A group of working men from Maisie's childhood London neighborhood come to see her about the death of Eddie Pettit, a young mentally challenged gentle giant who had a magic way with every horse he ever met. Eddie was killed in an accident in a paper factory, but the men believe that his death was swept under the rug in such a manner that they feel something's not right. The men all know Maisie and trust her to do the right thing.
This case, with such strong ties to her lower class roots, comes at a time when Maisie is beginning to wonder if her relationship with a wealthy and titled man has any real future. Juggling both her personal and professional lives is tricky and exhausting, especially when the investigation sends one of her employees to the hospital. Maisie knows that something's not right about Eddie's death, and although the case may lead much higher than she'd originally thought, she's determined to find the truth and to bring his mother some measure of peace.
I've loved this series from the very beginning, and my affection for it grows with each new book. Maisie's personal life is every bit as interesting as the case she is trying to solve. She faces a very real dilemma, not only in dealing with her relationship with a wealthy man, but in how she deals with the inheritance she received. Her tendency to spend money on all those she cares for may not have the results she intends, and it's something with which she must come to terms.
Elegy for Eddie brings the working class areas of London to life-- all the people who have yet to truly recover from the First World War are now in the depths of the Depression. Life is precarious... and precious... and it warms my heart at how these people who have very little themselves insist on doing what's right for Eddie and for his grieving mother. Hitler and Fascism cast darkening shadows over everything, making me wonder what will happen to these characters I've grown to care for when yet another horrific war begins.
The Maisie Dobbs series is perfect for those who love historical mysteries, for those who love intriguing investigations, and for those who love characters that work themselves into your heart. All that and a bit of psychology, too, because as Maisie asks herself some very thought-provoking and important questions, it's impossible for readers not to ponder them and answer the same questions for themselves.
Elegy for Eddie stands alone quite well, but please treat yourself to all the books. The development of Maisie's character throughout the series is a literary feast you don't find often enough.
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
Harper © 2012
Hardcover, 335 pages
Historical Mystery, Private Investigator
#9 in the Maisie Dobbs series
Source: Paperback Swap