My reaction to A Lesson In Secrets [Winspear's previous book] was that Jacqueline Winspear had finally run out of things for Maisie Dobbs to do that would last longer than a short story and filled in the rest with countless side stories that were neither very interesting nor in any way relevant to the main plot.
I wouldn't blame Sidetrack [the cabin] for making you doze off. You suggest the story lines are put in to be taken up in later novels. I hope not. When an author begins to write more about the personal lives of the characters -- main and otherwise -- than they do about the core story line I fear they are "running dry"on that series and should move on to something/someone else. Or quit trying to market the books as "mysteries."
Like The Help is, I think, a really great book to read with no mystery in there to move it along, just fascinating characters with interesting stories to tell.
08 September 2011
Dan Conrad on Jacqueline Winspear
Dan wrote and I thought his comments deserved a couple posts rather than just a Comment on the blog entry.