The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd, fiction, 4.5/5 stars, 392 pages, 2022
Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.
But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence… because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.
But why?from Goodreads
The Cartographers was in my TBR box last fall and I’m sad that it took me this long to get to it. I didn’t really know much of anything about it and went in blind. Finding some maptastic magical realism along the way made me happy 😁
Nell was estranged from her father and her college boyfriend for 7 years because of a disagreement at the NYPL map division, where they all worked. When her dad is found dead in his office it sets off a hunt that Nell can’t quite quit even at great danger to herself.
I really liked this one. There are a lot of characters, but one storyline. I liked learning more about map making. The mystery was good and told at just the right pace to keep me hooked. If you don’t like bits of magic in your book, you might try a different title.