More than 850 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘World War I’

A novelist revisits the Russian Revolution

Lenin’s Roller Coaster (Jack McColl #3), by David Downing @@@ (3 out of 5) When the Russian Revolution erupted in 1917, it was by no means clear that Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks would come into power. Even after Lenin and his allies seized the reins of government in Moscow and Leningrad late in the year, the… Read More ›

Another great detective novel from Jacqueline Winspear

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@@ (5 out of 5) It’s 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ third year in business as an “inquiry agent.” (That’s British for private detective.) As usual, Maisie’s life is complicated. Her assistant, Billy Beale, is working shorter hours to care for his wife, who has… Read More ›

An intimate take on German history

The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History, by Thomas Harding @@@@ (4 out of 5) There are several ways to approach history. You can focus on the broad political and social trends in society at large and how they evolve over time. You can look into… Read More ›

Shell shock, madness, and the Great Depression

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs #6), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@@ (5 out of 5) If your taste in crime fiction runs to blood, guts, and gore, you’re unlikely to enjoy reading Jacqueline Winspear‘s Maisie Dobbs series. If, instead, you favor a more cerebral approach focused on three-dimensional character development and psychological insight, you’ll find exactly… Read More ›

The penny press, Amos ‘n Andy, and pop-up ads

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads, by Tim Wu @@@@@ (5 out of 5) If you’ve been paying attention, you can’t have missed the changes in the character of advertising over the course of your life. Certainly, I have. Chances are, you were born in the age of radio, at… Read More ›

A British detective novel that doesn’t measure up

A review of Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge #3), by Charles Todd @@@ (3 out of 5) What is it that keeps fans reading book after book in a series of detective novels? I should know as well as anyone, since I keep going back again and again to the work of Michael Connelly,… Read More ›

Class resentment in Depression-era England

A review of Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs #4), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@ (4 out of 5) Maisie Dobbs’ private practice as a “psychologist and investigator” is taking off when she receives a curious assignment from a wealthy journalist celebrated for her front-line reporting in World War I. Georgina Bassington-Hope explains that her twin brother… Read More ›

Living the legacy of war

A review of Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@ (4 out of 5) Before the advent of World War II, the “Great War” — World War I, the “war to end all wars” — was the most tragic event in modern history. Earlier, Attila’s rampage through Asia and Europe was probably more… Read More ›

A female detective like no other

A review of Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@ (4 out of 5) Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear, is the inaugural entry in a series of detective novels, now twelve in number, featuring the work of the brilliantly intuitive “Psychologist and investigator” as the 1930s unfold. In the first of the novels,… Read More ›