The Mapping of Love and Death

Written by Jacqueline Winspear
Review by Rebecca Roberts

Maisie Dobbs is back (and better than ever) in this seventh novel in the series. It is now 1932, but the Great War still haunts London. This time, Maisie is hired by the Clifton family to discover what happened to their American son, Michael, a cartographer during the war. They have uncovered Michael’s belongings from a recently discovered bunker in France, and found love letters written by an anonymous British nurse. Maisie delves into the mystery of Michael and his secret love with her usual aplomb and common sense, aided by her trusty helper, Billy. As they begin to dig deep, Maisie discovers that Michael did not just die in the bunker; but he was murdered.

Once again, Maisie uses her deduction skills, psychological knowledge, and common sense to unravel the mystery of Michael’s death, and the identity of the nurse. Her investigation, as well as Winspear’s usual vivid historical details, provides great insight into the importance of cartography during the war. As always, Winspear has crafted a fine mystery with twists and turns and exciting adventures. The added drama of Maurice’s (Maisie’s mentor) inevitable death, a new romance for Maisie, and the ongoing struggles of Billy and his family provide intrigue and suspense, beyond the main plot. Overall, this is one of the best Maisie Dobbs stories yet. Highly recommended.