If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.


WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

A Memorial Day Book Review

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance to honor those who have fought and died for this country. Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobb series is set in England at the outset during WWI and focuses on the following decades’ events leading up to WWII. Although told from the English perspective, as allies, much of the loss and effect of WWI that Winspear brings to her fiction is equally true for Americans.

There are many reasons why this series is special. Winspear combines the horrors and chaos of war and its effects on relationships, investigation and romance, comingling historical fact with fiction. Yes, I am one who likes mixing genres. To me, the mix brings authenticity to books, as if I were living their lives, not focusing on one aspect of their life as an investigator.


The series starts before WWI and then follows Maisie after the war as she relives her experiences and starts her investigative practice. Winspear doesn’t spare the reader, showing the effects of WWI’s brutal fighting tactics and the equally brutal surgical techniques, which keep soldiers alive when death may be more merciful. Soldiers survive catastrophic injuries only to die from secondary causes, such as bacterial infection since antibiotics had not been discovered or from drug addiction. Horrific injuries are no match for the time’s anesthetics. When Maisie employs an assistant, she learns about the black market for cocaine, which brings temporary relief from the pain of acute injuries, but she also learns of the cost and addiction that destroys those battlefield survivors’ lives.


The reader, through Maisie’s memories as a nurse in France, experiences the effects of chemical-gas warfare and trench warfare exacerbated by a lack of military and government social services, which are eventually remedied through reform laws, providing social security and veteran benefits. The medical community is incapable of coping neither with chemical-warfare exposure or from shell shock, results of trench warfare. Diagnosed initially as nerve damage, shell shock is re-diagnosed as psychiatric injury. In its infancy, psychiatry provides little healing.


In A Lesson in Secrets, the eighth novel in this series, Maisie’s investigation helps police and government intelligence organizations safe-guard national security by her enmeshment in the peace movement, at one end of the spectrum, and Nazi proponents, on the other. In doing so, the Winspear reminds the reader of the forces culminating in WWII were rooted from WWI. Such lessons must not be forgotten in today’s global conflicts.


Look for other books from the series at: http://www.jacquelinewinspear.com.

4 comments:

Pauline Alldred said...

The program 60 minutes presented a good review of what soldiers suffer in Afghanistan. The families of people fighting foreign wars have to be keenly aware of what happens to their loved ones. I've often been suprised by how little the general population wants to hear about people who fight American wars overseas. I consider it a provilege to have worked in the Veterans Administration system. Even after decades since their fighting experience, veterans see patients in the beds close to them as buddies to be helped and supported. Patients in private hospital systems tend to see thmeselves in competition for medical and nursing attention.

Warren Bull said...

There was an article in the paper today about elderly veterans facing their death and experiencing post-traumatic stress from their wartime experiences in their youth. Even those who made an excellent adjustment for most of their lives without symptoms of PTSD may have problems when they approach death.

Excellent review. Thank you.

Ellis Vidler said...

That's a period in history I love reading about. Your review was helpful--I'm sure I'd enjoy the book and will put it on my list right now. Thanks!

E. B. Davis said...

I can't tell you how much I love this series. It's one of those that you wait for the next book to get released and immediately order it.

Perhaps because my parents were in the WWII generation, I find myself drawn to WWI, my grandparents generation's war, because those years in between the wars were so traumatic--a worldwide economic depression, which caused many dispirit people to listen to a madman.

That lesson must be remembered. For me, it is a lesson of faith.