- Series: Maisie Dobbs (Book 6)
- Paperback: 303 pages
- Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (November 24, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312429258
- ISBN-13: 978-0312429256
Christmas Eve, 1931. On the way to see a client, Maisie Dobbs witnesses a man commit suicide on a busy London street. The following day, the Prime Minister’s office receives a letter threatening a massive loss of life if certain demands are not met—and the writer mentions Maisie by name. Tapped by Scotland Yard’s elite Special Branch to be a special adviser on the case, Maisie is soon involved in a race against time to find a man who proves he has the knowledge and will to inflict destruction on thousands of innocent people.
In Among the Mad, Jacqueline Winspear combines a heart-stopping story with a rich evocation of a fascinating period to create her most compelling and satisfying novel yet.
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Meet the author:
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK.
She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.
A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women’s magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom and Europe.
Jacqueline’s grandfather was severely wounded and shell-shocked at The Battle of the Somme in 1916, and it was as she understood the extent of his suffering that, even in childhood, Jacqueline became deeply interested in the “war to end all wars” and its aftereffects. As an adult her interest deepened to the extent that, though she did not set out to write a “war” novel, it came as no surprise that this part of history formed the backdrop of Maisie Dobbs and other books in the series. The unique and engaging character of Maisie Dobbs is very much a woman of her generation. She has come of age at a time when women took on the toil of men and claimed independence that was difficult to relinquish. It was a time when many women remained unmarried, simply because a generation of men had gone to war and not come home.
“The war and its aftermath provide fertile ground for a mystery. Such great social upheaval allows for the strange and unusual to emerge and a time of intense emotions can, to the writer of fiction, provide ample fodder for a compelling story, especially one concerning criminal acts and issues of guilt and innocence. After all, a generation is said to have lost its innocence in The Great War. The mystery genre provides a wonderful vehicle for exploring such a time,” explains Ms. Winspear.
Jacqueline’s first novel, Maisie Dobbs, was a National Bestseller and received an array of accolades, including New York Times Notable Book 2003, a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Mystery 2003, and a BookSense Top Ten selection. In addition, the novel was nominated for 7 awards, including the Edgar for Best Novel—only the second time a first novel was nominated in this category. She subsequently won the prestigious Agatha Award for Best First novel, the Macavity Award for Best First Novel; and the Alex Award, which is presented annually by the American Library Association in conjunction with the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust. Maisie Dobbs was published by Soho Press in hardcover and by Penguin in paperback, an edition that spent almost four months on the Independent Mystery Booksellers Bestseller list in 2004.
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Book six of the Maisie Dobbs series opens with a “bang”! Literally. Maisie is injured as she witnesses a man’s suicide on a busy London street. Perplexed by the suicide, Maisie “presence” is requested by Scotland Yard’s Elite Special Branch to ferret out the writer of a threatening letter to a high government official who is suspected of instigating the suicide-bombing, and is determined to pursue the investigation using her skills and wits without the interference of the male detectives assigned to the same case. Her assistant Billie Beale proves once again to be a valuable asset to the case, despite the fact that his family life is going through a distressing emotional upheaval.
Having followed Maisie Dobb’s story from the previous six books in the series I was curious to see how the explosion from the suicide would affect her. As a nurse who suffered from PTSD (war neurosis as it was termed after the war) Maisie has had to learn to identify the source of the mental anguish she suffers from and come to terms with the loss of the love of her life. Maisie is a strong, intelligent and compassionate woman who works constantly to keep the past at bay. She’s human and we can feel her struggle.
This book can be read as a “stand-alone” novel however, Maisie Dobbs’ character has been developed quite nicely through the previous six books and it would be a shame not to have read them first.
An entertaining and informative segment in this series that a reader of historical fiction would enjoy. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series “The Mapping of Love and Death”.
Tuesday, March 1st: My Book Retreat – Maisie Dobbs
Wednesday, March 2nd: Jancee Reads – Maisie Dobbs
Wednesday, March 2nd: Reading Reality – Birds of a Feather
Thursday, March 3rd: View from the Birdhouse – Birds of a Feather
Thursday, March 3rd: BookNAround – Pardonable Lies
Thursday, March 3rd: Puddletown Reviews – Pardonable Lies
Thursday, March 3rd: From the TBR Pile – Messenger of Truth
Monday, March 7th: Books & Tea – An Incomplete Revenge
Monday, March 7th: Olduvai Reads – An Incomplete Revenge
Tuesday, March 8th: #redhead.with.book – Among the Mad
Wednesday, March 9th: Lavish Bookshelf – The Mapping of Love and Death
Thursday, March 10th: Joyfully Retired – A Lesson in Secrets
Monday, March 14th: Queen of All She Reads – Elegy for Eddie
Monday, March 14th: Lis Carey’s Library – Leaving Everything Most Loved
Tuesday, March 15th: Nighttime Reading Center – Leaving Everything Most Loved
Tuesday, March 15th: Lit and Life – Leaving Everything Most Loved
Wednesday, March 16th: Emerald City Book Review – A Dangerous Place
Wednesday, March 16th: History from a Woman’s Perspective – Leaving Everything Most Loved
Monday, March 21st: A Bookish Affair – Leaving Everything Most Loved
Monday, March 21st: Book Nerd – A Dangerous Place
Wednesday, March 23rd: Carina Gonzalez – A Dangerous Place
Thursday, March 24th: My Reader’s Block – Leaving Everything Most Loved
Thursday, March 24th: Lis Carey’s Library – A Dangerous Place
Tuesday, March 29th: Curling Up by the Fire – Journey to Munich
Tuesday, March 29th: nomadreader – Journey to Munich
Wednesday, March 30th: A Chick Who Reads – Journey to Munich
Thursday, March 31st: A Bookish Way of Life – Journey to Munich
Friday, April 1st: A Bookish Affair – A Dangerous Place
Friday, April 1st: My Book Retreat – Journey to Munich
Monday, April 4th: Raven Haired Girl – Journey to Munich
Tuesday, April 5th: Broken Teepee – Journey to Munich
Wednesday, April 6th: Reading Reality – Journey to Munich
Thursday, April 7th: Dwell in Possibility – Journey to Munich
Monday, April 11th: Luxury Reading – Journey to Munich
Tuesday, April 12th: M. Denise Costello – Journey to Munich
Wednesday, April 13th: A Bookish Affair – Journey to Munich
Thursday, April 14th: A Bookworm’s World – Journey to Munich
Monday, April 18th: Joyfully Retired – Journey to Munich
Tuesday, April 19th: Lavish Bookshelf – Journey to Munich
Wednesday, April 20th: bookchickdi – Journey to Munich
Wednesday, April 20th: Emerald City Book Review – Journey to Munich
Thursday, April 21st: Nighttime Reading Center – Journey to Munich
Monday, April 25th: Time 2 Read – Journey to Munich