Here's a review of the newest installation of a great mystery series, by our astute and aesthetically gifted Kathleen Ivy.
Jacqueline Winspear may have produced her best novel yet in The Mapping of Love and Death. Fans already devoted to Maisie Dobbs and her indispensible Billy will find her character further illuminated and refined in “Mapping”. Following clues peppered through unearthed letters and a journal Maisie explores the parameters of loyalty to family, to country, to friends, and to one’s self.
At one point Maisie muses that, “wounds of the past could always be camouflaged” but a reader wonders – can they really? Later she confesses that, “an aroma in the air, or the way the wind is blowing” can take her back “to the midst of it all.” For anyone who has experienced the ghastliness of a world gone mad and grey with violence this resonates and feels authentic.
But love also enriches the story – as always – more poignant when coupled with war. A snippet of verse, “Love, when, so, you’re loved again” haunts the pages and reminds us that love truly is stronger – though only just barely.