Thursday, March 29, 2012

17. Elegy for Eddie

By:  Jacqueline Winspeare
Rated 4 Stars
Audio Book

 I ended up kind of conflicted about this 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.  Not a word about how Maurice, Lady Compton and Priscilla did the same thing for her. 

As a result I thought that then Maisie over reacted with what seemed to me with teenage angst (and believe 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. 

I also thought  her willingness to swan around in Priscilla's cast off's and her reluctance to buy herself new clothes or even, for heaven's sake pay to have her car tuned up went beyond thriftiness and bordered on parsimony.  If I'm going to continue this series Masie is going to have to do a little growing up and moving on.

But on a positive note II 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.

Product Description:

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.