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Review: Elegy for Eddie

May 20, 2012

Eddie Pettit was a sweet, gentle man known for his ability to work with difficult horses.  He was a little slow, but everyone loved him because of his kind spirit.  When Eddie dies in an accident his friends are sure he was murdered but the police think otherwise and don’t investigate.

Since Maisie Dobbs came from the same neighborhood Eddie did, his friends look to her for answers.  Maisie was fond of Eddie and is determined to solve the case.

I’ve heard so much about Maisie Dobbs that I almost had myself worked up into a tizzy before I listened to Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear.  I couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about and, I’m sad to admit, it didn’t live up to my lofty expectations.  I’m not sure if my expectations were too high or if coming into the series this late was the problem but I didn’t adore this book the way I thought I would.  I don’t want to give the impression that I thought the book was bad because I didn’t – I just didn’t love it.

Elegy for Eddie is set in the years before World War II and there’s plenty of talk of war and Hitler.  At times the war talk seemed to overshadow the mystery to me.   It also seemed that there was more talk than action in the book.  I’m not sure I really understood the relationship between Maisie and James and wondered if I’d missed something as I listened.

I did enjoy the setting – both time and place – and the characters.  I can definitely see the appeal in Maisie.  She’s smart and loyal and hasn’t forgotten where she came from.   I thought a few of her conclusions were a little odd, but going into details might spoil things.

The audio version of this book was narrated by Orlagh Cassidy and she does a marvelous job, especially when she was reading dialogue.  Her accents sounded so good to me I was surprised to discover she’s American.  The audio version runs just over ten hours.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
20 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2012 6:58 am

    I’m not surprised this didn’t meet your expectations for your introduction to Maisie Dobbs, because I think this series is best read from the beginning. Her whole background is presented in the first book and sets up the series. You really get to know and love her. I only thought this one was “good,” but still can’t wait for the next just to visit with her again.

  2. May 20, 2012 7:25 am

    Oh no you definitely have to go back to the beginning! I love this series but it builds. The mysteries, themselves are stand alone but the main players that appear in each book are ones that grow on you. I’d gave the series another try from the start!

  3. May 20, 2012 9:33 am

    I’m not as fond of Maisie Dobbs as others, but then I haven’t read many of the books. I do think it’s better to get to know Maisie from the beginning and then the charm of the period and the characters wins you over.

  4. May 20, 2012 9:47 am

    I still haven’t read a Maisie book – I agree the expectations are too high!

  5. talesofwhimsy permalink
    May 20, 2012 10:45 am

    Sounds fun. I looooooooooooooove mysteries.

  6. rosecityreader permalink
    May 20, 2012 12:57 pm

    I read the first one and then abandoned the series. It just didn’t do anything for me.

  7. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    May 20, 2012 1:33 pm

    I have the first Maise Dobbs book and the second on audio. Was this one to be read in conjunction with the Maisie?

  8. May 20, 2012 3:57 pm

    I haven’t read any of the books yet, but I intend to start from the beginning. I saw the author last year in Tucson so I picked up the first book then, but sadly haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’m hoping I won’t be disappointed.

  9. May 20, 2012 4:18 pm

    I came late to this series too, and I think it might be a series I have to start from the beginning to understand the relationships.

  10. May 20, 2012 4:27 pm

    I must read more Maisie! I think I have only read the first 3 books

  11. May 20, 2012 5:28 pm

    I still need to read the last two in this series. I love Maisie though. I agree with others–start at the beginning! 🙂

  12. May 20, 2012 5:39 pm

    I hear you about the lack of action; that’s why my husband and daughter didn’t really care for the one we read (the book that comes before this one). I think I just got caught up in the setting and the characters, but I really think we need to go back to the beginning to truly understand the characters and their relationships. Glad you gave this series a try, though!

  13. Patty permalink
    May 20, 2012 9:27 pm

    I read one of her books a while ago and I did not love it either!

  14. May 21, 2012 12:00 am

    I love this series, but this was my least favorite of them all. I’m afraid had I started with this one, I would have been let down as well. This is one series, that in order to understand the characters, should be started from the first book.

  15. May 21, 2012 1:28 am

    I have been wanting to read the Maisie Dobbs series for a log time. I think I’ll take the advise of the other commentors and start with the first book.

  16. May 21, 2012 6:42 am

    It’s a series I intend to read at some point. Good to know you liked the audiobook.

  17. zibilee permalink
    May 21, 2012 5:45 pm

    I felt the same way about the first book. Everyone raved over it, and it was just ok for me. It wasn’t bad, by any means, just not as wonderful as I had thought it would be. I kind of gave up on the series after that. Not to say that I haven’t been tempted to try again, but I think you just put my expectations in check with this one. Thanks for being my voice of reason on this one!

  18. bookingmama permalink
    May 22, 2012 12:46 pm

    I know you don’t want to hear this, but you need to read the entire series. You become attached to these characters and then you can’t get enough of their stories!

  19. May 23, 2012 10:44 pm

    I want to read Maisie someday and I’ll start with the first one. It’s hard to come to a series late.

  20. May 25, 2012 9:23 am

    I have to agree with everyone else, you can’t just start with this newest book, this is not a stand-alone sort of series.

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