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Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by…
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Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel (edition 2012)

by Jacqueline Winspear

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5614717,757 (3.85)59
Member:tututhefirst
Title:Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel
Authors:Jacqueline Winspear
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:WWI, HM12, contest win, OD, WTG 2012

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Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

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SPOILER A gentle book, as gentle as Eddie Pettit himself. Superb title, as usual, describing the serious reflection Maisie gives to one who perhaps was not seriously treated or thought of seriously by all; and revealing a side of James which shocks Maisie. Moving more and more towards the happenings in the Thirties, the book brings together the gentleness and kindness resulting from the times before and the gentleness and kindness that will be needed to endure what is coming. Maisie's character is bruised into awareness of her own shortcomings and she responds with a wisdom that could only have been absorbed by listening and heeding Maurice. She leans towards acceptance of other people's personal space (although in her day, Maisie would not have used the word "personal space"...). A goodly amount of pages give an insight into the early activities going on behind the official British political machinations re the rise of Hitler to power. This book is not so much about solving a crime, but more about righting an injustice: it is a lament for the dead. Excellent cover design. ( )
  HugoReads | Jul 12, 2014 |
this may be the best Masie Dobbs book so far. It takes her back to her old stomping ground and it feels better for that.
I find it difficult to credit that this is a modern novel as it feels so much like its setting at the end of the war.
  jessicariddoch | Apr 23, 2014 |
I just love to fall into the world of Maisie Dobbs. Jacqueline Winspear is a wonderful author. The world she creates and the characters that inhabit it are very real and thought provoking. I always look forward to the next one and she has never failed me.
( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
See more reviews on Short & Sweet Reviews!

Elegy for Eddie, set in the early 1930s, follows private investigator Maisie Dobbs as she tries to unravel the seemingly accidental death of Eddie Pettit, a gentle man who took care of horses and did random tasks for factor workers and men in the market from time to time. Being a mystery novel, of course, his death is anything but accidental and Maisie finds herself involved in a complex inquiry that touches closer to home than she'd first thought.

Like many mystery novels, this is a more recent entry in a series, however, it's perfectly easy to get into without having read any of the previous novels. For the most part, the reader gets enough information on Maisie and her past that even the recurring characters seem familiar from the very start. So it's easy to jump into the action as Maisie investigates Eddie's death, navigates her own personal life, and deals with the way the investigation bleeds over into her own world.

Maisie is an interesting, although not always entirely sympathetic, character. She's a woman who came from nothing to wind up with her own private investigation firm, thanks largely to an inheritance from the man who mentored her. In this book, Maisie really seems to struggle with being between two worlds -- she hasn't forgotten what it was like working as a maid in a big house, but she knows just what wealth will help her accomplish. She sometimes acts with her heart in ways that are with the best of intentions, but which aren't always well received by people for various reasons. It annoyed me because she can come off as somewhat self-righteous and a know-it-all, but fortunately these traits are addressed within the plot and her actions improve over the course of the book.

The mystery itself takes lots of unexpected twists and turns and winds up in a place I hadn't expected at all. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Eddie's death is much more complicated than even Maisie had thought. It's pretty cool to watch her as she starts to untangle the mystery, and as always, interesting to read a crime novel that doesn't take place in a contemporary setting.

This book is a very clean read, with most of the violence taking place off of the page, and no profanity that I can recall. It's a fun read that manages to mix crime-solving and personal drama in equal measures. Feel free to pick up the series with this book, or go back to the beginning of the series to get a better, more rounded picture of Maisie and her friends. ( )
  goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
This is good historical fiction set in the UK in the period between WW1 and WW2, a time of great social change and economic hardship.

Maisie Dobbs (an "inquiry agent") investigates a suspicious death in the neighbourbood where she spent her early childhood. Eddy, an autistic man, dies in a factory accident but there are those who doubt that it was an accident and ask Maisie to look into it. This investigation brings her back to people who knew her as a child and do not necessarily know of her new higher social status. As her investigation progresses her old world intersects with her new one, not always in a good way.

It's a darker story than others in the series in that Maisie is having doubts about her new life. There's only passing reference to her nursing exploits in WW1. She struggles with some criticism about her generosity -- that she is too controlling and intrusive into the lives of those around her, like Billy Beale and her father. In the midst of this struggle her investigation brings her into contact with a powerful industrialist who behind the scenes is working to get Britain ready to fight the Nazis (it's set in 1933 which is when Hitler was coming to power). While she agrees with his motives she is uncomfortable with his ruthless ways. This causes conflict with her "boyfriend" James Compton (I don't think he has progressed to being a fiance)who is working on a project for the industrialist (along with Winston Churchill). Added to this is Maisie's discomfort at the structured life of the new social circle she is in with Compton -- she longs for a simple life free of social obligations.

As I neared the end of the story, I thought that this was going to be the last book of the series, but it isn't: there's a least two more. It appears that Maisie is going to spend time to "find herself" through travel and exploration of new horizons. The resolution of the suspicious death is not as neat as it could have been -- it does however introduce some moral ambiguity that has not been in the Maisie Dobbs stories. This may signal Maisie's new approach to her life and exploits. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | Nov 23, 2013 |
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Epigraph
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. - Bedouin legend
For evil to happen, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing. -- Edmund Burke
Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing happened. -- Winston Churchill
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Dedicated to Oliver and Sara
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Maudie Pettit pushed the long broom back and forth across the wet flagstones, making sure every last speck of horse manure was sluiced down the drains that ran along a gully between the two rows of stalls.
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Maisie Dobbs takes on her most personal case yet, a twisting investigation into the brutal killing of a street peddler that will take her from the working-class neighborhoods of her childhood into London's highest circles of power. Set in London between the two world wars.… (more)

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