The Cartographers

Jane’s Pick: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

What a magical little mystery – I loved this book! I had heard good things about it but purposely went into reading it knowing very little about the plot. Quickly, the writing drew me into the mystery – how can I resist historic public libraries, archives, and maps?!? But then a page turned, and with a whisper, elements of magic appeared, and I fell more in love. I adore magical realism, and this book delivered it in a wonderful way!

The core mystery revolves around a seemingly worthless gas station map that the main character, Nell, finds among her deceased father’s possessions. Soon Nell finds the map is exceedingly rare because a mysterious collector has been hunting down all the copies and destroying them. Nell embarks on solving the mystery while learning more about her past. 

But, be warned – this isn’t a traditional mystery book – it is magical realism with lots of unbelievable twists and turns. So, if you are looking for a logical solution to the central mysteries in the book, you may be disappointed. However, if you are looking for an unexpected and unique book, I recommend the Cartographers. 

 “Maps are love letters written to times and places their makers had explored.”

Peng Shepherd, The Cartographers