>> Monday, March 26, 2012
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
Series: #9 in the Maisie Dobbs series
Publication Date: 2012
Source: provided by the publisher
The Short Version:
In this ninth book in the series Maisie Dobbs investigates a very personal case while at the same time she’s having difficulty sorting through her own emotions and motivations..
Why I Read It:
I was planning to read this anyway but when I had the opportunity to be a part of the TLC Blog tour I took about a nanosecond to say yes.
From the publisher:
Maisie Dobbs—psychologist, investigator, and "one of the great fictional heroines, equal parts haunted and haunting" (Parade)—returns in a chilling adventure, the latest chapter in Jacqueline Winspear's bestselling series.
Early April 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden—sellers of fruit and vegetables on the streets of London—Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. When Eddie is killed in a violent accident, the grieving costers are deeply skeptical about the cause of his death. Who would want to kill Eddie—and why?
Maisie Dobbs' father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, so she had known the men since childhood. She remembers Eddie fondly and is determined to offer her help. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are equally determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death. Plunging into the investigation, Maisie begins her search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth where Eddie had lived and where she had grown up. The inquiry quickly leads her to a callous press baron; a has-been politician named Winston Churchill, lingering in the hinterlands of power; and, most surprisingly, to Douglas Partridge, the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla. As Maisie uncovers lies and manipulation on a national scale, she must decide whether to risk it all to see justice done.
The story of a London affected by the march to another war years before the first shot is fired and of an innocent victim caught in the crossfire, Elegy for Eddie is Jacqueline Winspear's most poignant and powerful novel yet.
Once again I find myself finishing the latest book in this series and thinking that this is the best one yet. Jacqueline Winspear has continued to keep each book in the series different enough from the earlier books to avoid being labeled formulaic while at the same time retaining the things I enjoy about Maisie and the supporting characters.
I loved how this particular case took Maisie back to her roots as the daughter of a costermonger. Her own history with Eddie and the people who knew him makes this a highly personal case for her and it also allows her to gain the trust of the people who knew Eddie best. At the same time her current life among the upper class of London society also provides her with insight and inroads to learn more about the owner of the factory where Eddie was killed.
Maisie’s personal life is in many ways as much of a mess and mystery as the death of Eddie. Her relationship with James Compton is clearly at a crossroads and neither of them seems to be willing to begin what is certain to be difficult conversations. They find themselves going through the motions but not willing to confront the issue. I made me feel frustrated with both characters while reading this book but it fit as the path of their relationship progressed.
The historical setting of this series is my favorite part. I haven’t read that much of England between the world wars and this series sits squarely in the middle of that. The aftermath of World War I and its impact is still felt. Societal rules are changing as women don’t automatically have marriage as an expected life path due to the devastating loss of marriageable aged men in the war. At the same time events in Germany are beginning to become a concern.
If you haven't read any of the Maisie Dobbs series now and with this book would be an excellent place to start.
March is Maisie Month and this post is part of an extensive blog tour featuring all of the books in the Maisie Dobbs series. For more information click on either of these logos.
This is the first tour stop for Elegy for Eddie. The remainder of the tour will be at these blogs: