Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9)
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Published: March 27, 2012
Genre: mystery, historical fiction
eBook: approx. 335 pages
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): 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.

My Thoughts: I just love this series and was so glad when my hold on this book was ready for check-out. In this installment of Maisie Dobbs, Maisie journies back to where her life started, in Lambeth, where hard working people make up the neighborhood and wealth is something that lives across the river. Maisie grapples with many issues in this book, not only professionally, but personally as well. Maisie goes through a bit of a growth spurt in this novel, having to come to terms with her inherited wealth, her relationship with James, and her business. It's something that Jacqueline Winspear handles perfectly, allowing the reader to know what Maisie is thinking and showing them her decision making in the process. Unfortunately, because of all this self-discovery, I felt that the plot of how Eddie died was second to that of Maisie and didn't develop properly or resolve as Maisie's cases normally would.

The struggles that Maisie experiences in this novel are things that so many of us can relate to. Feeling suffocated in a relationship, not knowing how to handle yourself when you've moved from the bottom-rung of society to someone near the top, and what to do when work becomes just a bit too much. It's something that I know I can relate to and it was wonderful to see Maisie open up in this novel and let the reader in just a little more, to let them know what is going on in her head. Maisie can sometimes be a frustrating character because she makes decisions without always explaining them to the reader, but this time around, Winspear got it right. But because of all this self-discovery, the mystery in the book just kind of faded away. I was dissatisfied with how Maisie went about handling the case and how she came to some of her conclusions. I won't give anything away, but how she would just pull something out of thin air and guess, saying, "Well, I had a hunch."  She doesn't explain where that hunch came from, just that she has one.

Probably the best part of this book was the end. Winspear left it wide open, so you literally have no idea where Maisie will end up. Will she follow James to Canada? Will she stay in London? Will she travel her way around the world, solving mysteries as she goes? Winspear left it wide open and had me wishing that I knew just a little bit more! I cannot wait for the next installment in this series to come out (which is is March!), so that I will know what happens to Maisie next!

1 comment:

  1. This one made me feel so sad for so many reasons. From Eddie to Maisie's relationships, it seemed like a surprisingly heavy read. I liked this though. I'm not sure that I love Maisie's character. I do and I don't.