In the thrilling new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of An Incomplete Revenge, Maisie Dobbs must catch a madman before he commits murder on an unimaginable scale It's 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. After being 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, Billy Beale, Maisie's trusted assistant, is once again facing tragedy as his wife, who has never recovered from the death of their young daughter, slips further into melancholia's abyss. Soon Maisie becomes involved in a race against time to find a man who proves he has the knowledge and will to inflict death and destruction on thousands of innocent people. And before this harrowing case is over, Maisie must navigate a darkness not encountered since she was a nurse in wards filled with shell-shocked men. 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.
Bestseller Winspears sixth Maisie Dobbs novel (after 2008s An Incomplete Revenge) raises the stakes considerably for her psychologically astute sleuth. On Christmas eve 1931, a man Maisie passes on a London street detonates a bomb, killing himself and slightly wounding Maisie. This traumatic event turns out to be linked to threatening letters the British prime minister starts to receive, the first of which mentions Maisie by name. Maisie joins a high-powered investigative team devoted to averting the cataclysmic disaster promised by the unknown author of the messages. By providing the letter writers perspective, Winspear removes some of the mystery. In addition, Maisies speculative guesses about the profile of the criminal, while accurate, have less logical grounding than traditional puzzle fans might prefer. Still, Winspear does her usual superb job of portraying London between the world wars. (Feb.)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Henry Holt and Co.
February 16, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Among the Mad (A Maisie Dobbs Novel: #6) by Jacqueline Winspear
Chapter 1Early September 1931MaisieDobbs, 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. Though the case was straightforward – a young man fraudulently using his uncle's good name to acquire all manner of goods and services, and an uncle keen to bring his nephew back on the straight and narrow without the police being notified – Maisie felt it was time for Billy to become more involved in the completion of a significant document and to take more of an active part in the final interview with a client. She knew how much Billy wanted to emigrate to Canada, to take his wife and family away from London's dark depression, and the cloud of grief that still hung over them following the death of their daughter, Lizzie, almost a year earlier. To gain a good job in a new country he would need to build more confidence in his work and himself, and seeing as she had already made inquiries on his behalf – without his knowledge – she knew greater dexterity with the written and spoken word would be an important factor in his success. Now the report was ready to be delivered before the Christmas holiday began."Eleven o'clock, Billy – just in time, eh?" Maisie placed the cap on her fountain pen and passed the report to her assistant, who slid it into an envelope and secured it with string. "As soon as this appointment is over, you should be on your way, so that you can spend the rest of the day with Doreen and the boys – it'll be nice to have Christmas Eve at home.""That's good of you, Miss." Billy smiled, then went to the door where he took Maisie's coat and his own from the hook.Maisie packed her document case before reaching under the desk to bring out a wooden orange crate. "You'll have to come back to the office first though.""What's all this, Miss?" Billy's face was flushed as he approached her desk."A Christmas box for each of the boys, and one for you and Doreen." She opened her desk drawer and drew out an envelope. "And this is for you. We had a bit of a rocky summer, but things picked up and we've done quite well – plus we'll be busy in the new year – so this is your bonus. It's all well-earned, I must say."Billy reddened. "Oh, that's very good of you, Miss. I'm much obliged. This'll cheer up Doreen."Maisie smiled in return. She did not need to inquire about Billy's wife, knowing the depth of the woman's melancholy. There had been a time, at the end of the summer, when a few weeks spent hop-picking in Kent had put a bloom on the woman's cheeks, and she seemed to have filled out a little, looking less gaunt. But in London again, the routine of caring for her boys and keeping up with the dressmaking and alterations she took in had not lifted her spirits in any way. She ached for the milky softness of her daughter's small body in her arms.Maisie looked at the clock on the mantelpiece. "We'd better be off."They donned coats and hats and wrapped up against the chill wind that whistled around corners and blew across Fitzroy Square as they made their way towards Charlotte Street. Dodging behind a horse and cart, they ran to the other side of the road as a motor car came along in the opposite direction. The street was busy, with people rushing this way and that, heads down against the wind, some with parcels under their arms, others simply hoping to get home early. In the distance, Maisie noticed a man – she could not tell whether he was young or old – sitting on the pavement, leaning against the exterior wall of a shop. Even with some yards between them, she could see the grayness that enveloped him, the malaise, the drooping shoulders, one leg outstretched so passers-by had to skirt around him. His damp hair was slicke