Book Review of Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, Bk 6)

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, Bk 6)

Continuing in my "catch up" mode, I just finished this book which was really really engrossing and very interesting. Maisie sees a man commit suicide on the street by setting off an explosion. Her intuition tells her she is about to do something, when he sets off the explosion. She is thrown back and suffers a concussion. Not long after she is contacted by Scotland Yard after they receive a letter threatening to kill a large number of people and mentioning her name. Soon MI-5 is involved although a member introduces himself as Military Intelligence Section 5. The time is December 1931 and January 1932. The letter writer is a WWI veteran. The economic times are grim, and many people are out of work. The government has awarded pensions to some veterans, but many others are literally scraping by. There are hospitals still full of veterans who are mentally unable to be on their own.

There is also a sub story involving Maisie's employee, Billy and his wife, Doreen. In a later book, I read about her having a mental breakdown after the death of her little girl. However, the later books talked about her slowly regaining her sanity. In this book she is at the height of her depression, screaming at her two boys not to touch the gifts for their sister that are under the tree, not giving the boys the love and attention she needs as well as not keeping herself and her home clean and presentable. When she cuts herself with a knife, Billy calls the doctor who sends an ambulance to pick her up and take her to a mental institution. Unfortunately, their methods are old fashioned and even dangerous. Billy is concerned. Maisie intervenes and uses her contacts to get her into a more up to date hospital.

As always, this is a lot more complicated than it seems from the outside. It's really excellent. I've read nearly everyone in the series now. Some are better than others. This is one of the better ones in my opinion.