Friday, February 10, 2012

Mini-Reviews: More Delightful Maisies

If you read Tutu fairly regularly, you'll know that I've become quite a fan of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs novels.  They are especially well done in audio, and make for the perfect relaxing ear-read when I want to get a break from some of the heavier tomes I'm reading at this time.  Maisie keeps my attention, makes me use my brain to follow her adventures, and the novels provide an excellent picture of England (and to a lesser extent France) between the two World Wars.

Messenger of Truth is actually probably my least favorite of the series so far.  Maisie is hired by Georgina Bassington-Hope to investigate the unusual circumstances of her twin brother's death.  Nick, who was an artist apparently fell from a scaffold while preparing to hang his defining work for an exhibit.  No one knows what this work looks like, or where Nick has stored it, and Georgina is convinced that although the police have ruled his death accidental, he was actually helped to his death (murdered?).  She hires Maisie to dig out the truth.  And of course Maisie comes through.  The story again was well written, well  plotted (the ending is stunning), but I just found parts of it a bit of a stretch.  Still well worth the time though.

The Mapping of Love and Death, on the other hand, was fascinating.  In this one, Maisie is hired by an American couple (the Cliftons) to discover if and how and by whom their son was murdered.  Mr. Clifton (the father) emigrated from England to America, and his son Michael, a trained cartographer, returns to England in 1914 shortly after the outbreak of WWI to serve in the British army.  He is killed in action, but his remains are not recovered until the time of this story - around 1930.  The post-mortem shows that Michael may not have died from enemy fire, and Maisie sets out to find the truth.  In her delving into this mystery, we are introduced into the role of the Army cartographers, a subject I found quite interesting.  It added another bit of information and filtering to use in my World War I reading. 
This one has a lot going on, and to tell anymore would be to invite huge spoilers.  I didn't realize until I was already into the story, that I had picked this one out of order -- I jumped from #4 to #7-- so I have three  more (5,6, and 8) delightful stories to look forward to before the newest one appears in bookstores the end of March.  I'm looking forward to doing a lot of swimming so I can listen to these in peace and quiet.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is where I left off. This series interests me and I can't figure out why I've abandoned it. Your review makes me want to get to this one sooner than later. Glad you're enjoying the series so much. Happy reading,er, listening and swimming.


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