Maisie Dobbs: psychologist, investigator, and "one of the great fictional heroines, equal parts haunted and haunting" (Parade) returns in a chilling adventure, the latest chapter in Jacqueline Winspear's best-selling series.
Early April 1933: To the costermongers of Covent Garden - sellers of fruit and vegetables on the streets of London - Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. When Eddie is killed in a violent accident, the grieving costers are deeply skeptical about the cause of his death. Who would want to kill Eddie - and why?
Maisie Dobbs' father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, so she had known the men since childhood. She remembers Eddie fondly and is determined to offer her help. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are equally determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death. Plunging into the investigation, Maisie begins her search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth where Eddie had lived and where she had grown up.
The inquiry quickly leads her to a callous press baron; a has-been politician named Winston Churchill, lingering in the hinterlands of power; and, most surprisingly, to Douglas Partridge, the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla. As Maisie uncovers lies and manipulation on a national scale, she must decide whether to risk it all to see justice done.
The story of a London affected by the march to another war years before the first shot is fired and of an innocent victim caught in the crossfire, Elegy for Eddie is Jacqueline Winspear's most poignant and powerful novel yet.
©2012 Jacqueline Winspear (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I found this series when looking for WW1 books. I have been studying WW1 and its affect on society, so I have listen to courses on I-Univ(I-tunes) and the lecture series on Audible and following book recommendation both fiction and non-fiction. I unfortunately started in the middle of this series but have manage to read in both direction to catch up to date with the series. I find this series intriguing as it covers some of WW1 conflict but mostly the aftermath. Maize role of rising above her poor status into the merging middle class and now into the world of wealth and all her personal conflict of this change of responsibilities,was typical of the era. Maize like many women of the time is a working woman and can vote this and other changes in roles of men and women of day caused family and personal conflict. The story takes us to view her roots in the poor section of London as she helps out some old friends solve the the of Eddie. Maize is conflicted as she see the possibilities of another war and the fear and dread of what that means on a society still reeling from the prior war. She is conflicted about what she sees as the manipulation of the press, and certain people in high places preparing for war that brings up her nightmares of what she saw in WW1 as a nurse. I think that this time in history was the most interesting society has faced, we could learn a lot from it. This series offers the reader a great deal of thought if one looks beyond the murder mystery story.
Narrative makes the world go round.
Maise emerged from novel 7 as intelligent, self-aware and on the path to work in the emerging British intelligence community. Book 8 finds a less self aware Maisie fumbling professionally and personally to reach a point of development she supassed earlier on. I found this episode more melodramatic with too much backstory - anyone who loves the character will read earlier novels for all the details. There is less rich historical backdrop than usual and some penny-dreadful dialogue in the first half. Even Cassidy as narrator didn't seem to deliver her best performance.
This is still worth downloading for fans of the series -- but if you are a new listener, start with an earlier, stronger Dobbs.
Maisie Dobbs is a heroine before her time. Her human kindness and sensitivity play an innate role in her investigative style - along with intuition and knowledge of humanity.
The characters that populate the series along with Maisie are as interesting as she is and continue to grow and develop as she does.
The pace is not a race; the story is in the telling. Not for fans of shoot-em-ups. These are stories that require thought and insight. Sort of lovely. Highly recommended.
I am a huge Winspear fan. Her characters are richly developed and her stories usually transport the reader both geographically and psychologically. Masie is by far one of my favorite fictional characters - she is intelligent, intuitive, loving and brave.
But "Elegy" doggedly takes all the characters down paths that they don't seem meant to go. Masie, after a life of bravery and self-confidence is now this woman on a self destructive path motivated by fear of success? What? Where did that come from? Suddenly she is all about punishing herself for her success. Are we really supposed to believe that a woman trained in psychology and meditation can't work through these challenges without becoming so willfully self destructive?
Winspear's choices with Masie reminded me of the cliche male detective that is so damaged by life that they are condemned to a life of solitude because they can't make a good choice to save thier lives. Some people may find that scenario romantic - I'm shocked to see Masie drawn with those lines. I expected so much more and feel like a dear friend has been erased.
I wonder what Winspear was trying to say here.
Cassidy is a dream narrator.
No did not finish after multiple tries.
"Elegy for Eddy" gives us a look at a different side of the Maisie character and seems to challenge her readers to think about the world around us. In this installment Maisie is drawn back to her roots by the suspicious death of Eddie. Her investigation reveals that Eddie's death is linked to his half brother, a rather hateful character. Eddie's character is happy in his struggle to make the most of his lot in life while his half brother is miserable, trying to grab all he can get as he bullies others including Eddie who he seems to resent.
Then there is Maisie who finds herself conflicted by her roots and her success. Hard work and sacrifice have brought her success and blessings. She remembers that "to whom much is given, much is expected". She received help to succeed; shouldn't she help others? The trouble is that her efforts to help others is turning around to bite her. Her friends caution her that you can be too helpful and in doing so cause more harm than good.
It makes one consider the different political positions in our country today. One speaks of a hand up while the other offers a hand out. The difference might well be seen in Eddie's character verses his half brothers character. One finds happiness and character in the struggle while the other feels life is unfair and is miserable even with the things he is given.
Winspear adds a third element to the mix, the media. There is a covert effort to influence the thinking of the populous, something not so covert in today's world. This take on "Elegy for Eddie" make me wonder if J.W. is using Maisie to speak wisdom to her followers; a wisdom some may find elusive.
I'd recommend the Maisie Dobbs series in print, but where on earth does Orlagh Cassidy come up with all these awful phony (and largely pathetic) accents and "unique" pronunciations.
Although nothing like Elegy for Eddie, for the sheer pleasure of listening to a spectrum of British, African, Caribbean and American accents done superbly well, without a single inflection out of place, listen to the Ghanaian-born actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
Somehow, years ago, I managed to get through listening to the previous audiobooks in this series. But with this one - no doubt being spoiled by recent great narrations - I was ready to scream half an hour in. Returning it.
Tell us about yourself! I have been listening to books for 20 years. They get me through long drives, house work and walks with the dog.
I am a huge fan of this series. I like the characters, the time and place. I like how Jacqueline Winspear uses history in subtle ways and how Maisie Dobbs is an independent free thinking woman in a time when that was not the norm.
I bought the first book for my mother and have started her on the series.
How the characters are developed from one book to the next. The personal nature of this story and some of the back story of Maisie.
I very much enjoyed this newest addition to the outstanding Maisie Dobbs series. While the "mystery" part of the story is always entertaining it is the characters that keep the reader returning to this series. And, as always, Orlagh Cassidy's narration adds much to the listening experience!
I ended up kind of conflicted about this story after I finished it. On one hand I liked it very much but there were a couple of things that bugged me. One of them was that some of the character's started taking pot shots at Maisie regarding the way she was handling her new found wealth. They were telling her that trying to help some of the people she cared about was putting them under an obligation to her that was not a good thing. Masie would not be where she is if not for this kind of generosity from Maurice, Lady Compton and to some extent Pricilla. I kind of felt like they were trying to keep her in her place as if they were afraid she would move on with her life and leave her working class background behind like this was some kind of a bad thing.
As a result I thought that then Maisie, never very secure about herself anyway, over reactes with what seemed to me with teenage angst (and believe me I have seen enough teen age angst to recognize it when I see it) and started clutching her working class background like a hair shirt she was afraid to take off for fear she wouldn't be normal anymore unless she was itching. As a result poor James ended up in the crossfire. Maisie needs to pull herself together, grow a tougher skin and grow up a little.
But I thought the mystery was good and I could see the basis for some darn good stories in the future. And as ever, Windspeare does a stellar job of nailing the time and place. She obviously is as fascinated with that era as I am.
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