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Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear

Among the Mad

by Jacqueline Winspear

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  1. 20
    A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd (MurderMysteryMayhem)
  2. 10
    The War Against Miss Winter by Kathryn Miller Haines (dla911)
    dla911: The would be actress becomes a detective when her gumshoe boss is murdered in New York during WWII. Captures the essense of NYC and its inhabitants. Great read.

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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
That was my first book of the Maisie Dobbs Mystery serie, but definitely not the last one. I like this kind of cosy mystery. I love the character of Maisie Dobbs. She is caring for the people next to her and very tough and specific in the way of her investigations. She is a person who won't let up a lead and therefore can be uncomfortably for her counterpart. She sees a murderer not only as a evil person but also as a victim of his life. As a side-effect I love it when a woman is a step ahead of her male colleagues.

Chemical and biological weapons are parts of this story. What gives to think to me mostly is the fact that the development of those weapons were tested with human beings and nowadays they are still tested with creatures. In my simple understanding as a citizen of the world, I thinks it's unforgivable that those terrible weapons still are produced and used. ( )
  Ameise1 | Mar 7, 2014 |
I love this series. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Although I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series and will continue to read these book, I must say this was not one of my favorite installments.

This book takes Maisie deep into the world of mental health care in the early 1930s. A disenfranchised war veteran who is able to make chemical weapons is threatening to attack the entire city within a matter of days and has, inexplicably, mentioned Maisie Dobbs in the first of several threatening letters. When dead animals that have apparently been gassed begin to show up, the race against the clock becomes all the more urgent.

Thus Maisie is brought under the umbrella of the Special Branch and MI-5 and even has a tete a tete with the PM, all while racing to save the city.

There wasn't enough mystery, to put it bluntly. Although Winspear has, as always, thoroughly researched the time period and how mental health was administered, it was fairly obvious from the beginning what was going on. There is some good character/plot development with the Beales, however.

Fans of the series will enjoy this book, as I did, but it may not be the most memorable of Maisie's adventures. ( )
  Shutzie27 | Feb 2, 2014 |
In what is possibly my favorite installment to date, Maisie is called upon to assist Special Branch of Scotland Yard in an investigation in which a man is using chemical warfare similar to what she had encountered in World War I. She had tried to prevent a man from blowing himself up and had been witnessed by the letter writer who mentioned her name in his threat. At the same time Billy's wife Doreen has been committed to an old school mental hospital because her sadness in the loss of her daughter has grown to the point that she is a danger to herself and possibly to others. Maisie immediately works to get Doreen transferred to an institution with more up to date methods. The book deals with the treatment of veterans, particularly those who suffered shell shock and illnesses brought own by exposure to chemical weaponry. It also takes a look at the mental health system of the day. There is a potential for a continuing relationship in future installments of this series. Great installment! ( )
  thornton37814 | Jan 11, 2014 |
Maisie Dobbs is helping Scotland Yard try to find who is making treats to some of England's leaders. Maisie tries to prevent a man from blowing himself up and this ties into the letter received by Scotland Yard with the treats. The letter mentions Maisie's name and this is why she is brought into the case. This book is timely as it also looks at how veterans are treated after war, even though this is World War I. I love how Maisie thinks in solving the crime and goes out on her own to find the truth. ( )
  Coltfan18 | Oct 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Like Maisie, the novel’s storytelling style is efficient and humorless, but deeply empathetic.
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"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad here.
I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
A short time ago death was the cruel stranger, the visitor with the flannel footsteps ... today it is the mad dog in the house. One eats, one drinks beside the dead, one sleeps in the midst of the dying, one laughs and sings in the company of corpses.

French doctor serving at Verdun in the Great War
Dedicated to my wonderful Godchildren:

Charlotte Sweet McEwan
Charlotte Pye
Greg Belpomme
Alexandra Jones

Keep True to the Dreams of thy Youth
~ Friedrich von Schiller
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London, Christmas Eve, 1931

Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, picked up her fountain pen to sign her name at the end of a final report that she and her assistant, Billy Beale, had worked late to complete the night before.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312429258, Paperback)

Jacqueline Winspear on Among the Mad

Jacqueline Winspear From the time I realized that in Maisie Dobbs I had a series character, I've wanted to explore further the phenomenon of the range of war neuroses known to the layperson as "shell shock," and how we see those whose behavior isn't always within the bounds of what we consider "normal." I also wanted to look again, through the lens of story and history, at the manner in which society treats wounded veterans, especially those whose wounds cannot be seen, but are of the mind and spirit. To do this, I drew as much upon personal experience as my research.

As many of my readers know, my grandfather suffered both physical wounds and shell shock in the Great War, and as a child I remember having to be quiet around him, so as not to excite or trouble an elderly man with terrible memories. Later, in my mid-teens, I attended a school where we were required to undertake community service one afternoon each week (and we had to attend school on Saturday mornings to make up for it!). So, on Wednesday afternoons, I joined a small group who visited a psychiatric hospital--to talk to the patients, make the tea, read to them and generally offer kindness and companionship. I can recall many of the patients, some who were obviously not able to live outside an institution, and others who inspired one to wonder why they were there at all--and when you found out, the reason was often shocking. I remember one patient I talked with each week, an astoundingly sharp, intelligent man. He had been a top-ranking surgeon, one who was regarded as almost without peer. He was also a madman, a murderer. I thought of him often while writing Among the Mad.

Last year, during my book tour, a military chaplain came to one of my events and stayed behind afterwards to talk to me. He told me that he recommended my books to the families of those who have suffered loss during the Iraq war, and especially to people who are trying to accommodate the special needs of a soldier suffering from what we today call Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). He added that in reading a story where such losses are suffered in a time of war, yet separated by history, it facilitates a deeper understanding of what the returning veteran might be experiencing, and challenges involved in coming home from war.

The recent news that servicemen and woman wounded by PTSD will not be eligible for the Military Order of the Purple Heart--awarded to US military personnel who have been wounded or killed in a war zone--struck a chord. In Britain during and following the Great War there was much controversy about war neuroses, and many soldiers were denied a pension as a result of a clampdown on the diagnosis of shell shock. In my second novel, Birds of a Feather, one of the characters says, "That’s the trouble with war, it’s never over when it's over, it lives on inside the living." Such a sentiment is never more true than in the case of the man or woman who has served their country in a time of war, but who has to live with that war reverberating in their mind every single day for the rest of their lives. Maisie Dobbs is such a person, as is the person she is in a race to find in Among the Mad.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:20 -0400)

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Maisie Dobbs must catch a madman before he commits murder on an unimaginable scale.

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