Nov 11, 2012
Book Review: ELEGY FOR EDDIE by Jacqueline Winspear
Title: Elegy for Eddie: a Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear
Published: October 30, 2012; Harper Perennial
Genre: historical mystery
Maisie Dobbs, private investigator in London, 1933, is asked by Covent Garden costoermongers -fruit and vegetable sellers - to find the person or persons behind the suspicious death of Eddie Pettit, a simple minded man who had a special gift understanding and working with horses. Eddie was hit and killed by a massive roll of paper that had fallen from a conveyor belt in a paper manufacturing firm owned by an important newspaperman. To Eddie's friends, the incident was not an accident but deliberate.
The mystery plot is tied to a larger scenario - Britain's preparing way in advance for a likely war with Hitler's Germany.
Comments: The plot moves well - the life and death of Eddie Pettit, a simple worker, integrated with the larger political scene in England in 1933.
This was my first introduction to Maisie Dobbs and to her lover James Compton, who unlike Maisie, belongs to a privileged and wealthy English family. I wish I had met Maisie in her first books and read about her early struggles growing up in the working class and the gradual improvement in her life before this book, which seems to be the ninth in the series. I felt as I read along I had missed out on a whole lot about Maisie and would have appreciated the character better if I had seen how she had developed. Nevertheless, this can be a stand alone read.