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The Mapping Of Love And Death: A Maisie Dobbs Novel [Paperback]

Jacqueline Winspear
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 14 2011 P.S.

August 1914. As Michael Clifton is mapping land he has just purchased in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, war is declared in Europe—and duty-bound to his father's native country, the young cartographer soon sets sail for England to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed as missing in action.

April 1932. After Michael's remains are unearthed in France, his parents retain London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs, hoping she can find the unnamed nurse whose love letters were among their late son's belongings. It is a quest that leads Maisie back to her own bittersweet wartime love—and to the stunning discovery that Michael Clifton was murdered in his dugout. Suddenly an exposed web of intrigue and violence threatens to ensnare the dead soldier's family and even Maisie herself as she attempts to cope with the impending loss of her mentor and the unsettling awareness that she is once again falling in love.


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The Mapping Of Love And Death: A Maisie Dobbs Novel + Among the Mad + An Incomplete Revenge: A Maisie Dobbs Novel
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Review

“Compelling.” (People (3 ½ out of 4 stars))

“In Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear has given us a real gift. Maisie Dobbs has not been created—she has been discovered. Such people are always there amongst us, waiting for somebody like Ms. Winspear to come along and reveal them. And what a revelation it is!” (Alexander McCall Smith)

“An engaging plot coupled with captivating character makes this the best Dobbs novel to date.” (Library Journal)

“Endearing. . . . As often in this winning series, the action builds to a somewhat sad if satisfying conclusion.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“When people ask me to recommend an author, one name consistently comes to mind: Jacqueline Winspear.” (Deirdre Donahue, USA Today)

“A sleuth to treasure.” (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review)

“A detective series to savor.” (Johanna McGeary, Time)

“[Catches] the sorrow of a lost generation in the character of one exceptional woman.” (Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune)

“What charms most is Dobbs herself: a woman ‘not as adept in her personal life as she was in her professional domain,’ and all the more engaging for that.” (Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal)

About the Author

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other Maisie Dobbs novels. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Masie Dobbs Dec 2 2013
By Michal
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Again. Every one of her adventures is a trip into a world that was through the eyes and mind of a very special author. I'm hoping that there will be another book in the future. I loved this series. I think that Masie's life and attitude is a template that we could all learn from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful mysteries March 21 2011
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Mapping of Love and Death is the 7th book in Jacqueline Winspear's series featuring Maisie Dobbs.

This wonderful series is set in the past in England. The first novel began in the 1920's and this seventh offering is set in 1932. Maisie Dobbs is a unique creation. She began as a servant in a mansion at age thirteen. When her employer took an interest in Maisie and her intelligent, inquisitive nature, she sponsored her education. Fast forward to 1932. Maisie has had psychological training, served as a nurse in the war and now owns and runs an Investigative Agency.

"The path from there to here had been far from straight, had looped back and forth, yet always with an imagined place ahead - that she would be a woman of independent means would rise above her circumstances."

This latest outing finds Maisie employed by the Clifton family. Their son Michael's body has just been recovered - he was killed during the war. With his body were unsigned letters from a nurse he seems to have fallen in love with. The family would like to connect with her. Maisie is hired to track her down. But examination of Michael Clifton's body reveals that he was murdered before his unit was bombed and killed. Could his mapping skills and land purchase just before the war have something to do with his death? The case involves much more than first thought.

The Maisie Dobbs series are such a comfortable, almost genteel read, if you will. The social customs, manners and mores of the times are all faithfully observed in Winspear's writing. I enjoy being transported to this time period. The Great War brought many changes to England. Class and gender lines are changing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read in the series... May 4 2010
By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I have been reading the "Maisie Dobbs" series by Jacqueline Winspear since her first novel, "Maisie Dobbs". I was eagerly looking forward to this book and I was fortunate that it was offered in the Vine program. "The Mapping of Love and Death" is every bit as well-written and well-plotted as her previous ones.

Series books, like the "Maisie Dobbs" novels, represent both a challenge and opportunity to the writer. The challenge is to keep the story and characters moving forward in an engaging way and the opportunity is to accept the challenge to do so. Winspear does both. Her lead characters, Maisie Dobbs, Billy Beale, the Compton family, and Maisie's mentor Maurice Blanche continue to age as time passes from England in the 1920's to England in the 1930's. Maisie's detective agency is succeeding in the midst of the Depression and she is given a new case that involves the death of of an American soldier during The Great War and the repercussions on to the soldier's family. As usual with Maisie's cases, the truth at the end contains many deceptions and cover ups.
As real life does, I suppose...

Winspear's writing is so good that a new "Maisie Dobbs" reader could pick up this, her latest, and feel completely comfortable reading it. She reintroduces old characters and situations in such a nuanced way that doesn't seem repetitious to the veteran series reader. She has written a great addition to the "Maisie Dobbs" series. Enjoy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost But Not Forgotten May 26 2010
By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
How do you solve a murder that took place on a battlefield more than a decade earlier? With a little bit of luck and a lot of skill and intuition. When an elderly American couple engaged Maisie Dobbs when their son's body was uncovered on a French farm, they provided her with many love letters sent to him by an English nurse, as well as his journal. These documents provided elusive clues.

However, more important were the results of an autopsy which indicated that the man was killed by a blow to the head with a blunt instrument, rather than a Boche shell, which buried the dugout with his body and those of his bunkmates inside. Serendipity, of course, plays an important role in solving the murder, and Maisie certainly doesn't lack for that either.

The seventh novel in the series, which traces the adventures of a young woman from her humble beginnings to serving as a nurse during the First World War to becoming an accomplished investigator, this story demonstrates not only Maisie's growth as a detective, but also the changes in her life that presumably will become apparent in future installments. They are something to which one can look forward.

Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  229 reviews
86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maisie's finally moving forward.... Feb. 26 2010
By Sophia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
In "The Mapping of Love and Death," author Jacqueline Winspear's 1930s British sleuth Maisie Dobbs is called upon to find a mysterious missing woman for a prosperous American couple, Edward and Martha Clifton. Their son, Michael Clifton, an expert cartographer, enlisted in the British Army during World War I, and his remains and personal effects were recently discovered, including a journal and some letters, including some love letters. His parents are eager to find their son's romantic interest and have some concerns about this death. When they themselves are attacked, the case takes on much more urgency.

Most of the characters, with the possible exception of Maisie's father, are developing and moving forward. It's especially amusing to see Maisie and her former adversary, now-Detective Inspector Caldwell, sparring and fencing with each other. The book is well-written (if occasionally overly descriptive), with a strong narrative that carries the reader through.

Now for potential faults. I figured out who one of the killers was as soon as the character appeared on the page, and I also knew how the book would end. Maisie is as unruffled and serenely compentent as ever. Those who find her trajectory from former servant to educated investigator unbelivable will not like this book. Those same people will probably dislike her new love interest intensely. Neither really bothered me, because they happened in semi-believable fashion and, besides, I like the occasional flash of fantasy in my stories.

The ending provides a shift both in circumstance and perspective that will move Maisie forward - one way or another - in her life. Rather than looking backwards, at the Great War, Maisie will have a new focus. I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out.
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read in the series... Feb. 28 2010
By Jill Meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I have been reading the "Maisie Dobbs" series by Jacqueline Winspear since her first novel, "Maisie Dobbs". I was eagerly looking forward to this book and I was fortunate that it was offered in the Vine program. "The Mapping of Love and Death" is every bit as well-written and well-plotted as her previous ones.

Series books, like the "Maisie Dobbs" novels, represent both a challenge and opportunity to the writer. The challenge is to keep the story and characters moving forward in an engaging way and the opportunity is to accept the challenge to do so. Winspear does both. Her lead characters, Maisie Dobbs, Billy Beale, the Compton family, and Maisie's mentor Maurice Blanche continue to age as time passes from England in the 1920's to England in the 1930's. Maisie's detective agency is succeeding in the midst of the Depression and she is given a new case that involves the death of of an American soldier during The Great War and the repercussions on to the soldier's family. As usual with Maisie's cases, the truth at the end contains many deceptions and cover ups.
As real life does, I suppose...

Winspear's writing is so good that a new "Maisie Dobbs" reader could pick up this, her latest, and feel completely comfortable reading it. She reintroduces old characters and situations in such a nuanced way that doesn't seem repetitious to the veteran series reader. She has written a great addition to the "Maisie Dobbs" series. Enjoy.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice historical series March 1 2010
By Mystery Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH is the latest entry in the Maisie Dobbs series. While it can stand alone, I do recommend that new readers start at the beginning of this series with MAISIE DOBBS. In THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH, Maisie is asked to investigate the death of a cartographer killed in WWI, apparently a casualty of war. As Maisie investigates, she is attacked and comes to realize the cartographer was murdered.

I couldn't put this book down. It was nice seeing so many returning characters from previous books in this series. What's more, I wasn't able to figure out "whodunit", which is always a sign of a successful writer. If you haven't read this series, I suggest you give it a try. I think you'll be glad you did.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LOVE AND DEATH, IT'S ALL PART OF LIFE April 2 2010
By Red Rock Bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH by author Jacqueline Winspear is another chapter in the continuing adventures of Maisie Dobbs. Maisie is a "psychologist and investigator" in post World War I London. A nurse during the war, Maisie returned to London and was mentored by one of the most skilled men in his field. Detective Dr. Maurice Blanche. The bulk of this story takes place in 1932, when an American couple come to England seeking Masie's help in discovering who killed their son nearly 20 years earlier (WWI) and made it appear that he was a casualty of an enemy shelling. Their son was a cartographer who left America to enlist in the British Corps in order to volunteer his much needed services as a map maker to his father's homeland.

The Maisie Dobbs mysteries are a clever series, mixing cozy and historical fiction with a more traditional mystery. Their most appealing aspect, however, is the way Winspear develops her characters and pulls the reader into their lives. The mystery almost becomes peripheral and you actually find yourself more interested in finding out what happens to Maisie's family, friends, lovers and to Maisie herself than to the identity of the culprit. That is not to say that the mystery and its intricacies are not intriguing and well written, it's just that Winspear has created an engaging cast of characters and has made the world they inhabit so captivating, that the reader is literally transported to another time and place, one filled with history and life lessons, that they will want to visit again and again.

As discerned by Maisie's mentor Maurice Blanche, "All maps are drawn in hindsight, and hindsight if interpreted with care, is what brings us wisdom". A wise observation most of us can relate to and learn from as we map our own lives. 3 1/2 stars
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pivotal Time in the Life of Maisie Dobbs Feb. 28 2010
By Grey Wolffe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Maisie receives a letter from a Doctor she knew during The War. She had worked with him and his team from "Mass General Hospital" when they were at the front. He asked her to meet with an older couple from Boston who want Maisie to look into their sons last days during The War. Their son had enlisted in the British Cartography Section of the British Army in 1914. He was accepted (though he was American by birth) because his father had been born in England and they sorely needed cartographers. He went missing in 1916 around the time of the Battle of the Somme.

In the spring of that year (1932) some farmers in northern France had opened up a cavern that turned out to be a set of rooms from a Great War trench. In the trench was their son and most of his unit, they had been buried during an artillery bombardment. After meeting the Clintons and reviewing the autopsy done by the British Army Medical Corpe, it was established that he had been killed by a blunt force to the head. In other words he had been murdered. With some letters from an unnamed nurse and his diary (all preserved by the sealed condition of the trench) Maisie sets out to see if she can find his killer.

So begins one of the best mysteries in this series since the initial book. In addition to this marvelous mystery, Maisie also has to deal with: 1) Billy's wife returning from the psychiatric hospital, 2) her mentor Dr. Maurice Blanche's illness, 3) her feelings for a friend of Priscilla's husband Douglas, 4) dealing with Inspector Stratton's replacement at Scotland Yard, and 5) the budding relationship between her and Lord and Lady Compton's son James who has returned from Canada to take over the family business.

Having always had a purpose in life as well as a goal, Maisie now is looking at her mid-thirties and deciding where she wants her life to go. Her old beau Dr. Andrew Dene has married and is expecting the birth of his first child. Though she doesn't think in terms of a biological clock, she knows the reality of life.
Winspear should gain loads of new readers and keep her old readers holding on to the final page.

Even better, should be what is to come. In less than a year (January 1933) Hitler will become Chancellor of Germany, and things in Europe will really start to heat-up. Should be a long, fun ride.

Zeb Kantrowitz
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