Reviewed by Jenna A.

In The Mapping of Love and Death, Jacqueline Winspear weaves another tale of mystery with the return of Maisie Dobbs, a sharp shooting detective and frequent character in Winspear’s books. In this Maisie Dobbs adventure, Maisie is on the verge of closing her private investigation firm. While considering ending her tour as an investigator, she receives a case from a long time friend. The friend pleads with her to help an older couple who is in search of some closure in the death of their son, Michael.

Upon meeting Mr. and Mrs. Clifton, she comes to learn of war, loss, of a secret love forged in the trenches, and of an unspoken suspicion that they hold about their son’s death… or murder.

Michael, a young cartographer with a promising career ahead of him, learned of a war that was ravaging his family’s ancestral homeland. He was compelled to put his dreams on hold, packed his bags and joined the war effort. Years later, his skeleton was found in the ditches, buried with several other cartographers.

Maise along with her assistant Billie must open their minds, and their hearts to try and solve this unanswered case, while Maisie learns what it means to open her heart once again to love. The reader cannot help but encourage Maisie in her task of connecting this tangled web of clues in order to bring the full picture into view. Was Michael murdered? How will this story end?

[amazonify]0061727660[/amazonify]Overall, the story of Maisie and the Clifton family is well plotted out; however, the dialogue between Maisie and her assistant Billie is quite trying. While most characters involved in the story are quite studious as far as the language base, the roughness behind the dialogue between these two major characters is very hard to grasp. Billie’s “Old English” is very choppy and forced; it almost seems as if the author forced the slang-like speech of this character, often reminiscent of the speech of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

Though a bit slow, the story is very descriptive, the passion behind the character of Michael paints a picture that has the reader envisioning this interesting man throughout the whole story. I read The Mapping of Love and Death hoping for a bit more suspense, and a few more climaxes. Nevertheless, The Mapping of Love and Death is a good read for someone who is intrigued by love on the war fields, or who enjoys the detective tales from the “black and white era”.

Jenna lives in a small town in Ohio with her fiance and cat Osiris. Along with her passion for reading and the literary world, she is also a painter, poet, fiction writer, and amateur photographer.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.