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Maisie Dobbs #7

The Mapping of Love and Death

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The story opens in August 1914 in the Santa Ynez Valley in California. Michael Clifton—youngest son of an Englishman who had emigrated to America when he was in his late teens, in search of his fortune—has just purchased a tract of land he believes is rich with oil. Fate steps in when Michael learns Britain is going to war in Europe. In a moment of loyalty to his father’s homeland, he decides to travel to England to enlist for service.
In the spring of 1932, after Michael’s remains are discovered in France, his wealthy parents hire Maisie Dobbs to find the woman—identified only as “The English Nurse”—who wrote a series of love letters discovered among Michael’s belongings.
The investigation takes Maisie from London’s most exclusive drawing rooms to its most downtrodden neighborhoods, forcing her to wrestle with memories of serving as a nurse in the Great War and of the passionate wartime romance that ended in tragedy. But as she delves into what she discovers to be a long-hidden crime, the investigator realizes unearthing buried secrets can lead to present-day danger.

338 pages, Hardcover

First published March 23, 2010

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About the author

Jacqueline Winspear

51 books6,653 followers
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK.

She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.

A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women's magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She currently divides her time between Ojai and the San Francisco Bay Area and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom and Europe.

Jacqueline is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, and other nationally bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex,
and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for best novel and was a New York Times
Notable Book.

* Maisie Dobbs


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,031 reviews
Profile Image for Carol.
205 reviews
March 7, 2013
The best yet of this series! Why PBS doesn't make this into a series is beyond me. The writing is tight, the period detail authentic and the stories always compelling.

In this book (number 7 in the series, Maisie Dobbs is on the trail of an what happened to an American cartographer who joined British forces in World War I. He was declared MIA but recently his remains were found... but war wounds were not the cause of his death. Maisie is hired by his family to get to the bottom of the mystery and also find the nurse he was in love with (love letters, a journal and maps were left behind). Naturally, Winspear weaves a mystery of intrigue that keeps you guessing till the end.

While tracking down clues, Maisie's mentor, Maurice, turns gravely ill and she has to come to terms with that, as well as face up to new challenges in her personal life. Her sidekick Billy is also featured, as are Lady Rowan and Lord Julian, who employed her as a housemaid when she was a young girl, but later took her under their wing. She's remained close to this family and they have a large part in all the books in this series.

As with Downton Abbey, this series explores the changing society in England and the evolving of the modern working, middle class woman.

I'll be reading the next book to find out what's in store for Maisie.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,115 reviews1,975 followers
September 7, 2016
I enjoyed this seventh outing into the life of Maisie Dobbs. The author continues to make Maisie a more sympathetic character and at last she has begun a new romantic attachment. In fact she is beginning a whole new life as the equivalent of the lottery has just landed in her lap! It will be very interesting to see where the author takes us from here.
As in all of the books so far we see and learn lots about the post war period, how people lived and how they overcame the terrible traumas they had been through. Or in some cases how they did not overcome them. This whole series is fascinating historical fiction and well worth reading.
Profile Image for Hannah.
794 reviews
October 2, 2011
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

This installment in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series was good. Seriously good. Easily my new favorite after the debut novel. I enjoyed the mystery, the direction Maisie is taking in her life, and the surprising twist that happened at the book's end. I cannot wait to find out how Maisie (and Billy Beal's) professional and personal lives will be changed by this twist. And for the first time, Maisie didn't grate on my nerves. Has Winspear written her more sympathetically, or have I finally gotten used to her cold fish and quirky ways? Either way, I'm not complaining- just eager to read the next one in the series.

And once again big kudos go to the cover artist for this series. They are evocative and beautifully rendered, and I can't stop looking at them!
Profile Image for ♥ Sandi ❣	.
1,216 reviews
March 18, 2019
3 stars

Being at about the half way mark in this series, I find it to be like an old shoe. No longer really that appealing, but still pretty comfortable. Too comfortable to throw out. So I will continue to book #8.

Maisie has seemed to grow on me. I don't find her particularly thrilling as an investigator, someone who I can't wait to read, or her stories enthralling, but I do find her, if not a quasi-friend, then at least an amicable acquaintance.

I do find Billy, her associate, charming. And I find her mentor and friend Maurice most interesting. Priscilla, her lady friend, is always amusing. And her father is portrayed as always kind, welcoming and a steady presence. I am interested in seeing where her new romance will be going. As the characters in the series change, I will miss those leaving, one in particular.

So...on to the next installment, in hopes that I enjoy Maisie's adventure once again.
Profile Image for Lorna.
632 reviews338 followers
January 16, 2022
The Mapping of Love and Death was the seventh book in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear and by far my favorite, what a beatiful story. It is August 1914 when Michael Clifton is in the Santa Ynez valley south of Santa Barbara as he gazes upon the landscape before him, the curve of the hills, the lines of the valley, places where the water ran in winter. This is the land that he has just purchased from his maternal grandfather's trust and he can hardly wait to share with his family. Young Michael had always been interested in maps and cartography as is embraced in this passage:

"He opened the wooden box, checked that he had collected all his pens, sturdy German writing instruments each filled with a different colored ink. He liked the heft of the pens, the flow of the ink, the narrow threads of color that issued from the pinlike point onto the heavy mapping paper."

But as the Great War loomed large and war is declared in Europe, young Michael Clifton decides to enlist in the British Army. Although he was an American, he possessed mapping and cartography skills which were vital in the war and he was deployed to France. What transpires is a mystery of a young man lost in war and his family desparate to learn what happened to their son but it is at the same time such a beautiful love story in the midst of war that is encompassed in this beautiful poem:


What's the best thing in the world?
June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
Sweet south-wind, that means no rain;
Truth not cruel to a friend;
Pleasure, not in haste to end;
Beauty, not self-decked and curled
Till its pride is over-plain;
Light, that never makes you wink;
Memory, that gives no pain;
Love, when so you're loved again.
What's the best thing in the world?
-- Something out of it, I think."

Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,734 reviews1,200 followers
March 20, 2021
I’m getting kind of sick of WWI stories, especially now that this book’s present time is 1932. I’m actually looking forward to what will hopefully be WWII stories and I hope that WWI will be (mostly) left behind in future books, and the sooner the better.

I was interested in the storylines from the start though.

I enjoyed the brief appearance of California in the U.S. even though it was nowhere near me and included unfamiliar terrain.

I’ll definitely keep reading. I love seeing what happens with everyone, not just Maisie. It looks as though things are about to get even more exciting. Fascinating stuff!

Right now I’m feeling I will say though that what does happen in this book makes perfect sense and the series story is moving along in an incredibly satisfying way.

I really love Maisie, and I also enjoy most of the other characters, and will greatly miss some characters, though I have a feeling the reader will get to revisit them in brief flashbacks.

I do wish that one thing in this book had been wrapped up but maybe it will be in future books in the series.

I think the main reason why this series of books aren’t exactly page turners for me is that they have such long chapters. My preference is to end each reading session at the end of a chapter and it’s easier for me to start a chapter if it’s not a big time commitment.

This book was one of my favorites so far. 4-1/2 stars

I read a Kindle e-edition and an Overdrive audio edition, my favorite e-formats, both borrowed from my public library.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
863 reviews48 followers
January 15, 2018
Time calls the Maisie Dobbs Detective series, "A detective series to savor." I have read almost all of them and love Jacqueline Winspear's ability to draw the reader into her world. It is August, 1914 and Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in Santa Ynez valley in California. He is almost certain that a great reserve of oil lies beneath. As he is prepared to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe he puts duty first and sails for Britain to enlist. Three years later, he is listed as missing. Now, the setting shifts to April, 1932 in London, and Maisie Dobbs is retained by Michael's parents who have recently been informed that their son's remains have been unearthed in France. They ask Maisie to try and locate the unnamed nurse whose love letters were found among their son's belongings. She discovers that he was murdered in the trench. Now, Maisie is almost overcome with reactions from Michael's family and the search for the truth. She also must face the loss of her long-time mentor, Maurice Blanche and that she is falling in love. Although the novel was first published in 2010, it is still relevant today with believable characters that outlast the test of time.
Profile Image for Yune.
630 reviews21 followers
April 18, 2010
I turn to the Maisie Dobbs series when I need that tone of quiet understanding, that perfect balance of empathy and rationality. (I think I kind of want to grow up to be Maisie Dobbs, if that makes sense for an adult to say.) She unwinds crimes that are braided into people's lives -- these are not cases of jewelry snatch-'n'-grabs, where relationships exist only to provide suspects; with Winspear, it's the relationships that drive the crimes. And Maisie's priority is more in healing the wounded hearts than necessarily solving the mystery or bringing the perpetrator to justice.

Such a strong theme can get a bit...not stale, but well-memorized, something you needn't pore over and can afford to simply skim over instead. But I liked this latest addition to the series because it brought more forceful suspense in the beginning chapters, I thought, and there's a great deal more going on in Maisie's personal life, which I always find interesting.

I think it's well worth reading if you've enjoyed the series so far, even if you've found the latest ones somewhat less impressive.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,218 reviews512 followers
May 14, 2011
Another enjoyable entry in the Maisie Dobbs series. Rather than enumerate the plot details which are available above, let me say that this novel brings Maisie to a new point in her life. It closes out all aspects of her youth and allows her to move fully into adulthood. At last she knows her place in the world. That brings with it more concerns and questions to be answered in later sequels.

While some of the plot issues may have been solved a bit easily and obviously, I found I didn't mind at all. I enjoyed seeing the ever-developing relationship between Maisie and her assistant Billie Beale and his family, her maturing relationship with Maurice Blanche and new relationships with the police. And then there are personal relationships. Maisie has not allowed herself the pleasure or risk of personal attachments since the wounding and ultimate loss of the man she loved during the War and this reader wonders what will happen in the future. She is so dedicated to her work....will she allow herself to have personal happiness also.

All in all, another fun read. I'm looking forward to the next, A Lesson in Secrets which is already on my shelf. I'm going to wait a bit and savor the idea of it.
Profile Image for Debbie.
869 reviews23 followers
June 4, 2021
I love Maisie Dobbs. And, until this book, I’d loved all the stories in this mystery series. The book wasn’t bad, mind you, and provided lots of interesting details about the mapping of war.

But there were just a couple too many coincidences that advanced the solving of the mystery to suit me: Maisie’s friend just happened to try to match-make her at dinner with a man who just happened to know a guy who made films of the troops in WWI and who just happened to have filmed a cartography unit (and all this just happened to have come up in dinner conversation 14 years after the end of said war). The cartography unit caught on film just happened to be the one Maisie was looking for, and the villain just happened to be visiting the unit that day and was captured on celluloid trying to stop the film crew.

You get the picture. And I didn’t think the clues were fair enough to allow the reader to solve the case – unless one must consider that anyone and everyone introduced in the gathering of information might be more involved than that. I hadn’t noticed this element in previous Maisie books.

ANYWAY – I still love Maisie and I’m going to continue reading this series, hoping that this is just a blip in Winspear’s otherwise impeccable record. 3½ stars
Profile Image for Laura.
736 reviews266 followers
June 27, 2022
This series just keeps getting better. I read it more for the characters and to see how Maisie’s love life is going than for the mystery, but the mystery is always good. Looking for big changes in Maisie’s life and have already started the eighth book.

They are all narrated by the same person, who does a good job. If I could tweak them, I’d make them just a bit happier, there are many recurring characters and when bad things happen to them, it matters bc we get to know many of them so well.

But all in all it’s a reliably great series that’s new to me so I’m a fan! Oh and a British series so definitely a bonus there.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
754 reviews
February 5, 2020
This,in my opinion, is just a consistently excellent series. The weaving together of the WWI story lines with the present times of the 1930s is well done. Now we are moving into the pre WWII times.

It’s refreshing to read the old fashioned way of detection as depicted here. No cell phones, no internet. It’s face to face and lots of footwork to make all the necessary connections needed to solve the cases.
Profile Image for Mal Warwick.
Author 28 books387 followers
April 6, 2017
It’s 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ third year in business as an “inquiry agent.” (That’s British for private detective.) As usual, Maisie’s life is complicated. Her assistant, Billy Beale, is working shorter hours to care for his wife, who has just been released from a mental asylum. Maisie’s beloved mentor and former employer, Dr. Maurice Blanche, is in declining health. And two attractive, wealthy men are pursuing her despite her reluctance to take time away from her work. Her agency is doing well even in the Depression. Then a friend she’d known from her service as a nurse in the Great War writes from America to ask that she help an American couple freshly arrived in London.

The Cliftons, it turns out, are in their late seventies. Edward Clifton had emigrated from England to the U.S. as a young man. There he built a huge property development business, in which their children are now assuming leadership. He and his wife just arrived from France, where the remains of their youngest son were uncovered in an old battlefield. Letters uncovered with his body reveal that the young man had had an affair with a young woman during the war. Maisie’s assignment is to locate her. But Maisie discovers almost immediately that the job isn’t just an old missing-persons case: a close reading of the autopsy report makes clear that Michael Clifton didn’t die in battle. He was murdered.

While spending time with the dying Maurice and navigating the attentions of two competing would-be husbands, Maisie sets out to determine who murdered Michael Clifton and identify his long-missing lover. Her investigation immerses her in the dynamics of the large and complicated Clifton family. Then, when the aged Cliftons are attacked in their hotel and left to die, Scotland Yard enters the scene. Maisie is then forced to collaborate with the detective who has caused a great deal of trouble for her in the past.

The Mapping of Love and Death is the seventh novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s delightful Maisie Dobbs series. (The reference to mapping in the title refers to Michael Clifton’s chosen profession as a cartographer and his work in a British Army cartography unit on the front lines in France.) As in its predecessors, World War I looms large in the background. Winspear deftly portrays the difficulty the English had to leave behind the terrible consequences of the war even a decade and a half later. However, the shocking conclusion to this novel reveals that future books in the series may take a turn toward the coming, Second World War. Given the skill she demonstrated in the first seven novels in the series, I’m looking forward to more from Jacqueline Winspear.
Profile Image for Robert.
Author 8 books417 followers
April 1, 2013
If you enjoy British mysteries, then THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH is for you. Jacqueline Winspear creates a heroine in Maisie Dobbs who has a strong moral code, and she’s every bit the three-dimensional character that springs to life in well-written prose. It’s hard not to get behind her and root for her every step of the way.

While I appreciated the writing, the prose felt long and drawn out, the dialogue often turning into monologues instead of having the more immediate punch of a soliloquy. And I had to force myself on more than one occasion to reach the end. My only explanation is that I never completely identified with the characters or felt as though I had fully inhabited their world. Instead, I felt more like an observer, only touching the surface before being carried away. Not that this is any reflection on the author or her writing. I blame it on the British and their sophisticated nature and multiple levels of bureaucracy, whereas I take a more open-ended and far encompassing approach to my humor.

And this is why I’ve never been a big fan of British mysteries, other than Rhys Bowen’s Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, or Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. I’ve pondered this scenario on multiple occasions, and I’ve reached the following conclusion: there’s an aristocratic stiffness underlying these mysteries that makes me want to turn and run in the other direction faster than being shot out of a cannon. But it’s not going to stop me from seeking out any mystery, including the British ones, because I’m ever the optimist, and I know one day, not too far in the future, I’ll be pleasantly surprised again.
Profile Image for Heather.
646 reviews
March 17, 2011
I really enjoy these books. A solid 4 1/2 stars from me. This is the 7th one in the series. I've always liked the books but this one kept me riveted. I don't know if they are getting better or if I am just so comfortable with the characters now that it is like being with family. I wish I could be as smart as Maisie --the mysteries that she solves always keep me guessing until the very end.
Profile Image for LemonLinda.
858 reviews87 followers
February 2, 2018
By installment #7 of this series, I have definitely established a long standing relationship with Maisie Dobbs - a relationship that will continue to the end of the series which is currently at 14 so several more to go and I am indeed happy in that regard. Time with Maisie and friends is indeed a special bookish treat.
Profile Image for Tanja Berg.
1,808 reviews403 followers
October 10, 2021
Maisie Dobbs gets engaged by an American couple to find the sweet heart of their son, that died in World War I. It soon becomes apparent that someone does not want her delving into this and that the son may not have been a victim of war after all.

I love the series, it captures the atmosphere of the time incredible well. Maisie is amazing.
Profile Image for Leslie.
Author 25 books709 followers
January 18, 2018
This could be my favorite in the series so far. But then, I may say that every time!
Profile Image for Carolyn Hill.
424 reviews71 followers
August 14, 2010
I have read all the installments in the Maisie Dobbs series and find them compelling but weighed down by the sad, grim, heavy atmosphere of the events and repercussions of World War I. Though in this book an American man dies in the trenches with the Brits, his death, proved to be by murder rather than a casualty of the fighting, has less to do with the war than with personal resentment and greed. I found the motivation of the murderer (did he or didn't he intend to kill the victim?) to be a little shaky. I also thought the clues she needed were too conveniently handed to her by coincidences that strain credulity even for one who believes in synchronicity. The best parts of this book were in Maisie's personal relationships, something she usually sacrifices for her work. In past books, the reader wonders whether Maisie, despite her quiet understanding, empathy, and perceptive mind, will end up alone with only her work as companion and comfort. This one offers at least a hope that Maisie will allow herself a chance at personal happiness.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,645 reviews699 followers
July 14, 2014
Seventh in the Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series and revolving around Maisie, a young woman who rose from the servant class to be a psychologist and investigator. This story is set in April 1932 in London.

My Take
Oh. My. God. This story is such a mess of emotion, from the loss of such a promising life, the death of someone important to so many, and the promise of the most amazing future with possibilities in romance, Maisie's work, and her future.

I am most grateful to Winspear for how she ended it as it tempered the loss. Oh, I still cried…and am still crying as I write this review. And yet, the hope that lives on…*laughing a little*…and the question of what the future will bring (!) has me chomping at the bit to get on to A Lesson in Secrets to find out what happens next. Damn you, Winspear for leaving me in such doubt!

Winspear has also done a brilliant job in setting up a natural change in the series, and it's building off the change possibilities she introduced in Among the Mad , 6.

I must confess the developing romance is one I've been hoping for as I like the man, and it's an interesting "experiment" in social changes as well as a reflection in changes within English society as a whole.

My only negative is Winspear's repeating the bit about Michael's observations of his new British friends. I do wish she had re-worded it so it didn't sound like a cut-and-paste.

It's an interesting series. A bit cold — as in a British reserve sense — and yet I do adore these characters. Maisie could be considered unrealistic in her patience and acceptance, except that she's been trained by Maurice and Basil Khan. And her upbringing certainly was unusual, enough so that she's completely believable. Winspear contributes to this with Maisie's own doubts and fears. Ones that Maisie acknowledges as she comes to understand them. It's a lovely combination of a regular human being who needs weaknesses pointed out to them with a strong woman who is willing to examine those weaknesses, to recognize them. Billy is a good man, concerned for his family, and willing to work for a woman. Yes, a strong Maisie is one of my favorite parts of this as she confounds Scotland Yard and Special Branch with her insight.

I also adore how well Winspear conveys the feel of the time period. I feel as though I'm there in the 1930s, and Winspear appears to get the details right from manners to mores to clothing — and the lack of plumbing!

The Story
When their son's body is discovered in a farmer's field, his parents contact Maisie to learn more. They want his killer found, but their greatest hopes are of a lover, perhaps even a wife who may have had a child. With their son dead, a child is their only hope of their beloved son living on.

The trauma of learning what happened in Michael's life, however, is overshadowed by emotional events in Maisie's own life as Maurice falls ill, and Maisie falls in love.

The Characters
Maisie Dobbs is a psychologist and investigator by both training and desire. She rose from the servant class when she was caught interested in reading and knowledge. Now she works as a private investigator for herself as well as consulting for Scotland Yard and Special Branch. Frankie Dobbs, her father, is the stablemaster out at Lord and Lady Compton's country estate, Chelstone. Jook is Frankie's dog.

Billy Beale is her assistant, and Maisie and Billy are both thrilled that they've been successfully in business for three years, at a time when the Great Depression has deprived so many of work. Doreen is Billy's wife and home now, working to get past her depression. Dr. Masters has been successfully treating Doreen.

Dr. Maurice Blanche has continued working for the government in both an investigative, legal, and forensic capacity. He took Maisie under his wing years ago and encouraged her, along with Lady Rowan, to achieve higher education. Mrs. Bromley is Dr. Blanche's housekeeper at the Dower House which he purchased from the Comptons. Basil Khan is still teaching and providing solace. Dr. Andrew Dene, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, had dated Maisie and married another when Maisie dumped him. He was one of Maurice's prodigies. Bernard Klein is Maurice's solicitor.

Priscilla Partridge has been Maisie's best friend since Girton and struggling with depression and alcohol; she introduced Maisie to Simon. Douglas is her pacifist husband who was disabled in the war. Their children are mad for all things aviation. Benedict Sutton is a friend of theirs whom Pris sets up with Maisie.

Lady Rowan and Lord Julian Compton have been supportive and a good resource for Maisie. James Compton, Viscount Compton and heir to his father's title, has been working for his father's interests in Canada but seems to have returned to England for good this time. Emily is an older sister who died. Carter is the family's butler at Chelstone.

Colonel John Bartley refers Maisie on to Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Davidson who refers her to Major Peter Whitting who refers her to Major Ian Temple. Dawson is the friendly butler who does for Whitting. Lady Petronella Casterman is very active in charitable work; Elizabeth Peterson was one of her nurses. Lady Ella has three children: two daughters and a son, Christopher Casterman, heir to the title. Henry Gilbert is a cinematographer; Roland Marshall is Gilbert's assistant.

Scotland Yard
Detective Inspector Caldwell has gotten a promotion with Stratton's move into Special Branch. Detective Chief Inspector Stratton is now Special Branch but only appears at the funeral along with Robert MacFarlane. John Langley is an embassy bloke.

Michael Clifton is a cartographer who has discovered oil in an untapped field in California, but he enlists in the British Army when World War I breaks out. Tennie, the English Nurse, is Michael's love. Edward and Martha Clifton are his wealthy and supportive parents. Their eldest daughter, Meg, is married to Bradley Marchant who knows Hayden. Teddy is their oldest son; his son, Chris, loves exploring and looks just like Michael. Anna is married to Thomas Libbert, and Michael is their youngest. Veronica Clifton was Edward's sister, part of the Clifton Shoe family forbidden to speak to Edward.

Dr. Charles Hayden had been a volunteer with a medical contingent from Massachusetts General Hospital which came to help the English Army at the start of the war. He was introduced to Maisie through Simon Lynch. Hayden is now married to Pauline.

Captain Jeremy Lockwood was Michael's immediate superior. Sydney Mullen was a member of the cartography crew and one of Michael's friends.

Alfie Mantle is an Artful Dodger moving up in the ranks, so to speak.

The Cover
The cover is the woodcut style Winspear has used throughout the series so far with metaphors galore as Maisie leans back against her red MG. She's at the top of a hill out looking across the English countryside, itself a metaphor for Michael's dream for his future and of his career choice. I like to think that the sign at the crossroads is also a metaphor for Maisie while that view across the countryside also makes me think of the battlefields of World War I from a cartographer's viewpoint with its hills and valleys, fences, buildings, and trees. That bit of barbed wire near the car's fender and Maisie's map simply reinforces the feeling.

The title is a play on the murder victim as well as Maisie, for it's The Mapping of Love and Death for Michael and Maisie both.
Profile Image for Celia.
1,141 reviews141 followers
July 9, 2021
Michael Clifton fought in The Great War (WWI). He died. Recently his body has been found. It seems that he was murdered. Maisie Dobbs is called in by Michael's parents to determine what happened.
Michael was a cartographer - a person who draws or produces maps. Aha!! The Mapping of Love and Death!!

I listened to the story on audio and it was well read and the story full of twists and turns. I liked it as well as the other 6 Maisie Dobbs novels I have read.

I took a two year hiatus from reading the series. Now that I am out and about, I have resumed listening. I love to hear a book as I am driving.

From the Authors note I learned that 'to this day,the remains of those listed as missing in the Great War are being unearthed in France and Belgium'. In a letter to the Santa Barbar Independent in 2005, David Bartlett was on a quest to identify the remains of a young soldier who might have been as American with a British regiment. That letter inspired this book.

Note that Maisie's life changes dramatically toward the end of #7. Won't say more than that!!

On to Book #8 - A LessOon in Secrets

5 stars
Profile Image for Carol Kerry-Green.
Author 3 books25 followers
April 5, 2010
The seventh outing for Maisie Dobbs, and Winspear has written another stunner. It is 1932 and Maisie is approached by an elderly American couple Edward and Martha Clifford who have just arrived from France, where their son, Michael's remains were found with the rest of his unit in a shelled out shelter. Michael was a cartographer and thus essential to the war effort, however, the pathologist report into his death indicates that the injuries from the shelling occured after his death and that the probable cause of death was a blow to the head. As well as his surveying tools that were found with his body, his journal an a bundle of letters that were wrapped in protective covering were discovered.

Michael's parents hire Maisie to find his killer and also the identity of the English Nurse who was his sweetheart during the war. To add to the complication, before he sailed for England to join in the war effort in 1914, Michael had survyed and bought a piece of land in California where he believed oil was to be discovered. Difficulty in proving probate (the deeds to the land are missing) has meant difficulty finding closure for Michael's family and they are hoping Maisie can solve the riddles.

As usual, Winspear depicts the 30s and the continuing after effects of the 1st world war on all who were involved, she also deals with the human side of suffering and with relationships. Maisie's mentor Maurice Blanche is fading and she has to come to terms with his impending loss, whilst at the same time acknowledging a change in her personal life that could affect her far into the future.

I have loved Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series from the start and can highley recommend them to anyone who enjoys crime, physcological drama, the 30s and mysteries. Can't wait for the next one!!
Profile Image for Scott.
516 reviews
January 6, 2021
This is a well-written novel that feels authentic for its post-WWI setting but I was a little disappointed at the lack of actual detective work. Much of it happens off-panel or is dependent upon coincidence, such as when someone just happens to know someone. I also had a hard time remembering who some characters were, but maybe that's just because my mind is often elsewhere these days.

I picked up this book because it was one of Harper's Olive Editions but although the central mystery is complete here there is a considerable amount of continuity regarding Maisie and her supporting cast that follows on from previous novels. I wonder why they didn't just go with the first book.
Profile Image for Jeannine.
448 reviews29 followers
January 2, 2022
My gosh, are these books brilliantly laid out. The main and secondary mysteries were solved by page 300 and then Maisie’s personal storyline gets the final 30 pages…and it was a roller coaster. A beautiful roller coaster.

Maisie was hired by a wealthy couple, one English and one American, to find their dead son’s sweetheart from the war. The son was a cartographer and land surveyor who had identified oil-rich land in California (and secured rights to it) just as the war started. Despite his being an American citizen, he felt compelled to enlist and the British army was happy to have his skills because French maps weren’t reliable at the time.

There’s a secondary mystery related to the cartographer’s brother-in-law that isn’t all that interesting…perhaps a red herring of sorts, though it did provide the heartbreaking end of Maisie’s document case, first given to her by the rest of the staff before she left for college. RIP document case.

On the personal side, Maisie has a new love interest and she’s also dealing with the physical decline of her beloved mentor, Maurice Blanche.

I loved every aspect of this one…the last 30 pages were epic. I love Maisie and can’t wait to see what comes next.
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2,314 reviews44 followers
January 21, 2022
An elderly American couple are bashed in the suite at a top London hotel. Right after asking Maisie to look into the death of the cartographer son in a bunker in France. It seems land in California is one aspect of the case. Then there’s James!
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,269 reviews117 followers
December 6, 2014
The Mapping of Love and Death is the seventh book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobbs is engaged by a Boston couple, Edward and Martha Clifton, whose youngest son, Michael, died in the trenches in France in 1917. Not until fifteen years later were his remains found, and with them, letters from an English Nurse.

Michael was a cartographer who had just spent part of his inheritance on land in California that he felt sure bore oil. When the autopsy report shows that he was murdered, Maisie is asked to track down his unnamed nurse and, if she can, to find his murderer. To distract her from her task, James Compton returns from Canada for good, her mentor, Maurice Blanche becomes increasingly frail, and Billy Beal is understandably apprehensive about Doreen’s return from hospital.

This instalment explores the vital role of cartographers in war, as well as the important contribution of the many Nursing Units, and the purpose of cinematographers on the front lines. Maisie has to deal with DI Caldwell now that Stratton has gone to Special Branch; she is mugged, goes to car races, visits the School of Military Engineers and more than one hospital. The value of post-traumatic counselling is highlighted, and Winspear drags several red herrings through her plot to keep the reader guessing on more than one front. The final chapters see great changes wrought in Maisie’s personal life and presage possible major alterations in her career. Once again, an excellent read that will have readers seeking out the next book in the series, A Lesson In Secrets.
Profile Image for Alison.
3,080 reviews119 followers
March 30, 2022
Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate when the body of an American cartographer, missing in action in WW1, is found in a German foxhole in suspicious circumstances. Michael Clifton came from a wealthy Boston family, although his father was British and the disowned heir to the Clifton Shoe manufacturing business. He joined the British Army in 1914, shortly after purchasing a large tract of land in California which he believed would yield oil. When his body, and several others, are discovered in France with personal papers which include letters from a young lady his parents travel to London to ask Maisie to find the young lady and to investigate his death.

I did enjoy this, although I felt both that some plot lines were telegraphed very early on and others were a bit convoluted, forced to twist and turn to meet the need for a big reveal.

Also, its 1932 and she is still investigating things arising from a war which ended 14 years earlier - if she's not careful it will be WW2 and she'll still be investigating WW1 stuff!
Profile Image for Linda.
1,789 reviews33 followers
July 21, 2017
I love these books and they get better with each one! They are so well written that it's a pleasure to read one of Maisie's adventures. I love that there is always so much character growth in each book. This was a very easy to read story and I enjoyed the cartography aspect that was a part of this story. I always love how there are current events mixed with flashbacks and old events. Can't wait to see what happens next!
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