing that sticks out in this story and is still making me think is what I’d be willing to do or accept for the greater good. There are things that must be done in order to keep order and I don’t think I want to know too much about it. As Maisie learns knowing is an awful burden. It makes her question what is right and wrong in the grand scheme of things. It made me question too. Could I accept the “good of the many out-weighing the good of the few”. Maisie handles it better than I could.
There were only trace amount of WWI in this outing but the specter of WWII is looming ahead. Churchill makes an appearance and there’s a good chance he’s going to take notice of Maisie’s unique abilities. I still worry about Billy leaving for Canada but less so this time (though I’m not altogether happy about the reason) and the lovely Sandra is back proving herself indispensable. Happily Pris is back and her husband Douglas plays an important part in this story. I’m always relieved Maisie’s father is hail and hardy and even having a little romance of his own. I only missed Lady Rowen and hope in the next installment she makes an appearance.
Here’s the only thing I didn’t like about Elegy for Eddie. It’s over, I’m all done reading it. Now I have to wait until the next installment, sigh.
I really loved this one. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite (the first stands separate to me) but this one is pretty high up. If your lucky enough to be starting the series new, I envy you. I know you’ll be happy when you get to this one. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I’m sorry Ms. Winspear, I know you’re out there supporting this wonderful book but I hope your working on the next installment…….and the sooner the better for my sanity. I can wait, I know I can wait. sigh……..