The Mapping of Love and Death by Jaqueline Winspear – Book Review

The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear Published by Harper Perennial, an imprint of Harper Collins

My reviews of the first six books in the seriesMaisie DobbsBirds of a FeatherPardonable LiesMessenger of TruthAn Incomplete Revenge, Among the Mad.

The son of an American mother and a British father raised in the United States, Michael Clifton feels the need to fight for his father’s country as soon as he hears about the outbreak of World War I. As a mapmaker, he has skills that are invaluable to the war effort. Unfortunately, Michael goes missing during the war with his entire company. When they are discovered, dead in a bunker, Michael’s family is able to retain his personal letters and journal and discover that he was involved with a nurse during the war. Hoping for someone who can serve as a connection to their son, the Clifton’s engage Maisie’s services to find the girl, but looking over the autopsy, Maisie can see that there is a bigger mystery: Michael was murdered before the bunker was bombed.

This was another well-put together case and mystery for Maisie, Winspear is doing a fabulous job keeping the mysteries fresh and the cases unique. However, in this case, I barely paid attention to Maisie’s case because of some interesting personal developments. Maisie’s personal emotional growth has been happening slowly over the past few books, ever since a case took her to France in Messenger of Truth, first as she came to terms with her psychological scars from the war, then as she began to try to live a richer life in the present. Without being too specific or introducing spoilers, The Mapping of Love and Death holds some progress in this area, a means of progress that had not occurred to me, but which make me incredibly happy.

I’m not sure what higher praise I can give to this series than to say that I’ve been reading one of Winspear’s books every two weeks for the last two and a half months, and I cannot wait to read the next book, and I have no idea what I’m going to do when I do, because then I’ll have to wait an entire year for the next book.

Highly recommended.

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Source: Personal copy.
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