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Black Ship (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, No. 17) Hardcover – September 2, 2008

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Dunn's diverting 17th Daisy Dalrymple 1920s mystery (after 2007's The Bloody Tower), Daisy and her Scotland Yard detective husband, Alec Fletcher, have inherited a large house from Alec's great-uncle near London's Hampstead Heath. While the couple are delighted with the extra space for their growing family, they have doubts about their new neighbors. Then the maid discovers a dead body in the garden one morning, and Daisy and Alec become entangled in a case involving bootleggers, American gangsters and black ships (e.g., rum-running vessels). Meanwhile, the nanny can't get used to the idea that Daisy as a modern mother actually wants to play with her babies. Dunn provides an intriguing view of the Prohibition era from the English perspective, besides casting a witty light on the social changes of the day. (Sept.)
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From Booklist

This is the seventeenth entry in Dunn’s charming series featuring the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple and her detective husband, Alec Fletcher. It’s 1925, less than four years after Daisy’s first adventure (Death at Wentwater Court, 1994) took place, so it’s no surprise why she is infamous at Scotland Yard as the detective’s wife who keeps falling over bodies. Technically, Daisy doesn’t stumble over this body, but her dog and parlor maid do in a small communal garden near their new home. As they get to know their new neighbors, they find that they really like the Jessups (who are in the business of selling spirits) and really dislike the Bennetts (who are in the business of gossip). The hapless Mr. Lambert from their American adventure (The Murdered Muckraker, 2002), now employed by the U.S. Treasury Department, returns in this novel, on the track of contraband booze, even though bootlegging is not illegal in England. (Black Ship refers to a rum-running vessel.) As usual, Daisy helps solve the case because people “do like to tell me things, you know.” --Judy Coon

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312363079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312363079
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,561,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carola Dunn is the author of the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, the Cornish Mysteries, and over 30 Regencies. Born and raised in England, the author now lives with her dog in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Wilson on November 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you love Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, this one will not disappoint. The family has moved into a new home near Hempstead Heath and a body is found in the square(actually a circle). There is some history of the illegal importation of spirits to America from England during Prohibition woven into the mystery. Be sure to read these mysteries in order--they are so much more enjoyable that way.
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Format: Paperback
Daisy Dalrymple and her husband Alec Fletcher have come into some money as well as a desirable residence. Alec's estranged uncle has left him a considerable fortune and a large house as well as the freeholds of all the other houses in Constable Circle. But the solicitor handling the estate seems as though he does not want Alec and Daisy to move into the house. Daisy is puzzled - even more so when she starts to wonder what her immediate neighbours are hiding. Then the incompetent FBI agent, Lambert, whom Daisy befriended in The Case of the Murdered Muckraker (Daisy Dalrymple Mystery) arrives on their doorstep because he has been robbed and his identity papers stolen.

Lambert is on the track of bootleggers selling alcohol to the US contrary to the prohibition laws in force at the time and Daisy and Alec live next door to a wine merchant. When a body is found in the gardens opposite the houses no one living in Constable Circle escapes suspicion and Alec finds himself not at all popular with his neighbours.

This is an interesting mystery but I felt the ending was a bit too convenient. The background of the story about prohibition and how drink was smuggled into the US was very interesting but it almost seemed irrelevant at times to the central mystery of the murder. I liked the way Daisy and Alec's relationship is developing and the growing friendship between Daisy and the police officers. It was interesting to see Lambert again as well. An entertaining read but not as good as some titles in this series.
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Format: Paperback
The Fletchers are moving! Once overcrowded in a small house, Det. Inspector Alec Fletcher, his wife, the former Daisy Dalrymple, Fletcher's daugher from his first marriage, and the couple's infant twins, plus the babies' nanny and several servants, are now in roomier digs in a home Alec inherited from his uncle. It needs a bit of fixing up, but the family is overjoyed—until the maid, following the family dog, discovers a dead body (well, at least Daisy wasn't the culprit this time). The family fears the victim may have ties to bootlegging, and that a neighboring family who run a fine wine shop may be involved. Will the Fletchers start their new life on Constable Crescent by getting in bad with the neighbors?

The story about the murder investigation is punctuated with a parallel story about a young man riding on a "black ship" (a rumrunner; Prohibition is in full force in the United States and bootleggers are making money buying liquor from Great Britain) being chased by Prohibition enforcers. In addtion, Lambert, the Government agent whom the Fletchers met in the United States, appears at their home looking for rumrunners. As always, Daisy, her Inspector, and his assistants Tring and Piper manage to track down the miscreant. Your interest will vary depending on your interest in Prohibition-era crime.
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Format: Hardcover
I always find these Carola Dunn, Daisy Dalrymple entertaining and this is no exception. The mystery element was rather lightweight and hardly impressive in its logic, but worth reading nonetheless. Daisy, wife of a Chief Inspector, is her customarily annoying (to her husband) and helpful mate with her curiosity overcoming his preference that she stay out of his cases. The book is set in America's Prohibition era when it was legal for British merchants to sell liquor to Americans but not to deliver it within America's defined 12 mile limit. Daisy and family have just inherited and moved into a house neighbored by one such merchant who does trade with bootleggers. A murder has occurred in the area near both her and the merchants house, and suspicion seems to be directed at her closest neighbor. As I said, the Inspector (officially) and Daisy (unofficially) get involved in the case and so, are investigating someone they are becoming friendly with as chief suspects. A socially difficult position, particularly for Daisy who has become close to the women of that family. I found the case being built by the police rather shaky but you might disagree. At any rate, it is a pleasant read as the investigation unfolds.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I give all Daisy Dalrymple books 5 stars! The main characters are interesting and fun. Even the secondary characters are drawn with enough depth that they come to life within the context of the book. I realize this is not a specific review for this specific book, and it is well researched and written as are all the others. I am in the process of reading through the whole series again and thoroughly enjoying it.

This is the first time I have seen the ratings. Is there violence? Well, people do get murdered, but the violence is not anywhere near what we think of today. Is there sexual content? Well, Daisy and Alex are married, in love and have twins. But it is also the mid to late 1920's so some Victorian morals do apply. Those are hard blocks to check because everything is so relative.
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