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The mapping of love and death
Jacqueline Winspear
Adult Fiction WINSPEA

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Set in 1932, bestseller Winspear's endearing seventh Maisie Dobbs novel (after 2009's Among the Mad) centers on Michael Clifton, a young American cartographer during the Great War, whose remains turn up in a French field. Evidence suggests to Maisie that Michael, rather than dying in a shell blast, was murdered. Michael's parents arrive in London with letters from an unnamed English nurse that raise disturbing questions about the nurse's relationship with their son. The plucky inquiry agent embarks on a search for this woman, following a trail that leads to Chatham, home of the School of Military Engineering, which Michael attended. There she learns about the vital role that cartography played in the war. At times, subplots involving socialite James Compton, a frustrated suitor, and the family problems of Maisie's assistant, Billy Beale, slow the pace. As often in this winning series, the action builds to a somewhat sad if satisfying conclusion. 10-city author tour. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Mapping the human heart is more art than science. Winspear's seventh Maisie Dobbs novel (after Among the Mad) finds the detective employed by the parents of a soldier and cartographer, Michael Clifton, who fought during World War I. Missing for 16 years, the bodies of Clifton and his unit are discovered in France. The postmortem reveals that while the unit perished during a shelling attack, Clifton was already dead from a crushed skull. The only clues found with the body are Clifton's deteriorated journal and love letters to an unnamed nurse. There's also the dilemma of the California land purchase, potentially lucrative, that Clifton made just before he enlisted. With no deed of sale or will apparent, the land is mired in legal entanglements. This case has long grown cold, but Maisie is too relentless an investigator to let it prevent her from bringing a murderer to justice. Verdict An engaging plot coupled with captivating characters makes this the best Dobbs novel to date. Highly recommended for historical mystery aficionados who enjoy intriguing whodunits wrapped in a wartime love story.-Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.Ls., MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Maisie Dobbs
Served as a field nurse in France during World War I; studied at Cambridge.
Private investigator

Billy Beale
Maisie's assistant; wife is slipping further into depression after the death of their young daughter.

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