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Elegy for Eddie
Maisie Dobbs #9
Jacqueline Winspear

March 27, 2012 / ISBN 978-0062049575
Fiction/Mystery Detective

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

Maisie Dobbs is a woman of means. Though from a poor background, she inherited funds and property from her old mentor and has established herself as a psychologist and private investigator. When her father's friends ask for Maisie's help in solving the suspicious death of Eddie Pettit - a simple and illegitimate man who had a knack with horses - Maisie quickly obliges.

Elegy for Eddie is as much a character study as it is a period piece. Set prior to WWII, when English society is still recovering from the previous war, concern abounds that the German chancellor Hitler may wish to expand his country's borders. This is a fear shared by several characters of standing, including Maisie's lover, James Compton.

Jacqueline Winspear has written a solid mystery involving several characters Maisie knows from her youth, and her assistants Billy Beale and Sandra Tapley, who help Maisie prove that Eddie Pettit was murdered. The plot's twists and turns certainly kept me intrigued, but what truly enthralled me was the author's characterization of Maisie and her relationship with James.

Though James wishes to make their relationship permanent, he hasn't asked for Maisie's hand in marriage, because she has shown no desire to be asked. Maisie's conflict regarding marriage carries throughout the novel. On one hand, marriage would mean happiness and security, but it would require her to socialize with the upper crust. Except for her friend Priscilla, Maisie is uncomfortable mingling with the rich and famous. Furthermore, if they married, would James give Maisie the freedom to do that which she holds dear and investigate those cases that interest her?

The richly vibrant descriptions, the intriguing mystery and solid plotting reminded me of Christie and Dickens. Though the first I've read in her series, Elegy for Eddie stands on its own as an excellent read.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Pardonable Lies #3
Messenger of Truth #4
An Incomplete Revenge #5
A Lesson in Secrets #8
Journey to Munich #12

Reviewer's Note: Jacqueline Winspear is a New York Times best selling author who has won numerous awards, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2012