Plane travel is full of distractions for me so as much as I would like to tell you that I inhaled hundreds of pages of Marias on my recent lengthy flights, the truth is that I picked lighter (but wonderfully readable) fare. That would not compete with chattering and drink carts and seat kicking and... Well, you understand.
The eighth and newest installment of the Maisie Dobbs series was very satisfying although I have to admit that I was torn between my interest in her quiet, damaged self and this stronger recovering Maisie found here. Her newfound economic security allows her some breathing space in life both for her own good and the good of others, and her love interest hints at another side of Maisie we have not seen before. But the mystery rules the day as she poses as a professor of philosophy at a college dedicated to international peace where British intelligence suspects something hidden in these days leading to the second world war. And Scotland Yard is called in to investigate the murder of one of the college's leaders. The book moves along at quite a clip, enjoyed it thoroughly, and was only a tad perplexed at how Maisie managed to plan for her classes with all the requirements of the investigations with which she is involved.
The Finishing School was just as darkly humorous as any Spark novel but a bit off her usual game. Something vaguely tired about it. Did not realize until after I finished reading it that it was her last novel. Perhaps that is the reason? That her usual satirical humor seems touched by a splash of judgment? Her cultural references dated? But it still provided plenty of laughs as the husband and wife team who start a shifty finishing school in order to generate an income until the husband's writing career takes off must weather the introduction of a student whose writing successes threaten to unravel both their business and their marriage. Jealousy and wackily irrational responses abound. Recommended but not to the same degree I recommend other Spark novels.
So what do you read on a plane? The light and entertaining or are you able to bury yourself uninterrupted into heavier reads?