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

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

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.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "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.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

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.


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.


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.