Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear {TLC Book Tour}


Elegy for Eddie by Jaqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs #9)
Amazon.com: Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD  

Aren't we all pawns in a bigger game?

Synopsis: Early April 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden—sellers of fruits and vegetables on the London streets—Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. So who would want to kill him . . . and why?

Maisie Dobbs’s father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, and she remembers Eddie fondly. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie’s death. Maisie’s search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth leads her to unexpected places and people: to a callous press baron; to a has been politician named Winston Churchill; 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 everything to see justice done.

My two cents

I've just found my new mystery fix! I am an avid Agatha Christie fan, but reading this, albeit it being the ninth in the series, has gotten me hankering for more of Maisie Dobbs. Set in England in the aftermath of World War I, Maisie Dobbs is a former nurse turned investigator. Coming from humble beginnings, this strong female character is both endearing and compassionate, yet not without her flaws, making for some interesting mystery solving.

This book's mystery revolves around the suspicious death of horse whisperer Eddie Pettit. Born and practically raised in the stables, Eddie has a knack for calming even the most crazed horse. This simple but gentle soul was beloved by many and Maisie is approached by a group of Eddie's costermonger friends -- men whom she has known since her youth -- to investigate and bring Eddie's death to justice.

Eddie's death turns out to only be the tip of the iceberg. Fraught with danger at every turn, Maisie's investigation uncovers a complicated mesh of people and events that have a surprising link to Winston Churchill and the impending rise of Nazi Germany. Even more disturbingly, it involves even those closest to Maisie. Will Maisie have the integrity to bring justice to a wrongful death? Or will these bigger and more powerful forces simply sweep a death under the rug?

***

This is my first Maisie Dobbs novel and I loved everything about it:  
The mystery side was well-paced and there was a good tension throughout, so I never felt bored or confused. What started with a simple investigation of a death opened the door to a wide array of interesting characters -- who are psychological studies in of themselves -- and of events that shaped history. I think that Eddie Pettit is quite the inspired character, definitely the underdog that everyone roots for. 

This novel has whet my appetite for historical fiction of World War I and that era, with its small details of life and people post-war England and its people. The vignettes -- of a costermonger, of a secretary in a factory, of a retired school teacher -- make this novel a gem.
 
This story is as much about Maisie at it is Eddie. Maisie's back story, which is presumably covered in the previous books, shows quite a development of her character. In this book, we see how she struggles to make peace with her newfound wealth which she inherited through her mentor Maurice. 
Her dilemma of coming from humble beginnings and her new circles among the moneyed and influential -- including her romantic relationship with James -- also takes quite a few turns. Maisie's character resonates with me, and I want to get to know her better.
 
While this book can stand alone, I can see the appeal of Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series -- she has crafted an intriguing and multi-layered series, with very human characters and a mystery in each to boot, that I am now on the lookout for more!  
Verdict: A highly readable, page-turning historical fiction mystery. You'll want more of Maisie Dobbs, guaranteed!

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!
It's Month of Maisie!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in order to participate in this blog tour.


Elegy for Eddie by Jaqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs #9)
Amazon.com: Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD  

3 comments

  1. I keep meaning to try her work. Great review.

    Side note: I made some changes to my blog yesterday and I JUST realized I kinda look a bit like yours now. Totally unintentional. I'm always a pink and white background and then I simplified my font. Alas, please don't think it was purposeful. I heart your blog and our online friendship.

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    Replies
    1. I've been a bad replier to comments, Juju. I really appreciate your popping over and your taking the time to comment!

      About this book, I lucked out when I saw it was a mystery series. I keep meaning to branch out beyond Agatha Christies so it was a pleasant surprise. (I just joined TLC Book Tours because their book choices are pretty amazing).

      We probably have the same design aesthetic (what does your house look like?) -- so don't worry about it :) I also heart your blog & our friendship :)

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  2. "I've just found my new mystery fix!" Woohoo! There are a lot of books in this series so you'll definitely have reading material for quite a while!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    ReplyDelete

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