Cat's Reviews > The Mapping of Love and Death

The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
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May 02, 10

Read from May 01 to 02, 2010

This Maisie Dobbs book was infinitely better than the last one in the series. The quality and plot craft that went into this book makes me think that Winspear must have dashed the sixth one off at the publisher's request while she was really investing her forethought into this novel. A lot of the character and plot threads of the earlier books come together in this one, and while the first of the Maisie mysteries may still be my favorite, this one raises the stakes for Maisie and changes her life's path a little bit, which is very satisfying at the point when I felt like series was becoming a bit stale.

Lovely descriptions of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley. I think Winspear tips her hand too much when she introduces her villain here, but that's a minor quibble in a generally enjoyable book. And all of the hocus-pocus, vaguely New Age-y mystical stuff that Winspear often weaves anachronistically into this series actually works here as she focuses on meditation, trauma, and healing mostly (instead of some of the dippier strains in the earlier books). I love the historical context of mapping and mapmakers, a fascinating element of war that I had not thought much about before.

A quick read, and a fun one, and a much more finely constructed mystery than some of her recent efforts in the series.
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