Sunday, March 23, 2014

BOOK: Among the Mad (plus more) by Jacqueline Winspear

I guess this turned into Maisie March, as I've just completed my third Maisie Dobbs book, following An Incomplete Revenge from the end of February. One of the things I've enjoyed in this series is the different aspects from WWI that Winspear explores. Even in 1930, the effects of the first war are far reaching.

Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear, 304 pages
(book 6 of 11)
Shell-shock (now it would be PTSD) dominates this book. Fifteen years later, there are still soldiers suffering although it isn't on display where regular citizens can see it. Billy's wife is herself hospitalized for depression. Luckily, Maisie is able to pull some strings to move her because depressed females in those days do not fare so well. Maisie is enlisted with Scotland Yard to help solve the case of a madman making city-wide vague threats.

The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
9 h 54 min audiobook   (book 7 of 11)
This one explores the role map-makers had in the trenches, as well as the role Americans played in enlisting. Emigrants from England still connected to the homeland. I'm liking Maisie's increased confidence, and looking after herself. She is open to romance (and seems to have a few fellas to pick from) but I'm liking the choice she is making. Much of this book traces the decline of Maurice Blanche and the effect on Maisie. The return to London of her friend Priscilla is another welcome addition to the books.

A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
10 h 4 min, audiobook  (book 8 of 11)
I wish I could get more of these on audiobook, as I've just flown through these two editions. It helps that it is March Break and I've had a bunch of time.  The threat of Germany is beginning to rear its head in 1931 London, and Maisie is enlisted by the secret service to investigate some perceived national security issues at a small private college. Going undercover as a professor, she lands in the middle of a murder. Maisie spends a lot of this book organizing her friends, and with her newfound position of wealth, setting Billy up in a good situation.

After a bit of a lull in the third and fourth books, the direction of the series is fabulous. Loving all the supporting characters - Billy, Priscilla, James, Stratton, MacFarlane, and Maisie's interaction with them. Two more books (Elegy for Eddie, and Leaving Everything Most Loved) and I'll be ready for the newest release, The White Lady scheduled for 2015. That gives me the rest of this year to finish up this series. I thought I'd never get caught up, but suddenly, Maisie March appeared!