Saturday, January 28, 2012

More of a Growth Experience for Maisie than an Elegy

Eddie Pettit, a gentle giant who loved horses, is dead. In spite of being slow, Eddie was loved by the people of his neighborhood, which is the same neighborhood Maisie grew up in. The costermongers, men who own horse-drawn vegetable carts, were Maisie's strong supporters when she was growing up. When they come to her to find out whether Eddie was murdered, she can't refuse.

Searching for the answers to Eddie's death, leads Maisie to an examination of her own life. Finding the answer to how Eddie died puts Billy, one of her employees, in serious danger. It also makes Maggie think about how she interacts with people and whether her good intentions are more helpful or hurtful. It also raises questions about her relationship with James and leads to a great deal of soul searching.

The book is much more a story of Maisie's growth that a serious mystery. Although she looks for clues, she spends a great proportion of the book thinking about her life and who and what she is. This is fine, if you're more interested in character development that a good mystery. I found the character of James, Maisie's lover, too good to be true. He seems to have no role except to love Maisie no matter how she treats him.

I found the writing irritating in places. It's it hard to believe that people, even before World War II, talked in complete paragraphs when they were having a conversation. Also the description is rather stilted in places. I presume this is supposed to be like a book written in that era. However, the story is good and well worth the trouble of reading through rather stilted dialogue.

I enjoyed the book, and if you're a Maisie Dobbs fan, it's a good addition to the series.

I reviewed this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program.