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.
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.

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