Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Mapping of Love and Death

In 1932, the remains of a cartography unit missing since 1916 are uncovered in France.  One of the men was an American, allowed into the British army because his father was born in England and because his specialized skills were needed so badly, and papers found on his body indicate he had conducted a romance with an English nurse during the war.  His parents hire Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator, to find the woman who wrote the letters.  But his father has an additional request: find the man who murdered his son just before the whole unit was shelled and buried.

I wasn't sure I liked the direction the Maisie Dobbs series seemed to be going in the last couple of installments, particularly the sudden revelation of Maisie's hitherto un-hinted-at gypsy heritage and psychic faculties, but this volume seemed to be something of a return to form.  Maisie does a bit less psychologizing than in some of the others, but manages some top-notch investigating, and developments in her private life are nicely integrated into the story.  I'm quite interested to see where the character goes from here.

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