April 15, 2012

Book Review: Elegy for Eddie

I'm a big fan of the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, so I've been eagerly anticipating the newest entry. Luckily the copy I had on reserve at the library arrived just before I headed out on my getaway weekend.

It was lovely to sit and read the whole book in one afternoon, immersing myself in Maisie's world. This book, the 9th in the series, opens with a group of costermongers (fruit & veg vendors) from Maisie's poor childhood in Lambeth arriving on the doorstep of her office. Now a successful private investigator, who is "walking out" with Viscount Compton, Maisie nonetheless feels a great deal of love and sympathy for the honest but poor people she grew up with. The costermongers inform her that Eddie Pettit, a mentally handicapped man who was essentially a horse-whisperer, has been killed, and they think it's murder.

Maisie is curious as to why anyone would want to harm gentle Eddie who loved horses so much. For the sake of Eddie, and these men who were her father's friends and counterparts, she agrees to investigate Eddie's death. The case takes her in very unexpected directions -- and forces Maisie to question her own rise from poverty to property, and how and why she uses her wealth in her relationships.

Unsurprisingly, I loved this book. Not only was the mystery interesting, but finally the series seems to be moving on a bit from the obsession with World War One. Although there are frequent references to the war, and the injuries that still linger in many of the men, finally eyes are starting to look ahead to the potential of World War Two.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? Absolutely, she'd love it!

Have you read the Maisie Dobbs books? 
Can you imagine life in 1930s England - with one war looming large in memory, and another just over the horizon?