Elegy for Eddie: Book summary and reviews of Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

Elegy for Eddie

A Maisie Dobbs Novel

by Jacqueline Winspear

Elegy for Eddie
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012
    352 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

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 bestselling 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The involved plot is as good as any in the series, and the resolution is intelligently complex." - Publishers Weekly

"Certainly not Winspear's strongest mystery. But newcomers will enjoy the exploration of class-bound Britain between the wars, and fans will relish the continued development of Maisie's complicated character." - Kirkus Reviews

"Winspear hits just the right notes in her portrayal of Maisie struggling with her newly acquired wealth and the social constraints of her new love. This emotional story will leave readers questioning whether the ends really do justify the means." - Library Journal

"Winspear's books are stronger on atmosphere than plot, and here she vividly evokes early-twentieth-century London and the glaring disparity between the haves and have-nots." - Booklist

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Cloggie Downunder

Another excellent Winspear mystery.
“Everything good has a dark side, even generosity. It can become overbearing, intimidating, even humiliating – and no one likes to think someone else is pulling the strings….”

Elegy For Eddie is the ninth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and private investigator, is asked to investigate the supposedly accidental death of a simple man with an uncanny gift for dealing with horses. Eddie Pettit was well-known and loved amongst the costermongers of Covent Garden, former associates of Maisie’s father, Frankie, and they are sceptical about the circumstances of Eddie’s death.

As Billy Beale and Maisie try to discover a motive for his death, they learn that Eddie had certain special talents that were not apparent. Maisie discovers two other deaths that were ruled suicides but which strike her as suspicious, and Billy’s investigations land him in the hospital. His wife Doreen’s slowly-recovering mental health suffers a setback, and Maisie is taken to task for her need for control. Her relationship with James Compton takes a new direction, Maisie accepts counsel from an unexpected quarter and discovers a few surprising things about her father, her best friend’s husband and her lover.

This instalment is set in April 1933, against a background of increasing Fascism in Germany that signals the possibility of another war. Winspear touches on the power of the press, the subtle use of propaganda, and the balance between freedom of information and the need for national security, as well as the position of women in society. Winspear develops her main characters more fully and her plot takes a few unexpected turns. Another excellent Winspear mystery.

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Author Information

Jacqueline Winspear Author Biography

Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London's Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in both general and academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK.

She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal/professional coach, she embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.

A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women's magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She currently divides her time between Ojai and the ...

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