Book Review: Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

2 May

Genre: Historical fiction/Crime fiction

Series: Maisie Dobbs #9

Publisher: Harper Collins (Harper)

Pub date: 27 March 2012

Source: Publisher via NetGalley


In this ninth book of the series, Maisie is approached by her father’s friends to look into the death of Eddie. Eddie is a little ‘slow’ but has an amazing ability to talk to horses. When he dies in a factory accident, his friends suspect that there was more to it. Only too happy to repay these men for all the help they gave her family, Maisie takes on the case.


This is only the second Maisie Dobbs book I’ve read, (Review for A Lesson in Secrets) but already there is a feeling of going back to old friends. In this story, Maisie is dealing with her discomfort with where her life is. Still not at ease with her sudden riches and uncomfortable in high society, Maisie is also questioning her relationship with James.

As with other Maisie books, there is a lot more to the story than just the unraveling of the mystery. But perhaps in this one, the suspicious death of Eddie Potts is just the background to other events in our heroine’s life and the world at large. Maisie goes back to her poor Lambeth roots to get to the bottom of what happened to Eddie. Eddie was a horse whisperer at a time when horses were being replaced by cars. The questions remains: who would want to harm this child-like man?

The second world war looms larger on the horizon, and in Maisie life, we see her take stock of her situation. More and more she comes to realise that she is overgenerous and controlling of the people around her. This stems from her guilt of sudden riches, but leaves the people around feeling indebted and unable to repay her. Despite all her activity and social contacts, Maisie comes across as a lonely young woman who misses the simple friendships that many other women enjoy. We see her make some difficult decisions about her life and make some changes.

Eddie’s story is a touching one and finding out what really happened also takes us into the world of war, politics and propaganda. Maisie is at a crossroads in her life and I look forward to seeing where she goes from here.


Definitely recommended for fans of the series. If you’re starting to get to know Maisie here, be warmed, the mystery takes the backseat and this is more an introspective novel.

Rating: 4*

*See my Rating policy

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