Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

Word Lily review

Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear, Maisie Dobbs book 9 (Harper, March 27, 2012), 352 pages

It’s the spring of 1933, and the costermongers Maisie grew up with come to her for help. They’re convinced that a guy from their neighborhood was murdered, that his death was not an accident. Eddie was a gentle soul, more boy than man. Most of the neighborhood looked out for him with kindness. And when a horse needed calmed? He was the one to call.

Note: This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.

In Elegy for Eddie Maisie continues to walk somewhat blindly through life, confident when it comes to her cases but not so clear in her personal life and relationships. Her life has changed drastically, and while she thinks she has come to terms with that, she’s still working it out.

More than a note of sadness pervades this book, as instead of recovering from World War I the global perspective shifts to preparing for World War II.

The state of her relationship with James in this book was frustrating to me, most of the way through (if not all the way). I kept thinking, *if they would just sit down and talk to each other, they’re more on the same page than either of them thinks they are.* I know I sometimes live with slights, imagined or otherwise, rather than addressing them immediately, but so many things could be solved by just a little communication!

I did like how this case took her back to the part of London where she grew up. This dovetailed nicely (as I’ve come to expect from Winspear) with the conflict Maisie’s feeling presently about her place in society.

At this point in the series, my affection for any particular title is greatly influenced by the state of Maisie’s relationship with her beau. And I was pretty unsettled, disgruntled, annoyed by how this was handled in this book. It reminds me of how I felt about Bones last year. It felt like, to drag the series out, they had Brennan reverting to old behavior, like she’d forgotten everything she’d learned, all the ways she’d grown over the past several years. Maisie seemed to be acting like Brennan — not as the person we’ve come to know her to be, but as the person she grew beyond already. That comparison might be a little unfair, but it’s how I felt while reading.

Maisie Dobbs books

1. Maisie Dobbs [my review]
2. Birds of a Feather [my review]
3. Pardonable Lies [my review]
4. Messenger of Truth [my review]
5. An Incomplete Revenge [my review]
6. Among the Mad [my review]
7. The Mapping of Love and Death [my review]
8. A Lesson in Secrets
9. Elegy for Eddie

Rating: 3.75 stars

About the author
Jacqueline Winspear (Facebook) quit her day job for her writing when she saw the tour schedule for Birds of a Feather. She lives in California, after leaving England in 1990. She finally has a blog.

Other reviews
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.


10 responses to “Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

  1. Oh no! I’ve been really afraid of this. I was so pleased with the emergence of Maisie and James’s relationship, so to hear that it wasn’t as evident or as smooth as I’d like is disappointing. I really think Maisie needs this. After Dene didn’t work, and she seemed to deal with her past with Simon, I was hoping they could both really have a bit of happiness. Grr. I wrote a Maisie profile on my blog today, and Steph from Steph and Tony Investigate mentioned that she gave up on the series because Maisie doesn’t really seem to change.

    And I agree, but I was willing to forgive because I feel she’s stunted in ways. But still. Man up, Maisie! 😉

  2. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Uuuuugh I hate long drawn out relationship stuff. i wish writers would stop assassinating their characters in the name of romances!

    • Agreed. (And well-worded, you!) There are plenty of examples of stories where the “happily ever after” happens in the middle and the 2nd half of the story doesn’t suck.

  3. Relationships like that can be frustrating in books, but the fact that you care says a lot to me.

  4. I’ve only just read The Mapping of Love and Death so as I’m starting this one, I’m not too frustrated by the state of James and Maisie’s relationship, at least not early on. But your comments make me wonder if I would be frustrated to go back and read the earlier books and then think back on this one.

  5. I just picked up my first Maisie book at the library sale, thanks to your plugs on these books. I hope I have a good one to start with!

  6. I read the first in the series and really loved it. So I read the second one, and was a bit disappointed by it – I loved how she was trying to solve her emotional problems, and realizing she has to let love in – but i was annoyed by how she knows all these ways to inner peace without struggling to do them – she just takes to meditation as easily as everything else. I do have book 3, and plan to read the whole series, though your review for Elegy for Eddie will make me aware that there are interesting issues with this series. Good review, Word Lily.

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