01 March 2012

Elegy for Eddie; Jacqueline Winspear

Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs NovelElegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'd never read a Maisie Dobbs mystery before, and at times I mentally put her in the pre-Great War era rather than the 1930s. If you like mysteries and Downton Abbey, this is probably right up your alley.

Maisie has a complicated background: poor, going into service as a young teen, being befriended by a psychiatrist, some time in college, working as a nurse during the War, inheriting a near fortune that enables her to buy a flat, a car and help her friends, becoming the lover/girlfriend of the Viscount (aka the son of the house in which she went into service)... I probably left things out and got them slightly confused because this isn't the first book in the series. There are several pages (scattered throughout) that delve heavily into background exposition on Maisie's life and her discomfort with her new circumstances.

The mystery itself revolves around Eddie, a "slow" man from Maisie's old neighborhood, who was killed - perhaps murdered - while visiting a printing plant. Eddie's gift was working with horses, and he could work with virtually any horse he met; he also ran errands for people at various factories and had visited this one as part of his daily routine. The costers from his neighborhood took a paternal interest in Eddie and suspect his death is not an accident, so off they go to Maisie to ask her help in solving this crime.

As mysteries go, this is rather slight. There's some investigation, but the majority of tbe book doesn't focus on finding clues, interviewing witnesses and drawing conclusions. There is some of that, and Maisie eventually does arrive at the whodunnit (although I was disappointed that she accepts the information given and doesn't act further on it).

ARC provided by publisher.


  1. Despite your rating, I'm jealous. This series is one I grab and read as soon as it's out. When is publishing date? Try reading the first one - Maisie Dobbs is excellent. Now (in the series) she is mired in personal issues and looming World War II.

  2. Early April, I think. There's no exact date on the jacket.

  3. Odd that you have the book even before it is out, so those of us who are anxiously awaiting its arrival are a bit green with envy. Lucky you.
    March 27th is the release date in the USA and Canada.
    Ms Winspear has received nominations for the Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel and The Bruce Alexander Award for Best Historical Mystery for A LESSON IN SECRETS so you might read that one, if you want a clearer picture. But the first one in the series MAISIE DOBBS, is the best for knowing for sure the background of this interesting heroine.
    Just a suggestion from an avid fan.