Book Review: Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs, 6)

Among the Mad, the sixth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, is a gripping and emotional historical mystery set in 1930s London. The story begins on Christmas Eve, when Maisie witnesses a man commit suicide on a busy street. The next day, a letter arrives at the prime minister’s office threatening a massive loss of life if certain demands are not met, and the writer mentions Maisie by name.

As Maisie is questioned and cleared by Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane of Scotland Yard’s elite Special Branch, she is drawn into MacFarlane’s personal fiefdom as a special adviser on the case. Meanwhile, Maisie’s assistant Billy Beale is struggling with his own personal tragedy as his wife slips further into melancholia after the death of their young daughter.

The stakes are high as Maisie becomes involved in a race against time to find the man behind the threat before he can carry out his plans. Along the way, she must navigate a darkness not encountered since her days as a nurse in wards filled with shell-shocked men during the Great War.

Winspear’s writing is powerful and evocative, bringing to life the sights, sounds, and emotions of 1930s London. She skillfully weaves together the personal and professional lives of her characters, creating a rich and engaging narrative. Maisie is a complex and compelling protagonist, and her relationships with the other characters, particularly with Billy Beale, are deeply moving.

Among the Mad is a thrilling and emotional read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. It is a must-read for fans of historical mysteries, and a great introduction to the Maisie Dobbs series for those who are new to the books.


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