AmongtheMadJacquelineWin53129_fSo Among the Mad is the fifth in the increasingly excellent Maisie Dobbs series, and finds our heroine in London on Christmas Eve 1931, where she and her faithful right-hand man witness what we would call now a suicide bomber blow himself up in a busy street.

Although she doesn’t know the man involved, Maisie is soon drawn into the case when she is named in a letter which follows the bombing and it becomes clear that some sort of campaign is afoot. Maisie finds herself trying to apply her unique methods of working while assigned to Scotland Yard, and with all of the cases she has been involved in before now, the shadow of the First World War is never too far away.

I really like Maisie as a character and was pleased to see that this story matched up to the previous volumes. The psychological impact of the war on all of those involved in whatever capacity comes across very strongly in the novel, and it’s worth remembering that returning soldiers were not always treated as well as they deserved given what they had suffered, as much because the rest of the population wanted to move on, and of course the Depression also had an effect. The author manages to get this detail into the story without being too heavy handed and I thought it worked very well.

It’s also nice to see Maisie’s own personal story develop, not just in relation to her family and friends but with the people who have become her colleagues in investigating this case, whether she has chosen them or not.

A good solid read for a warm and humid summer.

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