The backstory: Elegy for Eddie is the ninth Maisie Dobbs mystery novel. Here are links to my reviews of the first eight books: Maisie Dobbs, Birds of a Feather, Pardonable Lies, Messenger of Truth, An Incomplete Revenge, Among the Mad, The Mapping of Love and Death, and A Lesson in Secrets. (There may be some minor spoilers from earlier novels in this review.)
The basics: Elegy for Eddie opens with several of Maisie's childhood friends seeking her help. Their mutual friend Eddie has been killed in a factory accident, but they believe he may have been murdered.
My thoughts: Reading a Maisie Dobbs novel feels like hanging out with an old friend. It's comforting, interesting, and engaging. After reading the first eight books in this series last year, it was so refreshing to once again have Maisie back in my reading life. While I've enjoyed all of the Maisie novels, The Mapping of Love and Death was my favorite for two reasons: it's mystery was intriguing and historically moving and its balance of the mystery with developments in Maisie's personal life wad perfect. It felt like a new direction for the series too. It was the first Maisie novel to make me cry. Elegy for Eddie is the second, and I love it for many of the same reasons. I applaud Winspear for both sticking to what works and taking chances. It's easy for series to grow static, but I love that Winspear pushes time forward and allows Maisie to grow and change. It's one reason I think this series works best read in order, but I do think the novels could work well as stand alones. They work better in a series because, for me, this series is more about history and character development than it is about the mystery.
Favorite passage: "She knew from experience that following even the most innocent passing, something always came to light that was not known before. Thus she would have to tread with care, for she knew that in her desire to be of service to men she considered to be the giants of her childhood, it would be easy to interpret the inexplicable as something more insidious."
The verdict: Elegy for Eddie is the best Maisie Dobbs novel yet: Winspear keeps getting better. She continues to amp up the ominous future while striking a lovely balance between the mystery and Maisie's personal life.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 352 pages
Publication date: March 27, 2012
Source: publisher via Edelweiss
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Elegy for Eddie from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version.)
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