100% More Depressing

I'm reading three books at the moment. Stefan Aust's Bader-Meinhof, Jacqueline Winspear's Among the Mad, and Sam Stagg's Born to Be Hurt. So one book about a group of murderous terrorists, an installment a historical mystery series and a gossipy book about the making of camp classic Imitation of Life. Guess which one isn't either depressing the hell out of me or making me wish a fiery death on a main character.

What on earth possessed Stagg's to fill his latest "behind the scenes of a masterpiece" starring Lana Turner and Sandra Dee made in 1959 with references to the soulessness of Condelezza Rice and the relative Stalinism of the Bush Administration? Talk about tenuous connections.

Then there's Maisie Dobbs, or as I'm starting to think of her, "Maisie Effing Dobbs". I thought she was a bit stiff in the first outing but I thought, Winspear just needs to relax a little. Once she gets passed all this backstory - unnecessary backstory, in my opinion - Maisie could turn out to be a solid heroine. Well, I just might be wrong. Because I'm not through the first chapter of Among the Mad and Maisie is just insufferable. She's helping her faithful assistant hone his skills so he can move his family to Canada, she's bought his entire family "Christmas Boxes", she's giving money to a beggar in Depression-era London, she's tried to single-handedly prevent a suicide and she carries a "document case." Not an attache case or a briefcase. A document case. What are the chances that Maisie is the victim in this book?

The Baader-Meinhof gang are just the soul of reasonable behavior compared to this lot.

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